Washington Automobile Insurance

Washington automobile insurance is required by law. Liability in the amounts of $25,000 for bodily injury, $50,000 for injuries of others involved in the accident, and $10,000 for property damage is the minimum that is required by the state. [1] You have to ask yourself, however, "is this enough coverage for me?" Usually, it isn't. This is especially true in the area of bodily injury since medical costs are so incredibly high.

For those without automobile coverage, Washington gives the option to carry a bond, but this bond requires an individual to carry the same limits as liability insurance. Certificates of Deposits are also acceptable, but $60,000 in cash and securities must be deposited with the Office of the State Treasurer. [1] In other words, acquiring Washington automobile insurance may prove to be much more affordable than carrying a bond or a Certificate of Deposit to avoid carrying coverage. Even with these expensive methods of not having to carry protection, a person is still responsible for damages.

And if you are stopped by law enforcement and cannot produce proof of your Washington automobile insurance, this is considered a traffic violation. The fine is $450 and could find itself on your driving record. The court can even add further fines to you for failure to prove or carry Washington automobile insurance on your vehicle.

Personal Automobile Insurance

Washington automobile insurance, as you know, is required. This means that an individual should be able to produce proof of insurance on demand. There are, however, some vehicles in Washington that are exempt from Washington automobile insurance requirements. Those are antique automobiles that are over 40 years old, collector's vehicles over 30 years old, trucks that haul for payment, publicly-owned automobiles, mopeds, motorcycles, and vehicles such as motor scooters.[1]

In the case of motorcycles, however, it is not a bad idea to have automobile insurance for the fact that an accident can still occur on the roadway.

Regardless of any of the exemptions, there is what is called the Washington state Financial Responsibility Law. This law states that the person who is responsible for an accident must pay for the damages associated with that accident. [1] This is because Washington is a tort state. A tort state is one that holds the person at fault for the damages sustained by a victim in an accident. This is the opposite from a "no-fault" state, which is one that holds no party responsible. Each party must make a claim to their own insurer to cover the damages.

Commercial Automobile Insurance

Commercial Washington automobile insurance is different than the policies held by individuals. First of all, most establishments that have commercial vehicles have more than one. If a business has more than 26 vehicles, they have two options: They can insure the vehicles through an insurer or they can self-insure. Self-insuring is done through the Washington State Department of Licensing. [1] Individuals with 26 or more vehicles can license in this manner as well.

Commercial automobile coverage is very important because commercial vehicles are usually large and cause a lot of damage when in an accident. Having the proper Washington automobile insurance not only protects anyone who is the victim of a crash involving a commercial vehicle, but also protects the business that owns the vehicle from a lawsuit.

It is important, however, that commercial vehicles have enough protection. Washington, just like any other state, has seen its fair share of lawsuits due to accidents. If a business doesn't have enough coverage, the business could be sued and lose some money, causing damage to their bottom line.

One of the differences between commercial vehicles and personal vehicles other than size is the fact that those who do not own commercial vehicles drive them. Where liability may cover only one person driving an automobile when it comes to personal insurance, commercial coverage has to cover anyone who drives the commercial vehicle.

Comparing Costs

Whether you need commercial or personal coverage for your vehicle, you want to make sure you are adequately covered. This is done by obtaining quotes to compare policy premiums and the different elements of the policies. Basically, you need to do a little research to get the most coverage for the least amount of money. You don't want to obtain a policy and then find out later that you could have saved hundreds of dollars. If you are finding that out now, then you may want to go ahead and make changes so that you can begin saving now.

Washington automobile insurance laws are very precise in their requirements, so it is important to comply with those requirements. As a matter of fact, it is not out of the question to exceed those requirements whether you are an individual looking for a policy or a business looking to insure your commercial vehicles.

[1] http://www.insurance.wa.gov/consumers/auto/mandatory_auto.shtml Retrieved 06/07/10.

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