Here you’ll learn everything you need to know to buy the best car insurance policy in Seattle for your particular situation. You’ll see which carriers are rated as the best car insurance companies for customer satisfaction and what the average car insurance rates are for your neighborhood.
You’ll also discover how much you can save from knowing how to make smart choices about coverage. And, find out how rates for Seattle drivers are affected by tickets, accidents and adding teen drivers.
- The average car insurance rate for Seattle drivers for minimum coverage is $614 a year, according to Carinsurance.com analysis.
- The liability coverage in Seattle, WA costs $669 per year.
- In Seattle, full coverage car insurance policy costs $1,353 a year.
- As per Carinsurance.com research, in Seattle, comparing quotes from companies can help you save an average $2,687 on your car insurance rates annually.
- How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Seattle, WA?
- Who Has Cheapest Car Insurance in Seattle, Washington?
- Who Has The Best Car Insurance in Seattle, WA?
- How Much Car Insurance do I Need in Seattle, WA?
- Compare Car Insurance Quotes in Seattle, WA & Save Money
- Seattle, WA Car Insurance FAQ’s
- Pedestrian Deaths in Seattle
- Seattle Commuters
- Guide to car insurance (with rates) in cities of Washington
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Seattle, WA?
We all know that the cost of car insurance varies depending on your individual needs. But how much does it actually costs? CarInsurance.com analysed major insurers including Geico, Progressive Insurance Company (Progressive), State Farm, Allstate Co. and others, to determine average Seattle coverage costs for different levels and types.
The average rate for Seattle drivers for a year of minimum coverage is $614 according to our rate analysis. If you increased your coverage to 50/100/50, you would pay just about $4.58 more a month, or $55 more a year.
You can get full coverage (100/300/100) by paying $61.58 more a month, or an additional $739 a year more than minimum-level coverage.
The following data shows, what you can expect to pay for car insurance in Seattle, on average.
- State Minimum Policy: $614 per year
- Liability Coverage (50/100/50): $669 per year
- Full Coverage (100/300/100): $1,353 per year
Who Has Cheapest Car Insurance in Seattle, Washington?
Eagle West Ins Co and GEICO have the cheapest car insurance rates in Seattle, based on our rate analysis for three different coverage levels.
The driver profile is for age 40, with good credit and a clean driving record. You can see how major insurers rank for price in the chart below.
|Company||Liability Only – State Minimum BI/PD||Liability Only – 50/100/50 BI/PD||Full Coverage – 100/300/100 BI/PD – 500 Comp/Coll|
|USAA Casualty Ins Co||$232||$388||$833|
|Eagle West Ins Co||$306||$544||$1,158|
|GEICO Advantage Ins Co||$397||$587||$1,130|
|Progressive Direct Ins Co||$419||$695||$1,459|
|State Farm Mutl Automobile Ins||$428||$698||$1,480|
|Standard Fire Ins Co||$480||$878||$1,402|
|Truck Ins Exchange||$604||$1,112||$1,948|
|Nationwide Mutual Ins Co||$609||$862||$1,337|
|Allstate F&C Ins Co||$627||$941||$1,860|
|Unitrin Auto & Home Ins Co||$819||$1,202||$1,354|
|American Family Ins Co||$927||$1,430||$2,177|
|Metropolitan Group P&C Ins Co||$1,519||$2,222||$3,941|
Who Has The Best Car Insurance in Seattle, WA?
Deciding who has the best car insurance to suit your needs depends on what is most important to you. For some it may be price, while others may value customer service the most. Still others may be looking for the convenience of mobile apps, or a company that offers the most car insurance discounts.
Below we list car insurance companies in Seattle, and who they are the best at serving, based on CarInsurance.com’s customer satisfaction survey of current policy holders and rate data analysis.
|Low Annual Mileage||State Farm Mutual Auto|
|Good Student||State Farm Mutual Auto|
|Paid in Full||Progressive Direct|
How Much Car Insurance do I Need in Seattle, WA?
Below we’ll explain what coverage you need to drive legally, which is your state required minimum liability limits, and what types of car insurance you may need to be truly protected.
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Seattle, WA
Washington car insurance laws require only that you insure yourself against bodily injury and property damage liability, so it’s your choice whether to add coverage for yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle.
If you have a newer model car, it makes sense to get comprehensive insurance and collision coverage. In Washington, comprehensive costs $132 and collision costs $540, on an average per year, according to a rate data analysis done by CarInsurance.com.
These optional coverages come with a deductible. That’s the amount you pay before your insurance company pays. Typical deductibles amounts are $1,000, $500 and $250 – you choose which one you want. The higher the deductible is, the lower your rate will be.
