Washington DC Car Insurance
Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, is a diverse community with a population of 581,530. Home of the federal government, D.C. is located along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. Known for such attractions as the Smithsonian Institute, the National Museum of American History and the Lincoln Memorial, thousands of people travel to D.C. each year to visit the historical sites.
Statistics report that over 6,000,000 car accidents occur in the United States each year.
The statistics explain the importance of states requiring car insurance. With the current economic crisis and the high costs of insurance, price is a factor when seeking auto insurance. The average cost of auto insurance in D.C. is $2952 per year, a 14% increase from October 2007 to October 2008. Washington, D.C. is noted as the third highest for insurance rates in the country.
To obtain effective cost for auto insurance requires planning and research. Understand the state requirements and obtain the coverage needed. All drivers must provide proof of insurance upon registering a vehicle in D.C. Failure to maintain insurance will result in suspension and a fine of $150 if insurance has been lapsed for a period from 1 - 30 days and $7 per day thereafter until satisfactory insurance has been obtained or renewed. Should insurance be terminated for any reason, the DMV request that auto insurance companies notify them right away.
In Washington, D.C., all registered drivers are required to carry minimum liability insurance coverage in the amount of $10,000 for property damage, $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident third party liability, $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident uninsured motorist bodily injury and $5,000, which is subject to a $200 deductible for uninsured motorist property damage.
Washington, D.C. has incorporated a safety law as a result of the rising number of car accidents that occur each year throughout the United States. Drivers are only allowed to use hand free cells phones, except in the case of an emergency. Bus drivers and drivers with a learner's permit can use a cell phone in the case of an emergency only. All drivers and passengers in a vehicle must wear a seat belt at all times. Passengers under the age of 12 must be seated in the back of the car and children under the age of three must be secured in a child safety seat.
D.C. requires businesses that house cars in a company garage to carry liability auto insurance that provides bodily injury and property damage coverage. The garage liability agreement covers insured partners, employees and customers. This liability will cover damages that are caused by an accident resulting from garage operation.
Consult with family and friends for recommendations on seeking a reliable auto insurance company. The Internet allows a fast and easy way to obtain a car insurance quote. Insurance can be purchased immediately and policy cards printed. Before sitting down to start shopping for car insurance, gather the necessary documentation; current insurance policy, calculate the average number of miles driven in a month or year, check driving record for outstanding tickets and review your credit report.
Insurance companies in the D.C. area, consider many factors before providing a car insurance quote to a potential customer. Age and gender. Young drivers between the ages of 16-24 are considered high risk. This age group is noted for being involved in more traffic accidents than individuals in the age group of 25-39. Males are considered to be at higher risk than females. Studies show that males of this age group are involved in more traffic accidents than females. Older individuals between the ages of 40-50 are considered low risk, in that statistics report this age group has a lower incident of accidents. In general, men are considered a higher risk than women. Studies show men drive more and are ticketed more for speeding.
Drivers with a driving record that show a serious traffic violation or numerous traffic tickets and accidents are considered at high risk by insurance companies. D.C. offers registered and insured drivers an opportunity to enter into a one-time payment plan for 6 months to satisfy outstanding insurance fines. Auto insurance companies frown on drivers who allow their insurance to lapse. Such drivers are considered high risk and subject to a higher rate.
The cost of living in Washington, D.C. is reported to be among the highest in the country. Living or working in a large city like D.C. results in higher insurance rates, however, working in the city and living in the suburbs can reduce an insurance rate. Drivers with long commutes to work that use alternative methods like the bus or train can possibly get a rate reduced by informing the insurance provider.
The make and model of a car can influence the insurance rate. For example, the rate for a luxury car is quoted higher than an inexpensive car. Consider purchasing comprehensive insurance for a luxury car. If a car is stolen or damaged, comprehensive coverage will cover the loss. Comprehensive insurance requires a higher deductible and provides a lower premium. Safety features like airbags installed in a car and alarm system can also lower the rate.
Location. The neighborhood in which the driver resides affects the rate. Auto insurance companies keep data on areas known for high traffic and auto theft. Individuals residing in certain zip codes noted for a high level of theft or vandalism are quoted higher rates.
Auto insurance companies use credit ratings to determine the risk level of a driver when providing a car insurance quote. Not all insurance companies review credit history or consider credit a determining factor. Insurance companies that provide insurance to those with less than perfect credit usually pay higher a higher premium, but have the opportunity to adjust the rate at the time of policy renewal if the driver remains accident free and makes payments on time.
Narrow the search down to 2 or 3 auto insurance companies. Review each company website to learn more about the company and its operation. Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for any complaints or violations against the company. Visit rating sites like Moody's, A.M. Best and J.D. Powers for a financial rating on each company. Do not hesitate to phone or email the insurance company with any questions. This provides an opportunity to see how the company extends customer service. Select a company that values its customer offers the best rate and provides an array of services.
Review the policy and procedures of the auto insurance company selected. Some insurance companies offer a discount on a policy for individuals with the financial ability to make an upfront payment for 6 or 12 months. Check the policy for clarity and note the efficiency of the claim service and how accessible the insurance company is to their customers. Is 24/7 telephone support provided? In the case of an accident can the auto insurance company guarantee workmanship of an auto repair service of choice? Does the company compensate the driver with a replacement vehicle should the car become totaled?
The roads and streets of D.C. are highly traveled every day with cars and pedestrians. The State has extended its liability insurance requirement to practice safety and to protect drivers and pedestrians.