WA State Law
You must carry liability insurance to help pay for property damage or injuries resulting from an auto accident that you cause.
Car Insurance Requirements
In Washington, your liability car insurance must have the following minimums:
$25,000 for injuries or death per person
$50,000 total for injuries or death per accident
$10,000for property damage
Washington state car insurance laws are written to make sure that you are able to pay for injuries or damages after a car accident.
There are many other optional coverages provided by insurance companies in WA, like collision, comprehensive, uninsured / underinsured motorist, personal injury protection, etc. While WA does not require you to carry the optional coverages, you may be required to purchase collision and comprehensive coverages for your financed or leased car as a part of your loan or lease agreement.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal Injury Protection (PIP),will help pay for certain costs after a car accident regardless of who caused the accident.
PIP will help pay for:
● Medical Costs
● Loss of Income
● Funeral Expenses
You are NOT required to carry PIP in Washington, but car insurance companies are required to offer PIP to you. If you decide to reject the PIP option, you must do so in writing.
Proof of Insurance
If you are pulled over by a police officer, you are required to show your proof of insurance upon request.
Your insurance card, issued to you by your insurance carrier, acts as your proof of insurance.
Car insurance cards must include:
- The name of your car insurance company
- Your policy number
- Effective date of your policy.
- Expiration date of your policy.
- Year, make, model of your car.
You will be issued an insurance card every time you buy a new policy or renew your policy. Make sure to carry your most current card with you.
If you are caught without your proof of insurance, you are subject to a fine.
If you had a valid insurance policy at the time of a traffic stop but were unable to show your insurance card, you may present the court with proof that you were insured at the time of the violation before your court date to have your charges removed. You may still have to pay a court-processing fee of $25.
If you are caught driving without car insurance, you face a minimum fine of $450.
SR-22 Proof of Responsibility
Certain violations may require you to file proof of financial responsibility known as an SR-22 certificate, sometimes referred to as SR22 insurance.
You may be required to file an SR-22 if you:
- Have had your driver’s license suspended
- Have been convicted of certain offenses
- Failed to pay judgment fines
- Driven or owned a car involved in an accident.
In most cases, you must maintain your SR22 filing for 3 years.
Many insurance providers can file SR-22s for their clients; however some carriers do not offer this service.