When you take out an auto loan, you're required to carry full coverage insurance. There's not one single definition of what "full coverage" means, but it typically entails carrying a combination of coverages as required by your state. We're here to let you know what you need for car insurance in Seattle.
Why Full Coverage Auto Insurance Is Required
When you're financing a vehicle, the lender is listed on the auto loan as a lienholder, and requires the widest insurance coverage in order to protect their asset: your car. All states have their own minimum coverage requirements for auto insurance. However, minimum coverage for a vehicle you own is different than the amount of coverage required for a car loan.
Lenders require you to carry full coverage insurance, which is typically some combination of liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage. In the state of Washington, this means carrying the minimum required liability insurance, plus collision and comprehensive coverage.
Minimum Coverage in Seattle
Liability insurance covers medical bills and property damage from accidents where you're at fault in the Emerald City. The minimum liability insurance requirements in Washington State are:
- Bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage coverage of at least $10,000
- Uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- Uninsured motorist coverage of at least $10,000 for property damage
- Personal injury coverage of at least $10,000
In order to meet a lender's minimum full coverage insurance requirement in Seattle, you have to combine the state minimum liability amounts with collision and comprehensive insurance.
Collision insurance covers the costs of repairing car damage in accidents where you're at fault. Comprehensive covers the cost of repairs from things that aren't related to collisions with another vehicle, such as striking an animal, hail damage, or fallen tree limbs, as well as covering the actual value of your car if it’s stolen. What you have to pay for repair or replacement depends on your insurance policy deductibles.
Save on Insurance Costs in Seattle
One thing to keep in mind is that Seattleites may be paying a higher premium than in other parts of Washington State. You should be prepared for this, and look for ways that could help you save on your auto insurance.
Keep in mind that policies and premiums vary by insurance company, location, driving record, your credit situation, and a few other factors. If you’re looking for an auto insurance quote, our partner can assist here.
Here are some tips to keep your car insurance costs to a minimum in Seattle:
- A clean driving record makes for lower insurance premiums. A record free from accidents, tickets, and insurance claims could help you save money.
- Higher deductibles. If you don't want to pay as much for your premium each month, you can opt for higher deductibles. However, make sure you have the money to cover them up front if something happens.
- Vehicle choice matters when it comes to coverage costs. The year, make, and model impact insurance costs. Make sure you're making smart choices about your vehicle and its safety features if you want to keep your costs low. Today's advanced safety features are designed to help you avoid car accidents, but having them won’t lower your premium in most states.
- Improving your credit score can help. Not all states allow your credit score to impact your auto insurance rates, but in some places – such as Seattle – it can. Raising your credit score can help you lower your car insurance costs in areas where this is allowed. Make sure you know your state's insurance regulations in order to get the best deal.
- Look for special deals with your insurer. Often, insurance companies offer special rates or deals when you bundle together products. Combining insurance types, such as home and auto, can save money depending on your insurer.
Finding a Vehicle to Insure
When you're looking for an auto loan in Seattle, remember that you have to have full coverage insurance to go along with it. This increases what you have to budget for, so it's best to plan ahead, especially if you're dealing with poor credit. Bad credit borrowers often see expenses in car loans that others don't, so saving on insurance can be important.
Finding a vehicle to insure can be tough when you're dealing with credit challenges. Save yourself the stress and hassle of driving from dealership to dealership looking for an auto loan – start here instead.
At Auto Credit Express, we work with a coast-to-coast network of dealers that have the lending resources you're looking for. There's never any obligation to buy and it's easy to get started. Simply fill out our car loan request form and we'll get to work matching you with a dealership in your area!