There's more to being a safe driver than being defensive and obeying speed limits and similar laws. In most states, drivers also must be able to pay for damages and injuries that are deemed to be their fault in the event of an accident. This is commonly referred to as financial responsibility, and most people get auto insurance to fulfill this requirement. There are a few other ways to do so in the state of Washington, but car insurance is definitely the most popular option.
Settling for a policy that barely meets the minimum insurance requirements of Washington State is risky. It's easy to end up with bills that far exceed those limits, which is why drivers are urged to buy more extensive coverage. People don't like to pay too much for insurance, though, and sometimes balk at getting higher limits. Driving statistics for the state of Washington are very revealing, however, and they tend to convince people to get better policies. The fact is that there are millions of people who drive in the Evergreen State, and there's no surefire way to avoid accidents. Therefore, all drivers must be prepared for the worst.
Who Drives in Washington?
In the scheme of things, Washington is a fairly large state. It's certainly a lot bigger than most states on the east coast of the country. There are several heavily populated areas as well, and accidents are statistically more likely to happen in such places. That doesn't mean that rural areas are accident-free zones. Car crashes happen everywhere. According to the United States Census Bureau, the state of Washington's estimated population in 2012 was 6,897,012. That doesn't mean that there are nearly 7 million drivers in the state, however. As reported by theFederal Highway Administration, there were 5,178,789 licensed drivers in Washington in November 2012, so 75.1 percent of the population is legally allowed to operate motor vehicles.
Those statistics are interesting, and it's also intriguing to consider how many male drivers there are versus female drivers. Female drivers in Washington totaled 2,495,765, which equals 48.19 percent of all licensed drivers. Male drivers in the state totaled 2,683,024, which equals 51.81 percent of all licensed drivers.
Car insurance providers don't consider drivers' genders when calculating insurance rates. However, they do consider age. The truth of the matter is that younger drivers have a lot less experience behind the wheel and are significantly more likely to be involved in car accidents. They also tend to be more reckless than older, more experienced drivers. In Washington State in November 2012, there were 98,460 drivers aged 19 and below, so they accounted for 1.9 percent of all drivers. There is also a fairly decent number of experienced drivers on the road in the state. The largest group, for instance, includes drivers between the ages of 50 and 54. That group totals 241,960 people, so it accounts for 4.7 percent of all drivers in the Evergreen State.
Car Insurance Requirements in Washington
It is up to drivers to make sure that they have the right coverage to be on the road in Washington. Liability insurance is the most commonly used option, but drivers may also file liability bonds totaling at least $60,000 with surety bond companies. Another option is to file a certificate of deposit totaling at least $60,000 with the State Treasurer. Those who have 26 or more registered vehicles in the state of Washington may be able to opt for self-insurance instead.
Car insurance is the most popular way to prove financial responsibility, and Washington has strict minimum requirements. In order to meet the requirements of the state, a car insurance policy must include:
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $10,000 in property damage coverage
People who are nabbed driving without valid insurance face a fine of $450. Providing false proof of coverage is a misdemeanor that can result in more serious penalties.