Allstate's annual Best Driver's Report has continuously ranked Washington, D.C., in its bottom spot, with drivers facing a 100 percent greater-than-average chance of being in an accident.
When the likelihood of an accident is high, increased liability limits make sense if you own a home or have substantial assets. Even a minor fender-bender can exceed the District's low $10,000 property damage requirement.
Uninsured motorist coverage is required, while underinsured motorist coverage must be offered, but can be rejected. Uninsured motorist in D.C. includes both bodily injury (UMBI) and property damage (UMPD) coverage.
UMPD has a maximum payout of $5,000 and has a deductible of $200. If your car is worth more than that, consider collision coverage. It pays up to the actual cash value of your vehicle – plus it repairs your car even if you are at fault.
The District of Columbia isn't a true no-fault state, but motorists must be offered personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which he or she can reject. If you do carry PIP on your policy, District law requires you choose within 60 days of an auto accident if you will use your PIP benefits or make claim against the at-fault driver.
They can rate you on this, but not that: The District does not allow insurance companies to charge based on ZIP code. That doesn't mean all companies charge the same price, though, only that the same driver pays the same rate whether he lives in Georgetown or in Anacostia. Insurers also may not increase your rates because of an accident that was not your fault.
Failure to maintain continuous insurance coverage: Fines for no insurance start with $150 for the first 30 days you are without coverage and then $7 for each additional uninsured day, up to a maximum of $2,500.
Uninsured motorist penalties for the District of Columbia: You may be fined up to $500, be sentenced to 90 days in jail, your registration may be suspended and your plates confiscated.
Largest car insurance companies for D.C. by market share
||Company / Group
||Direct Premiums Written ($)
||Market Share (%)
||Berkshire Hathaway Insurance
||State Farm Group
||Progressive Insurance Group
||Allstate Insurance Group
||Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies
||Erie Insurance Group
||Hartford Insurance Group
|Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2013.