Best Guide for Car Insurance in Washington

For those who own a car or truck, purchasing auto protection is not only a good idea, but it also is the law in all 50 states, including Washington.

Purchasing an auto insurance plan, however, is not something that should be taken lightly - there are several components of protection that should be considered. From what types of costs are covered by the best policy to knowing how much coverage is enough, it is best to do some research before buying in order to ensure that the plan you select is the best for you and your lifestyle.

What Types of Costs are Covered?

When it comes to protecting your automobile, there are five primary types of coverage that can be purchased:

  • Bodily Injury:

    Provides protection against any legal claims that are made by other injured drivers if the policyholder is found to be at fault for an accident.

  • Liability:

    Provides protection if the insured motorist damages another person's property in a vehicular accident.

  • Collision:

    Covers costs stemming from damage to the insured driver's vehicle that is caused by another vehicle or object.

  • Comprehensive:

    Covers costs stemming from damage to the policyholder's vehicle that is caused by non-vehicular events, such as fire, theft or vandalism.

  • Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist:

    Protects the insured driver if he or she is in an accident that is caused by another motorist who has little or no protection.

How Much Protection is Enough

Almost every state requires drivers to carry a minimum level of vehicle insurance coverage. In Washington, the state minimum coverage is 25/50/20, meaning that motorists must carry coverage of at least $25,000 for bodily injury for one person, with a maximum of $50,000 for all injured persons, and $10,000 for property damage.

In an effort to save money, many consumers might consider purchasing only the state minimum standards. However, these drivers often discover that carrying the state minimum actually can end up costing them more in the long run.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that the average cost associated with an average hospital stay of 4.6 days was $23,958 in 2006.

If a customer carried Washington's minimum coverage of 25/50/20, the plan would just take care of the average hospital stay costs - provided the injured person did not require any care after his or her hospital discharge.

If the injured person's medical costs exceeded $25,000, the policyholder would be on the hook for the remainder of the bill and the injured person would most likely come after the other party's assets to collect on those costs.

For this reason, it is a good idea to consider the value of your assets (i.e. how much you have to lose) when determining how much protection you should purchase.

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