D.C. Auto Insurance Guide
Ready for a car insurance quote?
Compare rates online from all the leading insurers in The District of Columbia!
D.C. Minimum Insurance Requirements
From the National Mall to the National Cathedral, Capitol Hill to the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. has miles of roadways. They’re used by nearly 400,000 licensed drivers, who each average over 5,700 miles each year. Along the way, they’re involved in thousands of traffic accidents, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in America’s Capital, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Washington D.C.’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Washington D.C. state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines. Washington D.C. has a tort system, which means that if you are found to be at fault in a car accident, you can be sued for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering. However, Washington D.C. also allows you to purchase personal injury protection.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for The District of Columbia drivers is:
$25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$10,000 property damage liability
$25,000/$50,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury
$5,000 uninsured motorist property damage per accident, with $200 deductible
Washington D.C. does not require you to carry additional coverage such as personal injury protection or Collision and Comprehensive. However, if you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry The District of Columbia Auto Insurance
Washington D.C. requires you to carry minimum liability insurance or proof of financial responsibility and provide proof if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Failure to do so may result in a minimum fine of $30. You can incur additional fines of $150 for the first 30 days your are uninsured and $7 for each additional day up to a maximum of $2,500. You must have valid Washington D.C. insurance to register or renew registration for your vehicle. If your insurance is terminated or canceled, you must immediately turn in your vehicle tags and registration to the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.
The District of Columbia Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
The District of Columbia also allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest The District of Columbia Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New The District of Columbia Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in The District of Columbia. The following laws have recently been enacted in The District of Columbia and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
Washington D.C. has a ban on texting for all drivers
Washington D.C. bans the use of handheld devices for all drivers
Washington D.C. bans the use of all cell phones (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers.
The District of Columbia Regulating Agencies and References
District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking
District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles
Insurance Information Institute
National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Last Updated: 3/7/2014