When you are moving from out of state and have auto insurance, you need to get insurance based on your residence in Washington state if you plan on staying. Auto insurance companies provide their insurance based on a host of data called actuary tables. This looks at the risk of getting into an accident, the cost of medical services, cost of repairs and auto replacement and even things like the type of drivers where you will be living and even the auto theft rate.
If you have insurance and are visiting a new state or just moving in and getting settled, your insurance company will pay for any accident you caused someone else. However, once you move there with the intent of establishing a new residence, then you have to get insurance based on your address.
Washington Insurance Requirements
Washington state requires that each driver have auto insurance before getting out on the road. This is to cover the driver for any accident they cause that injures another person or causes property damage. The minimum insurance necessary in the state is $25,000 for each person for bodily injury with a minimum of $50,000 for each accident and $10,000 in property damage.
If you don’t have this insurance, then if you get into an accident that’s your fault, then you will have to pay for the damages out of your pocket. Also, the state can charge you with a criminal charge for failing to have insurance.
Penalty for not Having Insurance in Washington State
If you get caught driving without insurance coverage in Washington state, you face a minimum fine of $450 and even face losing your driving privileges. In most cases, if you get pulled over and the officer checks your insurance status, you can face a fine.
If you get into an accident without insurance, then you can face losing your driving privileges for up to three years on top of any fines the court issues. You will also be required to pay for all damages you caused in the accident before you get your license back.
If you actually had insurance, then you can go to court and show proof from the insurance company that you had insurance and the charges will be dismissed.
Does my Auto Insurance have to be from a Washington State Insurance Company?
Technically, if you have the minimum requirements of auto insurance, there is no criminal law that says that the policy has to be from an insurance company authorized to issue policies in Washington state. However, if you establish residency in the state, your insurance company might reject a claim for compensation based on your lack of compliance with their rules.
If this happens, then the state might consider you to not have insurance while driving in the state. If this happens after you got into an accident, then you could face losing your license.
What if I get a Ticket for no Auto Insurance?
If you recently moved form out of state and moved into the Spokane metro area and got caught without having Washington State insurance. You need to talk to an attorney to help you keep your license. Being sidelined from driving your car might cost you your job or make it difficult to get around.
At Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., we know the traffic laws and know how to help you you’re your license so you can stay behind the drivers sear. We serve clients in Spokane, Washington, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and surrounding communities. Call us today at (509) 926-4900, or send us a message by clicking here.