Spokane is one of the largest cities in Eastern Washington, with plenty of exciting natural and man-made attractions. Whether you are walking along the river to enjoy Riverfront Park and Spokane Falls, enjoying a concert at Liberty Lake’s Pavilion Park or attending a business conference at Spokane Valley’s Mirabeau Park, you’ll need your car to get around the area.
No matter what part of Spokane County you live in, Inland Northwest Insurance is your premier insurance provider. Located conveniently in Spokane Valley, we serve all surrounding cities, including Spokane, Mead WA, Liberty Lake, Veradale WA and Millwood WA.
Table of Contents
Why Do I Need Car Insurance?
What is Auto Insurance?
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?
How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance
Auto Insurance in Spokane
Car Insurance Minimum Requirements
How to Get Auto Insurance
In Washington State, insurance laws require that your car insurance cover a minimum of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and carry a minimum of $10,000 of property damage liability per accident. Although you are not required to add it to your policy, insurers are required to offer personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This can help cover any medical-related expenses that occur after a car accident (regardless of fault) up to the limits you and your insurer agree upon.
Many people in Spokane and Spokane Valley opt for higher amounts of auto insurance coverage than the minimums required by the state. To learn more about Washington State car insurance minimums, contact us at (509) 892-6373 or visit the Washington State Department of Licensing.
Inland Northwest Insurance is experienced with helping all customers, whether this is your first car insurance policy, or you are simply shopping for a better rate on an existing auto insurance policy. We have exclusive relationships with many of the country’s top insurance carriers, allowing us to provide you with the top coverage in Spokane and Spokane Valley at the best rates in Washington.
To comply with Washington State law, you must comply with the minimum levels of auto insurance. This liability insurance helps cover costs associated with damages or injuries occurred by other parties involved in any accident in which you are at fault. Spokane drivers caught without proof of insurance are subject to fines which include a minimum of $250 and the suspension of your license. When buying a new car, there is no grace period, so you are required to have insurance as soon as you hit the road.
Auto insurance, more commonly known as car insurance, protects you from financially damages should end up in a car accident. Although most drivers are safe, it is important to plan against other drivers on the road. With an increasing number of drivers suffering from distracted driving due to texting and cell phones, as well as incidental accidents, it is important to keep yourself covered.
When you obtain car insurance, you sign a contract with an insurance company where you agree to pay a regular amount (commonly known as a premium). In return, the insurance company will agree to cover any losses you may incur, as defined within your policy. Typically, this insurance policy covers you for property damage, and any liability or medical damages.
Property coverage pays for damages to your car in the case of an accident or a theft. Should you incur legal costs to others for bodily injury or property damage, liability will cover you. Medical coverage pays for treatment of injuries, or rehabilitation in an accident. Depending on your auto insurance policy, medical may also cover lost wages or funeral costs.
As of 2016, Washington has one of the lowest rates of drivers covered by car insurance. As many as 16% of all Washington drivers are uninsured. This is above the national average of 12.6%. This means that as many as 77,000 drivers in Spokane County are without insurance and are unable to cover property damage to your car, or pay for after-accident medical costs.
The amount insurance companies can charge for premiums is regulated by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Every policy is unique, but companies determine your premiums based on a variety of factors. Some of these include:
- Driving Experience
- Make, Model and Age of Car
- Previous Auto Insurance Coverage
- How Often The Car Will Be Driven
- Previous Driving Record
- Location of the Car and Policy Holder
- If the Car is for Business or Personal Use
In Washington, your credit history may also be considered to determine premiums.
We offer several discounts or ways to lower your premium.
- Ask us about removing coverages that are not relevant for your situation
- Washington has some low-cost car insurance programs you may qualify for
- We can compare our quotes with other insurance companies
- Some discounts include good driver discounts, good student discounts, bundling with other insurance, insuring more than one vehicle and others
- We aim to provide you with the best insurance possible at the best rate. Ask how we can save you money on auto insurance!
Our goal is to ensure you get the best insurance possible at a great rate. Ask our agents how we can help you save in your unique situation.
Like most other states in the country, Washington law requires your vehicle to have liability coverage through your car insurance. That said, there are several unique requirements of Washington auto insurance. In Spokane, and the entire state, it is required that you provide some kind of liability coverage on your own car, so that all parties involved in an accident are adequately and fairly covered if they are not at fault.
Washington is also distinct in that there are several options for insurance coverage. For Spokane drivers, the different types of insurance will depend on your unique situation, but you do have several options to choose from, including:
- Auto insurance
- Self insurance
- Certificate of deposit
- Liability bond
Another, optional, form of insurance is collision coverage. However, if you are financing or leasing your automobile, your bank or lender may require you to have collision insurance.
Although most damage to vehicles occurs on the road, in many cases it still makes sense to protect them when they’re not on the road. Comprehensive coverage plans will pay for damage caused to your automobile by a variety of external causes, including theft, vandalism, natural disasters, fire and other non-collision related damage. As with collision insurance, your vehicle’s age and condition will be calculated into the ultimate cost of your comprehensive coverage.