The best car insurance coverage usually isn’t the cheapest. You may be used 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:
- $1,00,000 to pay for others’ medical bills
- $3,00,000 to pay for injuries to others in an accident you cause
- $1,00,000 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.
Compare Car Insurance Quotes in Seattle, WA & Save Money
You can save an average of $2,687 annually on a full coverage policy in Seattle by comparing car insurance quotes, according to CarInsurance.com’s rate analysis. While savings will depend on your particular circumstances, this shows that there is a significant benefit to shopping your policy.
Seattle, WA Car Insurance FAQ’s
How much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket in Seattle, WA?
A speeding ticket in Seattle will hike your car insurance rates by an average of 43% , or about $1,006 yearly. CarInsurance.com’s rate analysis shows how much more drivers in Seattle can expect to pay, on average, for speeding and other common violations.
Minor traffic violations, such as speeding, typically stay on your record for about three years, and you can expect to see the rate increase upon your policy renewal date. More severe infractions, such as DUI, typically stay on your record much longer.
How much does insurance go up for tickets in Seattle, WA?
Seattle drivers can expect to see a hike in their rates in the range of 47% for minor moving violations such as tailgating or blowing through a stop sign, 80% for more severe infractions such as DUI.
Below you’ll see how much rates increase, on average, for common traffic violations.
Remember, though, that because insurance companies assess risk differently, you can still save by comparison shopping, because one carrier may ding you a lot for a citation, while another may spike your rate by much less.
|Violation||Average rate||Rate after violation||$ Increase||% Increase|
|2 speeding tickets 11 mph or over||$2,356||$3,321||$965||41%|
|Distracted driving ticket||$2,356||$2,865||$509||22%|
|Driving without a license or permit||$2,356||$2,972||$616||26%|
|Driving without insurance||$2,356||$2,920||$564||24%|
|DUI/DWI first offense||$2,356||$4,366||$2,010||85%|
|DUI/DWI second offense||$2,356||$5,618||$3,262||138%|
|Failure to stop||$2,356||$3,002||$646||27%|
|Failure to yield||$2,356||$3,002||$646||27%|
|Following too closely||$2,356||$3,002||$646||27%|
|Operating a vehicle in a race (highway racing)||$2,356||$4,571||$2,215||94%|
|Talking on cellphone ticket||$2,356||$3,002||$646||27%|
How much will an accident raise my insurance in Seattle, WA?
An accident will increase car insurance rates by 48% to 158%, on average, for drivers in Seattle. When you file a claim for an accident that’s your fault, typically your car insurance rates will increase.
However, claims under your comprehensive coverage, if you have it as it’s optional, typically won’t trigger an increase. That’s because comprehensive claims are for damage insurers consider to be beyond your control, for instance due to hail, fire, flooding, falling objects or collisions with an animal.
The table below shows how much for drivers in Seattle can expect to pay for common car insurance claims.
|Accident||Average Rate||Rate after claim||$ Increase||% Increase|
|1 At-fault property damage accident over $2K||$2,356||$3,484||$1,128||48%|
|1 At-fault property damage accident under $2K||$2,356||$3,484||$1,128||48%|
|2 At-fault property damage accident over $2k||$2,356||$6,073||$3,717||158%|
|At-fault bodily injury accident||$2,356||$3,570||$1,214||52%|
How much does it cost to add a teen driver to your insurance in Seattle, WA?
In Seattle, adding a 16-year-old daughter to your policy will hike your rates by $2,282 annually, or 169% It’s more for boys. Insuring your 16-year-old son will increase your yearly rate by $2,588, or 191% according to CarInsurance.com rate data.
Teen drivers are inexperienced, and are involved in more accidents than older drivers, according to federal research, and insurance companies categorize them as high-risk drivers, so they cost more to insure.
If you’re insuring a teen driver of any age, you can get expert tips, more rate data by age and details from our “Parents guide to insuring a teen driver.”
How much is SR-22 insurance in Seattle, WA?
CarInsurance.com data show that for drivers in Seattle, your rate will go up by an average of $1,303 or 55%. If you’re convicted of a serious offense, such as DUI or reckless driving, you may be required to have your insurance company file an SR-22 form on your behalf.
An SR-22 is a car insurance company’s guarantee to the state that you are carrying the legally mandated coverage. If you are required to have an SR-22 filed, your car insurance rates will increase.
Pedestrian Deaths in Seattle
Walk Score rates any address in the United States. With a population of 608,660, Seattle scores high in the “walkability” category, coming in as the eighth most walkable large city in the U.S., with a “walk score” of 74. It gets a transit score of 60 and a bike score of 70.
While it may be highly walkable, that puts more pedestrians in danger on Seattle streets. And the city isn’t unique in that it struggles with pedestrian-related crash fatalities and injuries.
