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#AccidentsHappen – You Don’t Need Auto Insurance Until You Do

We do write car insurance. And lots of it.

According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, if you drive a vehicle that is required to be registered in Washington State, you must have auto insurance, self insurance, a certificate of deposit, or a liability bond. We can do the auto insurance for you, if you want one of the other three choices, check out the prior link for more details.

Do I Really Need Car Insurance?

Car insurance can be expensive, so you may ask yourself if you really need it. Washington state does require you carry a minimum amount of liability insurance for a reason. And, believe it or not, it is not to make insurance companies rich. But is insurance really necessary?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016 an estimated 7,277,000 police-reported traffic crashes occurred and 3,144,000 people were injured in those accidents and 37,461 people were killed, an average of 102 people each day, one fatality every 14 minutes.

Another word for “liable” is “responsible.” So, if you are responsible for an accident, you need responsibility insurance aka liability insurance in order to provide financial relief to the victims of the accident.

Try to imagine a world without car insurance. Every time you went for a drive, you would be risking your bank account and your future earnings. Insurance is designed to help protect you from expensive and sometimes devastating surprises including legal costs if you are taken to court because of an accident.

The value of good insurance is only revealed when you need it most. In other words, you don’t need insurance… until you do. #AccidentsHappen

5 Reasons You Need Car Insurance

  • Safeguard your home, savings accounts, and other assets from a lawsuit
  • Protect the investment you have in your car
  • Pay for medical bills for you and your passengers after an accident
  • Cover you, your passengers, and your car if hit by an uninsured motorist
  • Save a lot of money later by paying a little now

So, do you really need car insurance? Only if you want to protect your assets and drive legally. Your other option is to get friendly with your local bus or uber driver.

What Are the Washington State Auto Insurance Laws?

To legally drive in Washington state, as in most states, you are required by the Financial Liability Law to be able to show proof of financial responsibility if you drive a vehicle. The easiest way to satisfy these requirements is to purchase auto insurance.

The law says you must carry the following liability limits as a minimum:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage: $10,000 per accident

Personal Injury Protection and Uninsured Motorist coverages must be offered by the insurance company but the law allows you to reject them by signing a rejection form.

Not only must you have insurance, the law requires that any time you are driving in the state, you must be able to show your proof of auto insurance to law enforcement.

Failure to show proof of coverage when requested by a police officer is considered an infraction and can result in fines of up to $450.

Should I Just Buy State Minimum Liability Limits?

Bare minimum liability coverage is rarely advisable but it’s better than no insurance especially if you can’t afford more.

If you have no savings or assets, minimum liability coverage may suffice but would not be enough to pay for serious injuries or to repair/replace a newer car. Without sufficent insurance your future wages may be garnished to cover the damage you cause.

If you are only carrying the state required $10,000 property damage and hit a car worth $20,000, the insurance company will pay the $10,000 and you will be responsible for the remainder.

Basically, you are self-insuring for anything over the insurance limits you have chosen to purchase. If you don’t want to have your wages garnished or your assets sold, seriously consider buying higher limits of liability.

How Do I Compare Insurance Quotes?

It is very easy for a company to have a lower price if they are offering less coverage or are not including the same tickets and accidents than everyone else. Make sure you’re getting an accurate comparison. Select the same set of coverages, limits, and deductibles and the same driving record for each quote you get.

Once you’ve gotten several car insurance quotes with the same coverages, factor in the helpfulness of the agent you spoke to in explaining and suggesting coverages and check the agency’s Google Reviews to make sure they meet your standards. Then select the agency that is the best match for you.

How Can I Get The Cheapest Car Insurance?

Sometimes the cheapest price is not the best price. Are you getting the coverage you need? Does the policy have limits and exclusions that are acceptable to you?

A simple way for an insurance company to have low rates is to fight every claim. Pick a company with a good reputation and not a company whose only advertising is about saving you 15% or saving those who switch some fake dollar amount – you know it is a lie. They know it works.

If you are simply looking for the lowest price you have a number of options:

  • Raise your deductibles.
  • Only carry the coverages you must have.
  • Stop collecting tickets like others collect Pokemon.
  • Get quotes from a number of companies. Each insurance companies weighs rating factors differently so prices can vary by hundreds of dollars. As an independent agency, Mid-Columbia Insurance automatically shops multiple companies for you.
  • When is a Good Time to Shop for Insurance?

    When you cross major life events you should reassess your car insurance coverages and check if you qualify for better discounts. Here are some times when your rates are likely to change:

    • Purchasing a car – the company that had the best rate for your old car may not be best with the new one.
    • Adding or removing a driver from a policy – either could raise or lower your rate depending on their age and driving record.
    • Marriage or divorce – Major life change.
    • Moving – every zip code has a different rate and every company has different factors for those zip codes.
    • Adding a teen driver – They are 3x as likely to have an accident, so count yourself lucky if your rate only doubles.
    • Buying a house – You may be in a different rating zip code and may now qualify for the homeowners discount and bundling discount.
    • DUI or major violation – If your current company finds out, you will be seeing a rate hike at your next renewal.
    • Accident – You probably will lose your Safe Driver Discount even if the accident was not-at-fault.
    • Change in credit score – if it gets significantly better ask your agent if they can have your credit score re-ordered.

    What are You Waiting For?

    Mid-Columbia Insurance represents companies like Safeco Insurance, National General Insurance, Dairyland Insurance, Progressive Insurance, Foremost Insurance, Bristol West Insurance, and others that millions have come to know and trust. After receiving your free car insurance quote from us, you can be sure that you are dealing with the best by checking our Google reviews.

    Also, because of the number of companies we represent, we can insure most cars and drivers even you if you are considered a high-risk driver. No matter if your driving record is Good, Bad, or Ugly, we can insure you.

    What are you waiting for? Call us now at (509)783-5600 or Request A Quote here to get your free auto insurance quote right now.

    Testimonials & Referrals

    5 Star Review
    I’m glad I called Mid Columbia today, Kristen was super helpful in getting me quoted at rate that worked for me. Mid Columbia Insurance seems like great family run business. #NotgoingbacktoGeico Kaelen Farris

    5 Star Review
    Daisy was amazing at helping me get a policy today. Thank you so much. You were amazing and loved your bubbly personality and how happy and cheerful you were. I will definitely refer your name out to everyone. Gracias muchacha Yoly Delgado

    5 Star Review
    Kyle was great with helping me out with my SR-22 Cici Bribiescas