Along with collision coverage, there are a variety of other optional coverages. Depending on your unique driving situation, you can add several protections to your car insurance to help enhance it. Some of these coverages include uninsured or underinsurance coverage, rental car coverage, loan/lease coverage, roadside assistance/towing coverage and more. Although the most common optional coverages are collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, another popular option is uninsured coverage/underinsured coverage. With as many as 77,000 uninsured drivers in the Spokane area, this coverage could help protect you from paying for repairs, medical bills or any other costs associated with an uninsured or underinsured driver being involved in an accident with you. Inland Northwest Insurance’s team of car insurance experts have the experience and education to explain all options available when you are deciding what level of coverage to purchase for your car.
Specialty off-roading vehicles such as ATVs, UTVs, motorbikes and other recreational vehicles may also need insurance, which Inland Northwest Insurance is able to cover. If you are unsure whether your off-roading vehicle needs insurance, contact us to learn more.
Washington has middle of the road auto insurance requirements compared to many other states. We are one of 31 other states that allow you to use electronic proof of insurance. During a traffic stop, police or law enforcement will accept proof of insurance on your smartphone or tablet. That said, it is still suggested you carry a paper insurance card in your glovebox or wallet.
There are a variety of auto insurance policy options available to drivers. However, before you get behind the wheel of your car, there are a few minimum requirements you must comply with, including:
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of bodily injury liability coverage
- $10,000 of property damage liability coverage
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage*
- $10,000 per accident of underinsured motorist property damage coverage*
- $10,000 per accident of basic personal injury protection*
*Note: You can reject underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, underinsured motorist property damage coverage and basic personal injury protection coverage. Ask Inland Northwest Insurance for more information.
It is important to note that the coverage levels listed are the bare minimums required by Washington state law. Purchasing a higher level of liability coverage will increase your auto insurance protection.
Some drivers may require a SR-22, which is an endorsement placed on your insurance policy that certifies you meet Washington’s financial responsibility requirements. This form is then sent to the Department of Licensing by your insurance company. You may be required to carry a SR-22 on your car insurance in instances of:
- Caught driving under the influence (DUI)
- Caught driving without insurance
- Revocation of your driver’s license
In Spokane, you are required to carry a SR-22 endorsement for 36 consecutive months. If you do not renew your policy at least 15 days prior to expiration, your license will be suspended. As such, it is recommended you renew your policy at least 45 days prior to expiration.
Although there are ways to avoid a SR-22, it may require a significant financial investment in the form of a deposit of $60,000 to the State Treasurer. You can also obtain a surety bond through a surety company.
If you need SR-22 insurance in the Spokane area, tell your agent at Inland Northwest Insurance. We can help you find the most affordable insurance policy that includes a SR-22 endorsement!
Teen drivers are eligible for a Washington state instruction permit at the age of 15, as long as they are enrolled in a driver’s education course. Should the teenager not be enrolled in a driver’s ed course, they will not be eligible for their instruction permit until they are 15 ½, when they will need to pass a knowledge test.
Teenage drivers must be a minimum of 16 to qualify for their driver’s license. Additional requirements include at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice (of which, 10 hours must have been completed at night), and having held an instruction permit for at least six months. After receiving their intermediate driver’s license, teenage drivers in Spokane have several restrictions on their driving privileges. During the first six months of holding their license, teens may not drive with any passengers under the age of 20 unless they are immediate family members. The second six months after that, teenagers may not drive with more than three passengers under the age of 20 unless they are immediate family members. During the first year of holding their license, teen drivers may not drive between 1 AM and 5 AM unless accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 25, or for agricultural purposes under the direction of a farmer (this may be covered under some types of farm insurance). After one year, if there are no at fault collisions or traffic convictions these restrictions will be lifted.
Once your teen driver is officially license, they will need to be added to an insurance policy as a driver. Although the most cost-effective plan is to add them to a parent’s existing car insurance policy, you can also have a teen added to their own policy separate of the parents. If you choose to add the teen to an existing policy, the policy holder should be ready for the rates to increase. Teenage drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident than experienced drivers, and their premiums reflect this fact.
Although it may result in a parents’ policy premiums to rise, it is still less expensive than adding a teen driver to a separate policy on their own. There are several factors that go into saving money on car insurance for teen drivers, and we can work with you and your teenager to find the best rates in Spokane.
Residents of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Mead WA, Liberty Lake and other surrounding areas can take advantage of the many discounts we offer to save you money on your auto insurance. Some of these include defensive driving course discounts, anti-theft discounts, safe driver discounts, good student discounts, multi-vehicle discounts and more!
Inland Northwest Insurance’s goal is to build lasting relationships with all of our clients. We strive to provide the best customer service experience in Washington, and we regularly offer policy reviews so that you are ensured the best car insurance policy at the best rate. For more information on auto insurance in the Spokane area, or anywhere else in Washington, including Seattle, Tacoma, Wenatchee and more, contact us for a free quote today!