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Washington Insurance Information

A Best Value for Car Insurance in Washington

A Best Value for Auto insurance in Washington, Grange InsuranceGrange Insurance Association was A Best Value for car insurance for 2017/18 in the state of Washington. Grange Insurance won this honor with a ValChoice score of 100. Grange Insurance Association logo

Contact a Grange Insurance Agent

#1 Best Value for Home Insurance in Washington

Grange Insurance Best Value for Home Insurance in Washington
Grange Insurance Association (GIA), was named the Number One Best Value for home insurance in 2016 for the state of Washington. Grange won with a ValChoice score of 100. Grange Insurance Association logo

Contact a Grange Insurance agent

The ValChoice grading system reviews nearly every insurance company, in every state. Each year we identify the best company, by state. Companies are chosen solely based on our independent, unbiased analytics. ValChoice does not receive payment for you getting a quote or buying insurance from this company.
  • media_coverage_1-17c
  • KHQ TV, Spokane, Washington
  • Forbes
  • New York Times
  • News Tribune, Tacoma, Washington
  • Associated Press

The Washington state flag is the image for the Washington insurance information page on the ValChoice website

 

In Washington, both auto insurance prices and homeowners insurance prices are going up fast while incomes are going down. See the table below for details.

When insurance rates go up faster than income, it's time to shop for better insurance. Our analytics provide the most reliable information available on insurance companies. Best of all, we don't sell insurance. That means we're independent and unbiased.

Why I Founded ValChoice

Car and Home Insurance Average Rates and Three-Year Trend

Average Price*3-Year Change
Car Insurance $884 9.2%
Homeowners Insurance $811 25.2%
Median Household Income** Not Applicable -4.9%
*Insurance Information Institute (iii.org). The most recently published data from the III is through 2015. **U.S Census Bureau (https://census.gov). Data used matches the same three-year period that is available from the III.

new york times"ValChoice, a data analytics company that aims to bring some transparency to the opaque insurance industry."

-Gretchen Morgenson

Forbes magazine press article on technology executive, author and founder Dan Karr
ValChoice is “Carfax for...insurance”

-Giovanni Rodriguez

Washington Auto Insurance

The five largest auto insurance companies in Washington are shown in the table below. The market share of each company is shown in the second column. The third column shows their most recent ValChoice Score. ValChoice Scores are only presented for companies with above average performance. For the companies where the needle on the gauge is missing, you can order a free report to get the ValChoice Score. This information is presented so you can reliably compare Washginton auto insurance companies in order to understand your options for the best car insurance.

The ValChoice scoring system takes into account how they price, their historic performance for claims handling and the level of service they provide. This scoring system uses high quality data and grades on a curve. This approach to grading yields companies that score as high as 100 and as low as 0. Only a system like this gives consumers a true picture of the performance of car insurance companies. For more details on any given company, order a ValChoice report.

Compare Auto Insurance Companies in Washington

Market ShareValChoice Score
GEICO (Berkshire Hathaway Insurance )10.89%
gauge 53
53 out of 100
State Farm16.75%
gauge 51
51 out of 100
Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies10.62%
gauge below average
Allstate Insurance9.38%
gauge below average
Progressive Insurance8.52%
gauge below average
ValChoice only comments publicly on companies that are above average. For any company that is below average we don't publicly display the score. For those interested, scores on all companies are available with free reports. All analysis based on quantitative, high-quality data. Data sources include: SERFF, state insurance commissioners, National Association of Insurance Commissioners and AM Best Company. Data used by permission.

Washington laws require drivers to have the minimum insurance coverage shown in the table below. The important point to know about auto insurance coverage amounts is they define the maximum amount any Washington car insurance company is obligated to pay. If the costs are more than the amount of insurance coverage you purchased, you will be personally responsible for the costs above your coverage limits. More information on how insurance coverage protects you is included below the table.

Minimum Car Insurance Coverage Required in Washington

Minimum Coverage
Bodily Injury, per person 25,000
Bodily Injury, per accident 50,000
Property Damage 10,000

Types of Washington Car Insurance

Under Washington insurance laws, the costs of an accident are allocated to the driver who is at fault. This means, if you cause an accident, your insurance pays the medical bills, lost wages and cost of repairing the cars and property you damaged. If you don't have insurance, or don't have enough insurance, you are personally responsible.

Bodily InjuryProperty DamageProtecting YourselfUninsured/Underinsured Motorist

Bodily Injury Protection

Bodily injury protection is a type of liability insurance. Liability insurance means it pays for the other party, not you. In the table above the minimum bodily injury coverage you can buy in Washington is specified in the first line of the table. The minimum bodily injury coverage amount you can purchase to pay the bill when more than one person is injured in an accident is shown in the second line of the table.

