For Consumers

What to consider before buying auto insurance

Not all companies are the same, so it’s a good idea to do your homework and comparison shop.

First, make sure the company you’re considering is licensed to do business in Washington state. You can also check to see how many complaints they have with our office.

If you have questions about a company, call us at 800-562-6900.

Plan ahead before you buy a new vehicle

  • Check with your agent or the company on how much it'll cost to insure the car or truck you want to buy.
  • More expensive and high-performance cars and trucks generally cost more to insure.
  • Make sure you can afford both the auto loan payments and the auto insurance premiums.

Consider changing your deductible

The higher your deductible amount, the lower the premium you'll pay. For example, if you raise your collision coverage deductible to $1,000, it'll decrease your premium, but keep in mind that you’ll have to pay the deductible amount if you submit a claim. It's a good idea to strike a balance between premium cost and a deductible you can afford to pay should you need to use your coverage.

Ask your insurer about any special discounts

  • Young drivers who have good grades or who've finished a driver’s education course may qualify for a discount.
  • Many companies offer a discount on your auto premium if you also insure your home through the same company.
  • Drivers age 55 and over can take an approved driving course to get a discount (www.dol.wa.gov).
  • Some companies offer accident-free discounts the longer you have your policy with them.

Consider what you need

If you don’t think you could afford to pay out-of-pocket for repairs to your car if you were involved in an accident, you might want to think about adding collision and comprehensive coverage to your auto policy. If your car's older and not worth very much, you may want to consider if the cost of adding collision coverage is worth the potential benefit. 

If you have good medical coverage under another plan, you may not need personal injury protection (PIP). If you routinely carry passengers who may not have other medical coverage, you may want to consider buying it.