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Seattle car insurance rates

Seattle is not the friendliest of cities for cars. Large bodies of water lie between you and wherever it is you would like to drive, forcing traffic onto two crowded bridges or north or south around Lake Washington. When you get there, parking is tight, if available at all.

Yet you don't get a break on your car insurance bill for all the aggravation you put up with. Seattle and its sister city Tacoma have Washington's costliest car insurance rates. The same driver in the same car will pay 40 percent more in the rougher parts of Tacoma than in the suburbs of Redmond for Washington car insurance. (The map below shows how ZIP codes in Seattle and surrounding cities stack up.)

Maybe you are a University Ave. hipster looking for just enough coverage to drive legally -- or a Microsoft millionaire trying to protect some meaty stock options. Either way, you will get wildly different car insurance quotes depending on the companies you contact. But hey, that's why they call it shopping. Drivers in Seattle ZIP code 98144 pay the highest average car insurance rate in the city, $1,407 a year, according to a survey of rates from six major carriers. But the difference between the highest rate ($1,746) for that ZIP and the lowest ($1,196) is $550. You can still save a lot on car insurance even if you live in an area with high rates. You just need to compare car insurance quotes to find the best price.

Seattle Car Insurance Rates by ZIP Code

Enter ZIP for average rate. Then enter Age, Gender and Coverage Level for customized rate.

Invalid ZIP code or data not available
  • 98404- MIDLAND: $1,589
  • 98421- FIFE: $1,583
  • 98108- RIVERTON-BOULEVARD P: $1,582
  • 98144- SEATTLE: $1,579
  • 99136- HAY: $987
  • 99125- ENDICOTT: $992
  • 99111- COLFAX: $994
  • 99163- ALBION: $997

Why shopping your policy saves you money

Many factors go into setting car insurance rates, and your location is chief among them. Car insurance companies look at how many claims there are in your area and what the cost is when deciding what you pay. In addition, each insurer calculates rates in its own way, so that’s why the same policy can have many different price tags. If you don't shop around to compare prices, you can't save. To see how other Seattle car insurance rates compare, use our average rates tool above. Enter a ZIP code and it will show the average rate, as well as the highest and lowest, for your location.

Here's how Seattle’s highest average rate ($1,407) compares to others:

  • $492 more than the least expensive average rate ($915) in Washington, Endicott ZIP code 99125
  • $322 more than the state average ($1,085)
  • $176 more than the national average rate ($1,231)

You’ll see in the chart below the top 10 most expensive ZIP codes in the Seattle.

Seattle car insurance rates

Seattle ZIP code

Average rate

Highest rate

Lowest rate









































*Methodology for rates by ZIP code: commissioned Quadrant Information Services to run auto insurance rates for a 2014 Honda Accord for more than 30,000 ZIP codes in the United States using six large carriers -- Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm. (In cases where an insurer’s rate wasn’t available, another major carrier's rate was substituted.) Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.

Seattle car insurance requirements

Washington state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
Minimum bodily injury liability$25,000/$50,000
Minimum property damage liability$10,000

Cheapest car insurance in Seattle

The lowest liability car insurance limits your insurer offers is the cheapest policy you can buy. This will be the state minimum required to drive legally. In Washington (written as 25/15/10), that means your liability car insurance would pay up to:

  • $25,000 for injuries you cause to others
  • $15,000 per accident
  • $10,000 for damage you cause to others' cars and property

To give you an idea of what to expect, here is how much the cheapest policy would cost, on average, per year, for Seattle ZIP code 98101 for the following drivers:














































*Average rate of six insurance carriers for a 2015 Honda Accord LX, from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. Data was provided for by Quadrant Information Services.

The state average rate for a year of minimum coverage is $671, according to our rate analysis. If you bumped up your liability coverage to 50/100/50, the average rate would increase by just $42 to $713.

Best car insurance in Seattle

The best car insurance coverage usually isn’t the cheapest. You may be sued if you’re in an accident and your insurance doesn’t cover all of the damages. That means your home or savings could be in jeopardy. To protect your assets, you should buy liability insurance in the following amounts:

  • $100,000 to pay for others’ medical bills
  • $300,000 to pay for injuries to others in an accident you cause
  • $100,000 to pay for damage to others’ property

You should also consider buying these optional coverages:

  • Comprehensive, which replaces stolen cars and covers damage to your car from floods, fire, hail, vandalism.
  • Collision, which pays for damage to your car from accidents.

Comprehensive insurance and collision coverage typically won’t add a lot to your car insurance bill. Comprehensive costs $101 and collision costs $244, on average per year, for drivers in Washington, according to the Insurance Information Institute. These two coverages, unlike liability insurance, come with a deductible. That’s the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in. Insurers usually offer deductibles of $1,000, $500 and $250. The higher the deductible is, the lower your rate will be.

Seattle ZIP 98101 car insurance rates for coverage recommendations




State average

With $1,000 deductible




With $500 deductible




With $250 deductible




 *Average rate of six insurance carriers for a 2015 Honda Accord LX, from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. Data was provided for by Quadrant Information Services.

Driving in Seattle

Traffic in Seattle: The city and nearby areas came in seventh for the worst traffic in the nation in a recent report by USA Today, which noted that drivers spend about 63 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Car crashes: Major accidents have resulted in an average of nearly 30 deaths a year in recent years (2012-2014).

Commuting: The average commute in Seattle is 27.6 minutes.

High Occupancy Vehicle rules: The HOV lane, also known as the carpool or diamond lane, is designed to reduce traffic congestion and promote ride-sharing on freeways. In the Seattle area, only vehicles with at least two people, mass transit vehicles like buses and motorcycles are allowed to use the lanes. Use may be restricted during specified hours.

Public transportation: The U.S. Census Bureau says that the majority of riders in Seattle who commute to work by public transportation are white (about 64 percent), Hispanic (about 7 percent) and black (about 6 percent). The bureau notes that commuting is the main reason people turn to mass transit.

Smog rules: In Seattle you must have a vehicle tested for emissions before registering and every two years after that. After moving to Washington, you have 30 days to have a vehicle tested. Vehicles models from 2009 and newer and those 20 years old or older are exempt.

Bad intersection: The intersection at Denny Way and Terry Avenue was recently named Seattle's worst intersection in a survey of both motorists and pedestrians.

The information was gathered from various sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, state transportation departments and city police departments.