Property Damage Protection

The property damage protection that is required under Washington law is also liability insurance coverage. Property damage liability insurance pays for repairs to the other person's vehicle or property, not your own. The maximum amount the car insurance company will pay on your behalf is the coverage limit that you purchased. If you want coverage above the minimum amount, that can be purchased but is not required.

Protecting Yourself, Your Passengers and Your Car

Coverage for your own vehicle, yourself and your passengers can also be purchased. However, this type of accident insurance is not required by law. Instead, it's optional. Reasons you may not want this additional car insurance could be that you have an old car that isn't worth repairing if something happens. You may not want bodily injury coverage for yourself if you have a good health insurance policy. However, don't forget that when you are the driver, you need to protect your passengers too. When you take the option to buy bodily injury insurance for you and your passengers, it is sometimes called personal injury protection. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a type of accident insurance where your own car insurance company pays first. This is not required in Washington. Don't let the different terms confuse you.

The flooding that occasionally occurs in mountain streams and rivers of Washington has many people wondering what coverage they have for a vehicle that gets damaged by floodwater. Floodwater damage protection is part of your comprehensive insurance. For more details on insurance coverage for flooded vehicles, read our blog post titled "Does Your Car Float Like a Boat? What to do if it Won't!"

Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist

Despite laws that every driver have auto insurance, not everyone does. Or, they don't have enough coverage to pay the costs of a serious accident. Uninsured motorist coverage will pay the costs the other drivers insurance should have paid when they don't have insurance to cover the cost of an accident. Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance changes the arrangement so your auto insurance company will pay the costs the other drivers insurance doesn't cover.

Getting an Auto Insurance Quote

When you get a car insurance quote, be sure to get an example of the insurance policy, or the declarations page. This will be proof of how much insurance you're actually buying. Also, be sure to keep a copy of the insurance policy so you know the full extent of your coverage.

Always ask your agent to provide you with a ValChoice report. ValChoice reports are the only reliable way to know how well insurance companies perform for providing a good value, their performance when handling claims and the level of service they provide.

 

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Washington Homeowners Insurance

A Best Value for Car Insurance in Washington

A Best Value for Auto insurance in Washington, Grange InsuranceGrange Insurance Association was A Best Value for car insurance for 2017/18 in the state of Washington. Grange Insurance won this honor with a ValChoice score of 100.Grange Insurance Association logo

Contact a Grange Insurance agent

#1 Best Value for Home Insurance in Washington

Grange Insurance Best Value for Home Insurance in Washington
Grange Insurance Association (GIA), was named the Number One Best Value for home insurance in 2016 for the state of Washington. Grange won with a ValChoice score of 100. Grange Insurance Association logo

Contact a Grange Insurance agent

The ValChoice grading system reviews nearly every insurance company, in every state. Each year we identify the best company, by state. Companies are chosen solely based on our independent, unbiased analytics. ValChoice does not receive payment for you getting a quote or buying insurance from this company.

Washington Homeowners Insurance Rates and Trends

The five largest home insurance companies in Washington are shown in the table below. The market share of each company is shown in the second column. The third column shows their most recent ValChoice Score for homeowners insurance. ValChoice Scores are only presented for companies with above average performance. For companies where there is no needle on the fuel-gauge-style image, you can order a free report to get the ValChoice Score. This information is presented so you can reliably compare Washington homeowners insurance companies in order to understand how to get the best homeowners insurance.

The ValChoice scoring system takes into account how they price, their historic performance for claims handling and the level of service they provide. This scoring system uses high quality data and grades on a curve. This approach to grading yields companies that score as high as 100 and as low as 0. Only a system like this gives consumers a true picture of company performance. For more details on any given company, order a ValChoice report.

Compare Homeowners Insurance Companies in Washington

Market ShareValChoice Score
USAA8.51%
gauge 69
69 out of 100
State Farm17.25%
gauge 52
52 out of 100
Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies13.71%
gauge below average
Farmers Insurance12.39%
gauge below average
Allstate Insurance9.82%
gauge below average
ValChoice only comments publicly on companies that are above average. For any company that is below average we don't publicly display the score. For those interested, scores on all companies are available with free reports. All analysis based on quantitative, high-quality data. Data sources include: SERFF, state insurance commissioners, National Association of Insurance Commissioners and AM Best Company. Data used by permission.

