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Washington Auto Insurance Information

Getting auto insurance can be confusing, whether you’ve been driving for years or have just gotten your license. Insurance companies have their own language, which can be very confusing to those not in the industry. All the while, insurance companies pressure new customers to buy more insurance than they need so the company can make a bigger profit. In the midst of all this, there are additional confusing insurance issues for people who drive for work, get in an accident, or have a claim denied by their insurance company.

When these issues present themselves in Washington, our attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., are able to explain them all and let drivers know what their options are. Give us a call if you have questions, (888) 228-3860!

Washington State’s Auto Insurance Requirements

Washington State insurance requirements give drivers three options:

  1. Carry liability insurance with minimum coverage of
    • $25,000 for injury or death of another person
    • $50,000 for injury or death of all other people
    • $10,000 for property damage
  2. Get a certificate of deposit for a minimum of $60,000 to pay for your liability insurance
  3. Have a liability bond of a minimum of $60,000
  • Self-insured: If a person owns 26 or more non-commercial vehicles, he may qualify for self-insurance. To find out if you qualify, contact:
    Driver Records
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 9030
    Olympia, WA 98507-9030
  • Uber and Lyft drivers: Driving for Uber or Lyft can be profitable for people wanting to be their own boss or supplement their income. While both Lyft and Uber insure their drivers with $1 million in coverage, it’s important that drivers first check with their own car insurance companies because there are many gray areas where Uber or Lyft’s coverage does not apply.
  • Commercial truck drivers: Commercial truck drivers face a lot of insurance issues. For workers who drive for a company, the truck will likely be owned by the company, and the company will pay for insurance while the driver is on the job. If a truck driver is self-employed and owns his own truck, he will have to purchase his own commercial truck insurance.
  • Underinsured and uninsured drivers: While the law does set out minimum requirements for car insurance coverage, not all drivers purchase that insurance before heading out on the road. For this reason, drivers may choose to purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in case they’re in accidents with these lawless drivers.

Insurance Fair Conduct Act

Recently, Washington took measures to protect drivers who are unfairly denied insurance benefits by their insurance company. Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible in benefits, because paying more takes away from their profits. Under the Insurance Fair Conduct Act, legal action can be taken against an insurance company that unfairly denies a claim, or makes an unfair settlement in a claim.

If you’ve been in an accident and feel as though you’ve been treated unfairly by your insurance company, or you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured driver, contact the Seattle car accident attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. Call (888) 228-3860 for a free consultation.

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