The District of Columbia may be the nation’s capital, but you’ll need to make sure you have District of Columbia car insurance before you see the sights. As with any other state, the Capitol requires that all drivers carry insurance to protect themselves in the event of an accident.
In this guide, we’ll discover just what those minimums are and what happens if you don’t have the right insurance in Washington, DC.
Washington D.C Car Insurance Minimum Coverage
Although it’s a tiny little state, the District of Columbia has large requirements for car insurance. You’ll need to carry, at the very minimum, the following coverage:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- Property damage liability coverage: $10,000 per accident.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage: $5,000 per accident, along with a $200 deductible.
- Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage: Options vary.
As you can see, you’ll need quite a bit of coverage in order to legally register a vehicle in DC. While the underinsured motorist and personal injury protection coverages can be rejected, the others are required and you can face expensive consequences if you can’t provide proof of insurance.
What is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in the District of Columbia?
Despite the high minimum requirements in the state, the District of Columbia car insurance premiums you’ll pay are right around the national average.
A good driver with decent credit can expect to pay around $1,855 each year for full coverage. Opting for the minimum will cost about $704 per year.
Remember, you can choose a la carte options for your insurance, too. For instance, you can opt for minimum coverage but add towing and roadside assistance, or rental car reimbursement.
Work with a car insurance agent to determine the best package for you and your driving history and habits.
Why is Car Insurance So Cheap in the District of Columbia?
Interestingly enough, one of the reasons District of Columbia car insurance is so cheap is because of the demographic of the drivers in DC. They are typically older Americans with good credit. The average driving record is relatively clear of infractions and accidents. All these factors help keep DC insurance rates down.
There is also a fairly low instance of crime in most parts of the nation’s capital. You’re not likely to experience auto theft or vandalism in most areas of the district.
With that said, DC is a no-fault state. If there’s an accident, the insurance companies of both drivers will pay out for damages. This brings up the amount you’ll pay for premiums just a bit.
Lapses in District of Columbia Car Insurance
If you let your auto insurance lapse in the District of Columbia, you can be fined up to $500 for the first offense. Interestingly, payment plans are available for this charge.
Your registration and your license can be suspended for between 30 and 60 days, and it will cost you additional money to get them reinstated.
Additionally, you’ll have to provide proof of insurance to the state for three years. That’s inconvenient, and it may end up costing you more in the long run because insurers may raise your rates.
Best Auto Insurance in District of Columbia
Drivers in the DC area were polled to determine the best and most loved car insurance companies. The following five agencies consistently ranked highly for their prices, coverage options, and customer service.
- Erie Insurance
- State Farm
These five insurers are favorites among drivers around the district and around the country, but they may not be optimal for you. Make sure you shop around for the best rate based on your lifestyle.
Driving in DC
Headed out to tour the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial? Here are some facts you might like to know about driving in DC.
- In the District of Columbia, it’s technically possible to get a parking ticket for parking in your own driveway. Make sure your car is pulled all the way in!
- DC has the third-fewest licensed drivers of any state in the country. Only Alaska and Wyoming have fewer.
- There are 6 bus routes in DC, and those buses serve more than 5 million people every year.
Conclusion: Car Insurance in Washington D.C.
Whether you’re planning to live in the District of Columbia or are just shopping around for the best rates, you’ll need to know the minimum requirements. DC requires pretty comprehensive insurance, but it’s relatively cheap compared to other states in the country. Make sure you keep your District of Columbia car insurance up to date to avoid fines and penalties.