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District of Columbia Car Insurance

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The District of Columbia is all urban, and the price its drivers pay for car insurance reflects that. Rates fall substantially for those who choose a suburb in Maryland or Virginia; you can see how all ZIP codes compare below. No two car insurance companies will price the same policy the same, so it's wise to compare rates so you don't overpay. See the highest and lowest rate fielded from among six insurers for your neighborhood by entering in your ZIP code. To get a customized rate, select a gender, age group and coverage level.

Cheap car insurance in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. car insurance requirements

Bad drivers: 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 coverage 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.

Recommended car insurance coverage

The cheapest car insurance may not provide sufficient protection, so how much insurance should you buy? Bare-bones coverage may be a good choice if you have few assets or have an old car and don’t drive much. But if you have a home and investments, consider buying more insurance. If you don’t, you’re at risk for having your money and house taken to cover the cost of an accident. If you financed your car you will be required to get additional comprehensive and collision coverage.

Use our How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? tool to get a recommendation.

AGE
STATE
VEHICLE MODEL YEAR
OWN RENT
OWNED FINANCED LEASED

Liability

We recommend you buy more insurance than is required to legally drive a car in your state, especially if you have savings and assets. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be sued following a car accident should your insurance be insufficient to cover all the expenses. If your net worth is:

  • less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
  • between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
  • more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100

If you're leasing or financing your car, you must get coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.

Collision and comprehensive

Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. If your car is:

  • less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
  • more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.

For drivers in Washington D.C., collision costs an average of $647 yearly, comprehensive is $164, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.

Medical coverage (MedPay)

Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. In most states, including Texas, it's an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:

  • Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
  • Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
  • Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking

If you and your passengers:

  • Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
  • Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.

Gap insurance

If you don’t own your car outright and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.

  • If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
  • If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you aren’t already required to in your lease agreement.
  • If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.

Low cost auto insurance for Washington, D.C. drivers with recent accidents

Filing an accident claim means you are likely to pay more for your car insurance coverage. However, how much more you pay depends on several factors, and your car insurance company plays is one of those significant factors. Each company assesses risk differently, so that's why the increase after an accident will vary among insurers. Here is how major carriers compare after at-fault accidents for the average Washington, D.C. driver with a full coverage policy:

Who has the cheapest Washington, D.C. car insurance for drivers with speeding tickets?

If you get a speeding ticket, chances are you'll see an increase in what you pay for car insurance, upon your policy renewal. Typically, you'll pay more for three years. But even with a traffic ticket, comparison shopping can save you money. For instance, you'll see that the difference between the highest rate and the lowest in the table below is more than $2,629, on average, according to CarInsurance.com's rate analysis. That's how much you can save by comparing car insurance companies.

How much does it cost to add a teen to your policy in Washington, D.C?

No matter where you live, adding a new driver to your family policy will hike your rate significantly. In Washington, you can expect your rate to go up by an average of 179 percent when adding a driver age 16 to your coverage, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. You'll see in the table below how much it costs, on average, to add a teen driver in Washington, and how major insurers compare on price. GEICO General had the lowest auto insurance cost for adding a driver age 16 to a full coverage family policy, among insurers surveyed.

Cheapest Washington, D.C auto insurance for young drivers: Ages 18 to 25

You’ll see in the chart below which car insurance companies have the lowest rates for young drivers buying a full coverage policy. Average car insurance rates by age data shows that drivers typically pay higher rates until age 26, when rates begin to drop as drivers gain more experience on the road. But even young drivers can save money by comparing car insurance rates to see which company has the lowest rates, by qualifying for student discounts and by staying on their parents’ policy as long as possible

Senior drivers: Cheap auto insurance for Washington, D.C drivers age 65 to 85

Below you can see average rates by company for drivers age 65 and over, buying a full coverage policy. While comparing car insurance quotes is always one of the primary ways to save on coverage, you can also see if you qualify for a mature driver discount or if you can trim rates by taking a defensive driving course.

Car insurance for Washington drivers with bad credit

Car insurance for drivers with bad credit costs significantly more than it does for those with good credit. Washington ranks 31st  among the worst states for drivers with bad credit, as CarInsurance.com's data analysis shows. Compared to good credit drivers, those in Washington with bad credit pay 67 percent more, on average. The good news is that you can still shave some money off your coverage costs if you compare car insurance companies. You'll see below that the difference among major insurers is nearly $2,608 for a full coverage policy for a driver with bad credit. That's how much you can potentially save by comparing car insurance quotes.

Best car insurance companies in Washington

Scores are based on Insure.com’s “Best Insurance Companies” customer review survey of 3,700 customers. Policyholders ranked insurers on claims handling, customer service, value, mobile apps/website usefulness and were asked if they would renew their coverage and if they would recommend the company. All scores are out of 100.

 

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Largest car insurance companies in Washington

Source: A.M. Best; State/Line (P/C Lines)  - P/C, US; Data as of:November 28, 2018

Washington D.C. Car Insurance Laws

Uninsured coverage is required: 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, D.C. 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.

ZIP code doesn't affect rate: Washington, D.C., 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.

Harsh uninsured motorist fines: Fines for driving without 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 Washington, D.C.: You may be fined up to $500, be sentenced to 90 days in jail, your registration may be suspended and your plates confiscated.

Average annual car insurance rates for major cities in Washington,D.C.

Below you'll see how average annual rates for several of the largest cities in the state compare to state and national averages. Rates are for coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident in liability and $50,000 of property damage coverage, with comprehensive and collision carrying a $500 deductible.

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