According to a city report, pedestrians make up the majority of victims in fatal collisions in Seattle. While pedestrians account for just 4% of total collisions annually, they are more than 50% of fatalities. In 2019, the median age of pedestrians killed in collisions was 62 years old.
Between 2008 and 2017, drivers struck and killed 49,340 people who were walking on streets in the United States. That equates to more than 13 people per day — or one person every hour and 46 minutes.
There were 712 pedestrian deaths between 2008 and 2017 in Washington, which has been ranked the 35th most-dangerous state (plus Washington, DC) in the country for pedestrians, according to a 2019 report called “Dangerous By Design” from Smart Growth America.
The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA, metro area ranked as the 94th most dangerous in the country for pedestrians. There were 360 deaths during that time period. That’s an annual pedestrian death rate of 0.98 per 100,000 people.
According to the U.S. Census, the average drive time for Seattle workers 16 and older to their job is 27.8 minutes, which complements the national average of 27.1 minutes (the 2018 average).
The mean time calculated by the Census (based on figures from 2014-2018) includes time spent waiting for public transportation, picking up passengers in carpools and on other activities related to getting to work.
Numbers compiled by Data USA showed that just 1.6% of the workforce in Seattle are “super commuters,” meaning they drive an excess of 90 minutes to their job. Data USA found that the average drive time for Seattle commuters in 2017 was 26.2 minutes, a tad higher than the national average of that year, which was 25.7 minutes.
Here’s how those Seattle commuters get to work:
- Drive alone: 44.4%
- Public Transit: 23.1%
- Walk: 12.1%
The percentage of commuters using public transit in Seattle is higher than many other metropolitan areas, even nipping at the heels of transportation-heavy areas such as San Francisco, which is 35.5% of commuters. The percentage of Seattle workers who walk to their jobs is significantly higher than other cities, too.
Vehicle Ownership in Seattle
Compared nationally, Seattle households are under the average range for car ownership, which is roughly two per household. The largest share of households in the city has one car, followed by two cars, according to recent statistics from Data USA. The 2018 results also showed that some 13% of Seattle households had no cars. Only about 3% had five cars.
A Census survey in 2016 showed that there were estimated to be 1.8 vehicles available per household nationwide.
The study showed, in Seattle:
- 2015 Households Without Vehicles: 16.6%
- 2016 Households Without Vehicles: 17.1%
- 2015 Vehicles per Household: 1.40
- 2016 Vehicles per Household: 1.39
Most Dangerous Intersections in Seattle
Boohoff Law pored over the Seattle Department of Transportation’s open data portal to look at collisions that happened in 2018 at Seattle intersections.
Using crash data in which the collision resulted in injuries, serious injuries or deaths, these are the Seattle’s most dangerous intersections:
- James Street and Sixth Avenue
- Boren Avenue and Pike Street
- Lake City Way Northeast and Northeast 130th Street
- Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street
- 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Pacific Street
- Fifth Avenue and University Street
- Corson Avenue. South and South Michigan Street
- South Dawson Street and East Marginal Way
- Rainier Avenue South and South Henderson Street
- Rainier Avenue South and South Massachusetts Street
Crashes that Resulted in Deaths or Serious Injuries in Seattle
More than 90% of severe collisions occur on Seattle’s arterial streets, according to a city report.
Arterials carry the highest volumes of people walking, biking, driving, rolling or riding transit. More than 80% of those streets have speed limits higher than 30 miles per hour.
According to a Seattle DOT report, in 2018, there were 12,185 crashes on Seattle streets. That included 177 serious-injury crashes and 14 people who were killed.
Pedestrians represented nine of the 14 people who died after being hit by a car.
Distraction was one of the most frequent contributors to crashes and was cited in nearly 2000 collisions. Intoxication was a factor in 489 crashes, a 19% increase from 2017.
A sharp increase was seen in 2019 in serious and fatal crashes in Seattle, hitting a decade high. Pedestrians make up the majority of the victims.
Crash totals of those that led to a fatality or serious injury on Seattle’s roads:
- Total: 75
- Vehicle vs. vehicle: 32
- Vehicle vs. pedestrian: 24
- Vehicle vs. bike: 11
- Moving vehicle and object in the road: 6
- Other: 2
- Total: 91
- Vehicle vs. vehicle: 34
- Vehicle vs. pedestrian: 27
- Vehicle vs. bike: 9
- Moving vehicle and object in the road: 14
- Other: 7
- Total: 82
- Vehicle vs. vehicle: 38
- Vehicle vs. pedestrian: 31
- Vehicle vs. bike: 6
- Moving vehicle and object in the road: 7
- Other: 0
- Total: 85
- Vehicle vs. vehicle: 35
- Vehicle vs. pedestrian: 28
- Vehicle vs. bike: 6
- Moving vehicle and object in the road: 10
- Other: 6
- Total: 98
- Vehicle vs. vehicle: 37
- Vehicle vs. pedestrian: 39
- Vehicle vs. bike: 15
- Moving vehicle and object in the road: 6
- Other: 1
Fatal Crashes in Seattle
The following are the totals for traffic fatalities on Seattle streets, based on mode of transportation, per a 2019 Vision Zero report.
