Let’s say you live in Seattle and you’re shopping for car insurance in Seattle when you see a great deal. It offers “minimum terms” insurance, is with a reputable insurer, and looks to be within your budget.
Before you hand over your hard-earned cash, think about what you’re getting for your money. Here are three reasons why auto insurance meeting Washington state’s minimum terms might not suit you:
1. You have no choice but to get full coverage
Car insurance buyers on a budget might focus on minimum terms coverage. This level of cover satisfies Washington state’s demands, which are that the policy must cover at least:
- $25,000 of bodily injury or death of 1 person in any 1 accident.
- $50,000 of bodily injury or death of any 2 people in any 1 accident.
- $10,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any 1 accident.
While these terms might suit some, many will need more coverage. For example, people who lease their vehicles might need comprehensive collision coverage to meet their lessor’s terms. Others who paid for their vehicle outright, but funded the purchase with a loan, may also need full coverage.
2. You want peace of mind
Many people choose higher levels of coverage for peace of mind. This is because minimum terms do not cover at-fault drivers for damages and costs which exceed insurance limits. This minimum level of insurance also leaves you without coverage for your own vehicle. Given how much new and used cars cost now, paying for a replacement, together with other damages and costs, could be too much of a risk.
3. You have special circumstances
Not everyone qualifies for the advertised great rates. Insurers use various factors to calculate premiums, including the type of car you drive (a Ferrari costs more to insure than a Prius), your age (young drivers tend to pay more), your accident history, any previous tickets, DUIs, or other convictions, overnight vehicle location, bundled insurance with home, life, and other coverage, and many other factors.
All these things can mean that the initial price quoted is not available to you. It is important to remember that, when seeking the best quote, you must be honest to make sure that your insurers will pay up in the event of a claim.
What makes this worthwhile
Living in Seattle has its benefits. For many residents, the cost of car insurance pales in comparison to things they really love about the city. The outdoor lifestyle which spawned outfitter REI, alternative cultural highlights like The Gum Wall (which always gets an “ew” from out-of-towners, because, appropriately enough, it’s a wall of chewed-up gum), and a hot cup of Ivar’s clam chowder on Pier 54, are all things which endear the city to locals.
Doing your research properly, and finding a car insurer that suits your needs, means you can spend more time doing things you love in the Emerald City.