Washington, DC is a unique place to get an instant car insurance quote and buy an auto insurance policy. As you no doubt already know, DC is not a part of any state and is instead a special district within the United States. This has some important implications when it comes to buying your insurance policy.
Washington, DC has its own rules and regulations when it comes to auto insurance. Just like any state, you must learn and obey what they are to avoid fines and penalties. This guide will help you navigate most of the important topics related to car insurance in the nation’s capital.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements In Washington DC
The basic coverage amount you are required by law to buy is fairly straightforward. Washington DC, has what is known as 25/50/10 minimum coverage requirements. In simple terms this means you must have Third Party Liability coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident and also have Property Damage Liability coverage of at least $10,000.
On top of this, you will also need to have Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident and Uninsured Motorist property damage coverage of at least $5,000 subject to a $200 deductible. Keep in mind that these are the minimums only and you are strongly encouraged to buy more than the minimum coverage. Also, you should be aware that any reputable insurance company should not be willing to sell you less than the legally mandated coverage.
Washington DC State Auto Insurance Laws
In the United States, there are broadly speaking two different approaches when it comes to auto insurance laws. The most common system is called ‘fault’ insurance. It operates based on tort law where one party is always found at fault in an accident. They and their insurance company are responsible for repaying the costs from an accident.
The other less common system is know as ‘no-fault’ auto insurance. In this system insurance can be paid out before the at fault driver is named. It is designed to reduce court costs and fraud. Washington, DC is rare because it is an ‘add-on’ jurisdiction. Basically, you can opt to buy personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as you would in a ‘no-fault’ state, but responsibility may still be determined, as it would in a tort system. All this is laid out in the The Compulsory/No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act.
You should also be aware of your insurance responsibilities as a DC driver. Perhaps the most important of which, is to make sure you always have proof of insurance when operating your vehicle. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) can request a copy of your insurance when making a stop. Failure to show proof of insurance when asked, can result in $30 civil fine. You can learn more about this law from the DC Council’s website.
Beyond this, you’ll need to make sure you have your insurance lined up before registering your vehicle with the Washington DMV. Keep in mind that “Failure to maintain continuous valid insurance on a vehicle registered in the District of Columbia will result in suspension of registration tags and reciprocity sticker. An individual will be assessed a fine of $150 for a lapse in insurance coverage from 1 to 30 days and $7 for each additional uninsured day after the first 30 days, up to a maximum of $2500.”
For more on Washington DC auto insurance laws be sure to check with the District of Columbia: Department of Motor Vehicles and the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking
Washington DC Car Insurance Companies And Agents
Knowing the law is only part of the battle to get the right auto insurance policy. Another key component is finding the right car insurance company. The DC Department of Insurance has a website where you can review insurance companies. However, if you don’t already have a company in mind, you can check these ones from the Insurance Information Institute (III).
Average Washington DC Auto Insurance Rates
Washington DC is among the most expensive states or districts to insure a car in the United States. In a 2008 Insurance Information Institute survey, DC was rated the most expensive place to buy insurance; with average premiums of $1,126 per year. The fact that it is expensive is confirmed by CarInsurance.com, which claims that the average online quote for a DC driver in 2011 is $2,357.
Given these numbers, it is very important that you get several instant car insurance quotes online for free below. Failing to do so, could result in you paying hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars per year for your insurance coverage.
Washington DC Driving And Car Accident Statistics
Somewhat surprisingly, driving in Washington is actually safer than many other states. For example, the number of fatal accidents in 2009 per 100 million vehicle miles was just 0.80 in DC, compared to an average of 1.14 nationwide. However, DC does a little worse than average when it comes to fatal accidents that are a result of a DUI (34% of accidents vs 32% in the US as a whole).
Therefore, while driving in DC may be safer than many other places in the United States, it is not exactly risk free. According to the INRIX National Traffic Scorecard, DC ranks as the 4th worst place to drive in the whole country. It has 14 congested corridors and 72 traffic bottlenecks that making driving less fun than it should be.
As a result, you may wish to consult a couple of resources for driving tips in the city. Your first stop should be to read the free District of Columbia Driving Manual, published online by the Washington DC DMV. Second, if you are a tourist to the city you may also wish to read driving advice from VirtualTourist.com.
Reasons To Get Washington DC Car Insurance Quotes
Having car insurance is not really a matter of choice, but of necessity. After all, it is for you and your car’s sake. As the number of cars on the road increases, the chances of road accidents also increase. It is for your best interest to look after your security, and getting an instant Washington DC car insurance quote is not hard.
You can get your instant car insurance quotes from insurance websites online. All you need to do is type in basic information about your driving history and the model and year of the car you are driving. Chances are you will get a higher quoted rate if you have a bad driving record. Things like speeding, reckless driving, and especially a DUI can significantly increase your rates.
Nevertheless, you should still get a quote to pay as little as possible. You just have to select the best one for you. You’ll need to consider statutory liability coverage, third party coverage, and other optional coverage options. Remember, you can always ask about certain policy coverage options when you get your Washington DC car insurance quote online.
It is important to make sure that you get the best car insurance that suits you. You can do this by checking out and asking for car insurance quotes online. It is in your best interest to make sure that you have suitable car insurance policy. This way you, and your car’s future are secured. Thus, the next time you drive, you’ll be confident that whatever happens, you’re well taken care of.