Renters Insurance

Many companies that offer homeowners insurance also offer renters insurance. The ValChoice grading system applies to renters insurance as well as home insurance. To get a report on renters insurance, simply select homeowners insurance and choose the type of insurance report card you would like to have.

Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is offered separately from homeowners insurance. Talk to your insurance company or insurance agent if you wish to purchase flood insurance. At this time ValChoice does not grade any flood insurance offerings. For more information on flood insurance, read our blog post titled "10 Facts About Flood Insurance, Without Drowning in Details."

Getting an Insurance Quote

When getting a homeowners insurance quote, be sure to consider the following important items.

Amount of Coverage

The dollar amount of insurance coverage to purchase should be equal to the estimated cost of rebuilding the home. Do not include the property value when determining the amount of insurance to buy.

Extended Dwelling Endorsement

This coverage is often referred to as “extras.” This is additional coverage that addresses the problem that occurs when the actual cost to rebuild the home is more than was estimated when buying the insurance. In situations where there is a catastrophic event such as a flood, tornado or hurricane, building costs can increase significantly due to building materials increasing in price and contractors being scarce. Extended dwelling endorsements cover this higher than expected building cost. Extended dwelling endorsements are typically offered as a percentage of the coverage amount. The amount offered is commonly 10%, 25%, 50% or 100% of the coverage.

Building Code Coverage

When rebuilding a home, local laws will require that you rebuild to current building codes. If building damage is extensive, sometimes the laws even require you to upgrade the undamaged portion of the home to meet current building codes. This can be a significant additional expense. It's common that a homeowners insurance policy will exclude or limit the coverage for conforming to current building codes. Be sure to understand this important point about the insurance you buy.

Loss of Use

This specifies how much and how long the insurance company will pay for you to live somewhere else while your home is being rebuilt or repaired. One year in loss of use coverage is common. If your home requires a total rebuild, it’s wise to plan on a couple years for the project to be completed.

Covering Your Personal Items (“Contents”)

Your personal items will commonly be covered by what’s known as “replacement cost” coverage. This means you only get paid when you actually replace the item. There are two important items to understand here. 1) You must have a detailed home inventory to know what you had in order to replace these items, and 2) if you had $200,000 worth of contents and only replaced $20,000 worth of items, you would only receive the $20,000. “Replacement cost” sounds good. In reality, it may leave you far short of what you expected.

How Good is Your Home Insurance?

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Washington Homeowners Insurance Premium Calculator

Washington Home Insurance Rate CalculatorThis calculator is an average of homeowner insurance prices across the state. Individual prices will vary depending on factors such as deductibles, coverage and the risks associated with the specific area where you live.

Use this calculator to estimate home insurance prices in Washington. Just enter the replacement value (cost to rebuild, not including the land).

 

Washington Homeowners Insurance Prices Yields 19th Worst Value of All 50 States

Compared to other states, the price of homeowners insurance in Washington is slightly lower than the average of all 50 states. When comparing value rather than price, the value Washington residents get from their home insurance is below average. We measure value based on what percentage of the premiums collected by insurance companies are paid out in the form of claims. We do this over several years to account for catastrophic events.

For the ten-year period from 2007 to 2016, Washington residents had the 19th worst value from their homeowners insurance of all 50 states. Due to the low value of home insurance in Washington, homeowners need to shop carefully for insurance.

Important Insurance Laws - Washington

Washington Insurance Regulation

The insurance commissioner in the state of Washington is elected by the voters of the state. Being elected by voters makes the commissioner directly accountable to the citizens. This is beneficial to consumers when dissatisfied with the performance of an insurance company.

If you do not receive the service you expect from an insurer, you can file a complaint directly with the Department of Insurance. Washington publishes information on the complaints filed against insurance companies for consumers to consider when shopping for insurance. The state of Washington no longer makes complaint information available to the public. This information is available through the premium version of ValChoice reports.

Important Laws

A summary of the driving safety laws for the state of Washington can be found with this link. The information includes a summary of the laws affecting people driving cars, or riding motorcycles or bicycles while using cell phones or texting. Also included are the requirements for child safety seats, wearing a helmet and being under the influence while operating a vehicle in the state of Washington.

The Washington Statute of Limitations defines the time limit following an accident when you can file a lawsuit. Once this time limit has passed, you can no longer file a lawsuit.

Resources Available to Consumers

The Washington Small Claims Court is available for you to resolve issues, without needing to hire an attorney. This link to the small claims court provides more information, including the dollar limit of claims that can be made in this court.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is for disaster victims who are uninsured, do not have enough insurance coverage or are the victim of a flood.