- Total: 19
- Vehicles: 3
- Pedestrians: 11
- Cyclists: 2
- Motorcycles: 3
- Total: 14
- Venicles: 4
- Pedestrians: 8
- Cyclists: 1
- Motorcycles: 1
- Total: 25
- Vehicles: 2
- Pedestrians: 16
- Cyclists: 3
- Motorcycles: 4
Seattle rush hour kicks off around 6:30 a.m. and honks and idles its way through 9 a.m. In the evening, the worst time is from 5-6 p.m., according to TripSavvy.
Friday’s traffic is the worst, but there are certain areas in which a slow-down is nearly always expected.
The city came in sixth on the 2018 annual report compiled by INRIX on the “most congested urban areas in the U.S.” list and landed at number 58 in the “world’s most congested cities for the 2018” traffic scorecard. Nationally, the list is led by Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles.
In 2018, Seattle drivers lost approximately $1,932 each, per year, due to congestion. According to the study, Seattle drivers spend 138 hours stuck in traffic per year driving an average 10 mph during the last inner-city mile of travel.
Meanwhile, GPS giant TomTom ranked the most congested cities by country, continent and the world. With a 31% congestion level, Seattle earned the number eight spot in North America (number seven in the United States) in a 2019 list that was topped by Mexico City, Los Angeles, Vancouver and New York. The city’s congestion level remained the same from 2018. Seattle ranked as the number 110 most traffic-congested by world’s standards on the TomTom list.
Christmas day saw the least amount of traffic in 2019 in Seattle with 3% average daily congestion. Feb. 8 had the most (60%).
Seattle Loves the One Way
Seattle’s got a lot of quaint, windy roads. And a good handful of them are one-ways.
TripSavvy reported that parts of the city are filled with one-way streets. While natives navigate them like a modern-day George Vancouver, visitors may want to make sure they consistently use a GPS, lest they be swearing through the series of no-left-turn signs, particularly downtown.
“All Accidents are Preventable:” The Vision Zero Initiative
In 2014, a group of national organizations adapted Vision Zero in Sweden to establish a national strategy on highway safety referred to as Toward Zero Deaths (TZD). It focuses on data-driven topics, including safer drivers, safer passengers, safer users, enhanced medical services, safer infrastructure and safer vehicles.
In February 2015, Seattle, led by its Department of Transportation, officially committed to the national Vision Zero movement with its specific mission to “end traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.”
“While Seattle is one of the safest cities in the country, we still see more than 10,000 crashes a year, resulting in an average of 20 people losing their lives and over 150 people seriously injured,” said a Vision Zero statement. “These are our friends, neighbors and family members. The thing is, traffic collisions aren’t accidents — they’re preventable through smarter street design, targeted enforcement, partnerships and thoughtful public engagement. Together, we can make Seattle’s streets safer for everyone.”
Auto Thefts in Seattle
Seattle ranked high in a report focusing on the metro areas in each state in which your car was most likely to be stolen.
Based on the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s 2018 “Hot Spots Vehicle Theft” report, the vehicle crime rate for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area is 466.34 per 100,000 residents, with 18,371 cars stolen in 2018. The vehicle crime rate was 494.9 per 100,000 residents, with 19,136 cars stolen.
The Honda Accord is the “hottest,” being the most likely model to be lifted in the state.
How Many People Drive in a Day in Seattle?
People took about one million car and truck trips in Seattle on average each day (including freeways) of which about 440,000 trips were on surface streets, according to the Seattle DOT.
This marked a 3.6% increase from 2017, but the number of surface street trips was a little lower than 2016.
District 2 includes King County. In the district, troopers arrested 106 drivers who were under suspicion of DUI during the time period of Jan. 1-15 in 2020, reported Karimi Law based on numbers from the Washington State Patrol. During this same time period in 2019, 142 drivers were arrested, and 118 in 2018.
Distracted Driver Law
As of July 2017, Washington drivers had to put down not only the cell phone while driving, but food, makeup and razors. In an effort to target all distractions while driving, this Washington law makes it illegal to hold an electronic device while stopped in traffic or to eat, shave or apply makeup.
In 2016, there were 154 fatalities in Washington due to distracted driving, and 30% of crash fatalities are due to distracted driving in the state.