We studied auto insurance rates throughout Washington to help drivers determine which companies offered the best bang for your buck. Our research found that the average cost for a basic policy was about $1,259 for the driver we used as our benchmark - but this barely hints at the wide range of costs. One year insured at the most expensive company can pay for over four and a half years at the cheapest insurer in Washington! That's why it's important to compare quotes from at least three companies in order to get a decent rate. Learn more below, or enter your zip code above to see a list of cheap auto insurance companies in your area to begin.
- Cheap Car Insurance Companies in Washington
- Cheapest Car Insurance in Washington: by City
- Best Auto Insurance Companies in Washington
- Cost of Car Insurance: by City
We looked at 15 companies in our study to identify which ones had the best car insurance quotes in Washington for our benchmark driver, a single 30 year old male. Below we've ranked five of the cheapest auto insurers in the Evergreen State in order from cheapest to most expensive based on the group's average annual rates:
Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Grange Insurance Association, PEMCO, Farmers, Chubb, and Progressive were the cheapest auto insurance companies in Washington based on our data. These five companies offer an average annual rate of $864, which is a 31% discount to the state average. Grange in particular comes in as the most affordable with yearly rates under $800 for our profiled driver's coverage. While these are the statewide rankings, insurers can quote the same driver living in different places quite differently depending on the company's record of insurance claims in that area. It's best to get at least three quotes - start by typing in your zip code above to see a list of companies active in your area.
Quotes were collected from a total of 15 Washington auto insurance providers for our benchmark drivers. Below is a table of all 15 ranked by the average quote our drivers received from the most affordable to the most expensive:
|Rank||Auto Insurance Company||Average Annual Rate|
|1||Grange Insurance Association||$753|
The Most Expensive Auto Insurance Companies
Based on the quotes we obtained for our benchmark driver, a 30 year old single man, Sentry, Bristol West, and Encompass had the three highest overall annual rates. The three providers quoted on average $2,256 for our group of motorists, which came out to be a staggering 79% higher compared to the 15-company mean in the study. That costs roughly 2.8x the average quote at the three cheapest carriers (Grange, PEMCO, Farmers). Your actual quotes at these companies will, of course, differ - it's always best to shop around and compare quotes since companies have different targeted groups of drivers they want to insure.
Our data set also had city-specific data, so we delved into the quotes for the profiled driver based on where he lived. Here is a table with the top three cheapest insurers in each of the 52 cities in our study. We will discuss the five largest cities in Washington in more detail.
|City||Auto Insurance Company||Average Annual Rates|
|Arlington||Grange Insurance Association||$768|
|Auburn||Grange Insurance Association||$840|
|Bainbridge Island||Grange Insurance Association||$624|
|Bellevue||Grange Insurance Association||$828|
|Bellingham||Grange Insurance Association||$696|
|Bothell||Grange Insurance Association||$816|
|Bremerton||Grange Insurance Association||$708|
|Grange Insurance Association||$720|
|Colville||Grange Insurance Association||$696|
|Edmonds||Grange Insurance Association||$816|
|Ellensburg||Grange Insurance Association||$624|
|Everett||Grange Insurance Association||$816|
|Federal Way||Grange Insurance Association||$840|
|Grange Insurance Association||$768|
|Kenmore||Grange Insurance Association||$816|
|Kennewick||Grange Insurance Association||$636|
|Kent||Grange Insurance Association||$840|
|Kirkland||Grange Insurance Association||$828|
|Lacey||Grange Insurance Association||$768|
|Lake Stevens||Grange Insurance Association||$768|
|Lakewood||Grange Insurance Association||$876|
|Longview||Grange Insurance Association||$696|
|Lynnwood||Grange Insurance Association||$816|
|Maple Valley||Grange Insurance Association||$840|
|Mercer Island||Grange Insurance Association||$828|
|Monroe||Grange Insurance Association||$768|
|Moses Lake||Grange Insurance Association||$624|
|Mountlake Terrace||Grange Insurance Association||$816|
|Mukilteo||Grange Insurance Association||$816|
|Oak Harbor||Grange Insurance Association||$696|
|Olympia||Grange Insurance Association||$708|
|Omak||Grange Insurance Association||$624|
|Grange Insurance Association||$636|
|Pullman||Grange Insurance Association||$624|
|Puyallup||Grange Insurance Association||$900|
|Raymond||Grange Insurance Association||$624|
|Redmond||Grange Insurance Association||$828|
|Renton||Grange Insurance Association||$840|
|Richland||Grange Insurance Association||$636|
|Sammamish||Grange Insurance Association||$816|
|Seattle||Grange Insurance Association||$864|
|Spokane||Grange Insurance Association||$720|
|Tacoma||Grange Insurance Association||$900|
|University Place||Grange Insurance Association||$876|
|Vancouver||Grange Insurance Association||$744|
|Yakima||Grange Insurance Association||$636|
The Evergreen State's largest city, Seattle is home to 609,000 residents. It's here that the first gas station opened more than a hundred years ago, and the first Starbucks opened more than forty years ago. The city is also home to the most expensive auto insurance in the state. A year's premium to cover our benchmark driver's Camry cost $1,659, or 32% higher than the average city's costs in Washington. This is the cost for a policy that provides full coverage in Washington.
