SEATTLE — Car insurance premiums are set to increase this year, though Washington drivers will be spared the brunt of it, according to the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
After years of little or no increases, car insurance premiums rose a whopping 8.4 percent nationwide in 2022. In Washington, that increase was closer to 2 percent, according to a report by LendingTree’s Value Penguin.
The report is forecasting that the average annual cost for car insurance in 2023 will be $1,536 in Washington, which is around 14 percent lower than forecast nationally. Washington ranks 34th in the U.S. for car insurance premiums.
Insurance for new electric vehicles will be 28 percent higher across the country and in Washington, and drivers with traffic violations will see a 56 percent increase on average for car insurance.
According to the office of Washington Insurance Commissioner, there are several factors pushing rates up, including higher used-car prices, rising medical costs after car collisions, higher fatality rates, increased costs to repair newer and more sophisticated vehicles and longer wait times for repairs due to supply chain issues.
Here are some tips from the state insurance office on how to lower your car insurance premiums:
- Shop around online to see if premiums would be lower at another company. You can check to see that they are licensed in Washington by visiting st.news/WAinsurance.
- If you’re buying a car, check the premiums before finalizing the deal. Premiums can vary between types of cars.
- Choose a plan with a higher deductible.
- While liability coverage is required in Washington, collision coverage is not. If you have a low-value car and can afford to fix it yourself after an accident, collision coverage may not be worth it.
- Ask your insurance agent if you get any common discounts for airbags, automatic seatbelts, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft devices, good driving records or total mileage driven.