Compulsory/No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act in Washington D.C. requires all drivers to have car insurance. Residents are offered by the District of Columbia both the:
- No-fault coverage option
- Fault-based insurance.
Read and learn more about Washington D.C.car insurance laws, rates, programs and discounts.
Required D.C. Car Insurance
All Drivers in Washington D.C. are required to have liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage.
Washington D.C. Liability Coverage
Liability insurance only covers the other car or driver if an accident is your fault. In Washington D.C., You are required to have minimum liability coverage of:
- $25,000 per accident per person, for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury (the above will be offered as “$25,000/$50,000”)
- $10,000 in case of property damage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you get involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, then uninsured motorist insurance will cover you, your passenger and your car. In Washington D.C., you’re required to have minimum uninsured motorist coverage of:
- $25,000 per accident, per person for bodily injury
- $5,000 for property damage, excluding a $200 deductible
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injuries.
Optional Car Insurance in D.C.
All providers of car insurance in Washington D.C. also offer a variety of optional coverage to help pay for costs liability and uninsured motorist insurance do not cover.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
The Personal injury protection (PIP) covers costs in a car accident, regardless of who is guilty for the accident. If you decide to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) and later you get involved in a car accident, you required to decide within 60 days following an accident whether to:
- Cover accident-related costs using your PIP or not OR
- Claim and/or file a case with the other driver’s insurance company.
Other Washington D.C. Optional Coverage
Insurance agents in Washington D.C. can provide car insurance quotes including several more types of coverage:
- Collision coverage – Covers accident-related damages to your car
- Comprehensive coverage – Covers all damages to your car following non-accident-related factors, i.e., extreme weather, theft, and wildlife
- Underinsured motorist – Helps cover damages or loss caused by driver who does not have adequate car insurance that can cover your costs
- Rental car coverage (sometimes called “loss of use”)
- Towing coverage/ Roadside assistance.
Proof of Insurance in Washington D.C.
You’re required by the Washington D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to show proof of auto insurance in order to register your car or perhaps renew your registration. Further, you’re required to show proof of insurance when stopped by a police officer or when involved in an accident. Any of the following will be accepted as proof by the DMV:
- Certification letter on insurance company letterhead
- Insurance policy
- Insurance card.
Any failure of showing proof of insurance when stopped by the police can lead to penalties/fines.
Driving Without Car Insurance
Suspensions and fines on drivers without the minimum required car insurance coverage are imposed by the Washington D.C. insurance law. Any lapse in coverage to the DMV will be reported by your insurance company. Lack of the minimum liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage will lead to the following fines and penalties:
- A fine of $150 for up to 30 days of insurance coverage lapsed
- A Suspended registration tag or reciprocity sticker
- An additional fine of $7 per day for each day of the lapse over 30 days (it can go up to $2,500).
Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
High-risk drivers in D.C. can find it hard to get an insurance company that will offer them coverage. They ought to apply for car insurance via the District of Columbia Automobile Insurance Plan (DCAIP). They can use a licensed Washington D.C. auto insurance agent or broker to apply for DCAIP coverage through SR-22. You are legally required to obtain an SR-22 form (also referred as SR-22 insurance form) from your insurance provider only if you have been fined for certain violations such as:
- Reckless driving
- Other moving violations.
Car disputes insurance and frauds
A variety of organizations can handle Car insurance fraud and other insurance concerns. The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) regulate Washington D.C. car insurance issues. It offers you several ways of reporting fraud and can offer you any assistance for other car insurance concerns.
Washington D.C. Car Insurance Frauds
Fraud in car insurance costs insurance companies a lot of money. These losses are also passed on to you in form of higher premiums. Auto insurance fraud includes:
- Selling insurance without a license
- Staging an accident
- Making a false claim
- Forging insurance documents.
You can report any car insurance fraud in Washington D.C. DISB by completing an online fraud report form.
Car Insurance Disputes
Any issues related to an insurance company, such as a disputed claim about your premium, you are required to first contact the company in writing in order to resolve the issue. But if you’re not satisfied with the company’s response, you’re required to contact the DISB through the online fraud report form. As a result of your online complaint, the DISB can make inquiries, clarify information, and can facilitate a resolution. Note: The DISB cannot provide legal representation or determine who was at fault in an accident.
Determining Your Car Insurance Rate
Various factors are considered by Washington D.C. auto insurance companies in basing their rates:
- Your driving record
- Your credit history
- Your car’s model, make and features, i.e., safety features
- Your chosen deductible.
Discounts on Washington D.C. Car Insurance
Most auto insurance companies in Washington D.C. offer rate discounts for:
- Car safety features like airbags
- Multiple vehicles on one policy
- Safe driving history that includes special discounts for accident-free drivers
- Completion of approved driver safety courses
- Good grades to full time students
- Multiple policies with one insurance company.
Keeping a clean driver history will guarantee you the best chance of getting the lowest rates for car insurance.
Most Stolen Cars in D.C.
Those owning cars considered to be the most targeted for theft will have to pay more car insurance rates. According to www.nicb.org, the following is a list of Washington’s most stolen cars in 2013:
- Dodge Caravan
- Honda Accord
- Chrysler Town & Country
- Nissan Altima
- Toyota Camry
- Ford Crown Victoria
- Dodge Intrepid
- Toyota Corolla
- Honda Civic
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.