There's room for saving though. Grange, Progressive, Farmers, Chubb, and PEMCO are five cheap car insurance companies in Seattle that had some of the lowest rates around. On average, they quoted our sample driver $1,016, which was 39% lower than the Seattle average.
Spokane may be the second largest city in Washington, but according to our study, it costs a little cheaper than average for motorists to insure their cars here. A year’s worth of basic coverage on average costs $1,183 for our benchmark driver, which is 6% lower than the state’s average. For even more affordable auto insurance in Spokane, we recommend starting with Grange, PEMCO, and American Family in your comparison shopping. Based on what we saw in Spokane, these three carriers had some of the lowest rates, averaging $792 a year, or 33% cheaper than the mean premium in the city. Also consider Chubb and Progressive as well. These two companies round out the top five and have rates that average $886, which is 25% less than the city wide average.
Located in the Puget Sound near Mounta Rainier, Tacoma is the third largest city in Washington. The city was once an automobile racing hot spot in the early 1900s. Today, auto insurance costs about $1,496 a year, 19% higher than the state average. For three cheap auto insurance companies in Tacoma, take a look at Grange, Farmers, and Progressive to start. Average rates of $961 at these three insurers were about 36% lower than the citywide mean. Close behind the top three are American Family and Chubb with average rates of $1,026 (31% less than the Tacoma city wide average).
The city of Vancouver has been recognized with a number of superlatives, including hosting one of the top ten national summer fairs, Clark County Fair. It has about 40 miles of urban trails, which has netted the city a Walkable Community Award. Drivers here pay about $1,298 a year for car insurance, which is $39 more expensive than the state average, based on our study. To save even more, we suggest you include Grange, Farmers, American Family, Chubb, and PEMCO for some of the lowest car insurance rates. These five companies averaged $850 a year, which was 35% below the average in the city.
Nestled between Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains, the city is home to 122,000 residents and 100 parks. It costs about $1,341 a year to insure our benchmark drivers' cars in Bellevue, which is 7% higher than the state average($1,259). We suggest starting with Grange, PEMCO, and Chubb for some of the lowest car insurance rates in Bellevue. Rates among the three cheapest companies were 33% lower than Bellevue mean, about $892 annually.
To find the best auto insurance companies in Washington, we looked at the complaint index of the largest 46 licensed company groups* in the state. The complaint index measures an insurer's complaint share relative to its market share of premiums underwritten. This helps to identify how much better or worse an insurer is compared to the rest of its competition. The lower the index, the better: this insurer gets a smaller share of complaints relative to its size. An index number of 1 would be average for that market.
By this metric, in Washington, the best car insurance companies are Mutual of Enumclaw, Allied, and PEMCO. These top three insurers have well below average complaint index numbers, which indicate that they get fewer complaints compared to other companies their size. Amica and State Farm, two of our cheap auto insurance companies in Washington, fared better than average.
|Rank||Company||Total Written Premiums||Market Share||Complaint Index|
|1||Mutual of Enumclaw||$91,307,045||2.34%||0.22|
|6||Country Financial Insurance||53,331,911||1.37%||0.58|
|27||Eagle West Insurance Company||2,959,130||0.07%||1.66|
|38||Alpha Property & Casualty||5,348,892||0.13%||3.22|
|45||Workmens Auto Insurance||771,029||0.01%||38.24|
*Note that we've consolidated the individual underwriters under their corporate parent or marketing group. For example, QBE consists of auto insurance underwritten by Unigard Insurance Company and QBE Insurance Corporation.
While the most expensive cities in Washington all tend to be centered around large metro areas such as Seattle / Tacoma, the opposite is true for the cheapest cities. The five cheapest are much more suburban than urban, and a few would even classify as rural. The five priciest cities were located in Snohomish or King Counties. Generally speaking, all things being equal, less population density means fewer opportunities for car accidents and thus lower auto insurance premiums.
Below are all of the 52 cities in WA State that we analyzed for our study. The list shows average annual premiums in each city and is ordered from cheapest city to most expensive city. Check it out and see where your city stacks up against others in the state:
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Washington
In order to drive in the Evergreen State, your auto insurance coverage has to be at least $25/$50/$10. There are certain coverages that you are technically required to hold but can waive them when purchasing your policy. Washington state auto insurance requirements are as follows:
- $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident of bodily injury liability insurance
- $10,000 property damage liability insurance
- $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident of uninsured motorist BI*
- $10,000 uninsured motorist PD*
- $10,000 PIP*
*Note that Washington is a no-fault state, so drivers can waive having these coverages when they go to take out a policy.
We obtained quotes for insuring a 2011 Toyota Camry owned by our benchmark driver, a single 30 year old male. Our sample motorist has good credit, a clean driving record with no accidents or traffic incidents or tickets in the last five years, and and has opted to receive full coverage. In a typical year, our hypothetical driver logs about 12,000 miles in his vehicle, which is primarily used to commute to and from work.
Finally, we looked at quotes from 15 of the largest auto insurance companies in the state, and averaged the sample rates to come up with a city average. Other than the insurers mentioned in the study, some other companies we have looked at also included: CIG, American Family, National General, and Sentry Insurance.
Surveyed auto insurance costs in Washington are for illustrative purposes only and actual quotes will vary based on your physical residence, driving history, and other factors.