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Seattle drivers pay $234 a month on average for liability-only coverage — 11% higher than the Washington state average of $208. In 2021, Seattle’s number of fatal traffic incidents was the highest it’s been since 2006, and it shows no signs of slowing down in 2022, according to The Seattle Times and the Seattle Department of Transportation. Because insurance companies take your location into account when determining premiums, a higher risk of traffic incidents can contribute to higher premiums.
Here’s how car insurance in Seattle works, how much it costs, and how you can save money on your policy.
Table of contents
- How much does car insurance cost in Seattle?
- Cheapest car insurance in Seattle: Safeco
- How much car insurance do you need in Seattle?
- Tips for getting cheap car insurance in Seattle
- How age affects car insurance rates in Seattle
- How credit scores affect cheap car insurance in Seattle
- The effect of driving habits on car insurance in Seattle
- Find local Seattle agents
- Seattle car insurance rates FAQs
How much does car insurance cost in Seattle?
Shopping around for car insurance in Seattle is one of the best ways for you to find the most cost-effective rates for the amount of coverage you desire. Insurance rates can vary greatly, so Insurify data scientists analyzed the latest insurance rates in Seattle, Washington, to identify the cheapest quotes in the area.
Safeco: At $126 per month, Safeco offers the cheapest liability-only insurance coverage in Seattle.
Safeco and Travelers: At $167 per month, Safeco and Travelers offer the cheapest full-coverage insurance in Seattle.
Travelers: At $163 per month, Travelers offers the cheapest insurance for new and young drivers in Seattle.
Learn More: Cheap Car Insurance in Washington
Cheapest car insurance in Seattle: Safeco
The cheapest car insurance provider in Seattle is Safeco, with an average liability-only rate of $126 per month and a full-coverage rate of $167 per month. Many factors — ZIP code, age, driving history, car type, and more — can influence your insurance rates, but these averages give you a jumping-off point when doing research.
Additional cheap car insurance companies in Seattle include the following:
|Insurance Company||Liability Only||Full Coverage|
|Midvale Home & Auto||$176||$246|
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How much car insurance do you need in Seattle?
In Washington state, it’s a legal requirement for all motor vehicles operated or parked on state roadways to have insurance. You must carry proof of insurance in your car at all times and may be asked to provide this proof when renewing your vehicle registration, if your car is involved in an accident, or if a law enforcement officer requests it.
The minimum liability insurance requirements for private passenger vehicles in Washington are:
$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for bodily injury
$10,000 per accident for property damage
Washington DMV information
The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) provides licensing and car registration services for drivers who reside in Washington. You can visit its website to get a new license or permit, renew or update a license or permit, renew your registration, or register a vehicle — among other services.
Read More: Average Cost of Car Insurance (With Quotes, 2022)
Tips for getting cheap car insurance in Seattle
If you’re a Seattle driver looking to save, you have a few ways to potentially lower your insurance costs:
See what discounts you qualify for. Plenty of insurance companies offer discounts. You may be able to qualify for a discount by going paperless, getting good grades as a student, having a clean driving record, or taking a defensive driving course.
Buy all your insurance policies in one place. If your insurance provider offers different types of policies, ask if you can save by bundling multiple policies like car and rideshare, condo, earthquake, renters, or homeowners insurance together.
Maintain a good driving record. One of the crucial factors in finding low insurance rates is to maintain a clean driving record. Avoid moving violations and traffic infractions to help keep your insurance costs lower.
Choose a higher deductible. A higher deductible generally leads to lower premiums. If you believe you won’t file a claim anytime soon, then you could benefit from a higher deductible and lower monthly premiums. Your monthly cost could be lower, but if you file a claim, you’ll pay more out of pocket for the deductible.
Shop for multiple quotes. There’s no need to settle for the first car insurance quote you get, you can compare quotes with different insurance providers to see which will offer the best rate for the amount of coverage you need.
Learn More: Compare Home and Auto Insurance Bundles
How age affects car insurance rates in Seattle
Being on the younger side can hurt you when it comes to auto insurance prices. Drivers under the age of 25 typically have higher car insurance rates due to their lack of driving experience and their resulting higher likelihood of filing claims.
Here’s how insurance prices vary based on age in Seattle.
|Age Group||Average Monthly Rate|
Cheapest car insurance for young drivers in Seattle
Young drivers who want to save on car insurance can turn to Travelers, which offers the lowest full-coverage policy ($163) for young drivers in Seattle. To help save on car insurance, young drivers can also ask insurance providers if they qualify for a good student discount and may be able to save by maintaining a high GPA.
For more cheap options, the table below highlights a handful of other affordable providers based on their average rates for full-coverage policies.
|Insurance Company||Average Monthly Rate|
|Midvale Home & Auto||$295|
Cheapest car insurance for middle-aged drivers in Seattle
Middle-aged drivers can also turn to Travelers and Safeco for cheap full-coverage policies for their age group at $139 per month, on average. For additional savings, many middle-aged drivers may be able to bundle additional insurance policies with auto — like renters or homeowners insurance — to save on their insurance costs.
The following table outlines more cheap full-coverage auto insurance rates in Seattle.
|Insurance Company||Average Monthly Rate|
|Midvale Home & Auto||$196|
Check Out: Compare Car Insurance by Age and Gender
Cheapest car insurance for senior drivers in Seattle
Once again, Travelers offers the cheapest car insurance for senior drivers in Seattle, at an average of $132 per month for full-coverage insurance. To save even more, senior drivers who don’t drive all that often in retirement can benefit from signing up for a pay-per-mile policy, like ones from Allstate and Nationwide, that only charges them for the miles they actually drive.
Here are other cheap insurance providers for Seattle senior drivers who are looking for full-coverage policies.
|Insurance Company||Average Monthly Rate|
|Midvale Home & Auto||$193|
How credit scores affect cheap car insurance in Seattle
Some states prohibit using credit scores to influence insurance rates. In March 2020, Washington established a temporary rule that prohibited insurers from using credit scores when setting premiums. But a Thurston County Superior Court judge overruled this decision in July 2022, allowing insurers to use consumers’ credit scores again. Washington insurance providers may take your credit score into account when determining your premium, since some believe credit scores correlate to your risk level.
Credit scores are typically ranked as follows:
Poor: Less than 580
Fair: 580 to 669
Good: 670 to 739
Very good: 740 to 799
Excellent: 800 to 850
Here’s how your credit score may affect your monthly car insurance rate in Washington state:
|Credit Tier||Average Monthly Quote|
Read More: Car Insurance Rates by Credit Tier
The effect of driving habits on car insurance in Seattle
When you have negative marks on your driving record, that can cause insurance companies to worry that you’re likely to file a claim. As a result, they may charge you higher insurance premiums to protect themselves. That’s why it’s best to avoid having negative driving events like at-fault accidents and speeding tickets.
Here’s how rates change when you have certain incidents on your record. Please note that a negative difference in a table doesn’t always mean a company will offer you a lower rate if you have that infraction on your record. Instead, it can mean that our sample size was small or that the insurers choose not to offer policies to drivers with that type of infraction on their record. The actual rate you’re offered will reflect your unique driving record and other factors.
See Also: Cheapest Car Insurance by Driving Record (2022)
Cheapest car insurance with an accident in Seattle: Travelers
Travelers offers the lowest car insurance rates for Seattle drivers with an accident on their records. Because your driving record affects your insurance rates, it’s common to see an increase in premiums after an at-fault accident.
|Car Insurance Company||Clean Record||With Accident||Difference|
|Midvale Home & Auto||$198||$345||+$147|
Cheapest car insurance with a DUI in Seattle: Direct Auto
Alcohol-impaired crashes accounted for 30% of car crash fatalities in 2020. If you’re found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, it can greatly increase your insurance premiums, even if you didn’t injure anyone or cause a collision. Direct Auto offers the lowest monthly premiums on average for Seattle drivers with a DUI on their records.
|Car Insurance Company||Clean Record||With DUI||Difference|
Cheapest car insurance with a speeding ticket in Seattle: Travelers
A speeding ticket on your driving record can also increase your premiums. In Seattle, Travelers has the lowest average monthly cost of car insurance for drivers with a speeding ticket on their record. However, it’s a small average increase, from $144 a month for people with a clean record to $173 a month for drivers with speeding tickets.
|Car Insurance Company||Clean Record||With Speeding Ticket||Difference|
|Midvale Home & Auto||$198||$324||+$126|
Car insurance in other Washington cities
Location can significantly affect the cost of car insurance, even between cities in the same state. Here’s a look at car insurance rates in other Washington cities:
Find local Seattle agents
NRG Insurance8636 45th Ave. NE,
Seattle, WA 98115
Merrill & Merrill9259 57th Ave S,
Seattle, WA 98118
Kibble & Prentice Holding Co USI601 Union St. Ste. 1000,
Seattle , WA 98101
Brown & Brown of WA, Inc800 5th Ave,
Seattle, WA 98104-3151
Peak Insurance LLC2208 NW Market St,
Ste 507, Seattle, WA 98107
Embree Ins. Agency, Inc.13500 Lake City Way NE #206,
Seattle, WA 98125-3600
Ogishima Ins. Agency2535 Beacon Ave S,
Seattle, WA 98144-5125
Hub International NW200 1st Ave W,
Ste 500, Seattle, WA 98119-4022
Adams Insurance8613 35th Avenue NE,
Seattle, WA 98115-3607
Kibble & Prentice601 Union Street,
Ste 1000, Seattle, WA 98101-4064
Seattle car insurance rates FAQs
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Seattle car insurance.
Car insurance does tend to be more expensive in Seattle than in the rest of Washington and in other major U.S. cities. The average monthly cost of minimum-coverage car insurance in Seattle is $234, whereas the Washington state average is $208. This type of insurance only costs $149 per month in San Francisco, California, and $189 in Austin, Texas.
You are legally required to insure your car in the state of Washington and have insurance coverage for at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury. You also have to have at least $10,000 per accident for property damage.
Insurers with high Insurify Composite Scores are some of the best car insurance companies due to a positive combination of customer satisfaction, user reviews, and external ratings from experts such as J.D. Power and A.M. Best. If you’re looking for the best car insurance companies in Seattle, turn your attention to Nationwide (89), Safeco (86), and Liberty Mutual (82).
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Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.
- Seattle Department of Transportation. "Vision Zero: Designing a safe system." Accessed December 16, 2022
- The Seattle Times. "Seattle traffic deaths and injuries remain high in 2022." Accessed December 16, 2022
- Office of the Insurance Commissioner, Washington State. "Washington state's mandatory auto/motorcycle insurance law." Accessed December 16, 2022
- Insurance Information Institute. "Nine ways to lower your auto insurance costs." Accessed December 16, 2022
- Insurance Information Institute. "What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?." Accessed December 16, 2022