Cheap Washington Low-Income Car Insurance for Families and Individuals

There’s no government assistance program for low-income drivers in Washington. MoneyGeek analyzed different car insurance companies in the state and found that GEICO and Progressive offer the cheapest car insurance for low-income individuals and families in Washington.

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Last Updated: 8/15/2022
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In Washington, your income isn’t used to determine the price of your car insurance. The factors that affect your rates the most are your age and adding a teen driver to your policy. MoneyGeek calculated the cheapest options for low-income individuals and families based on their credit scores.

Is There Car Insurance for Low-Income Families and Individuals in Washington?

Washington doesn’t have a government program to assist low-income individuals and families with their car insurance expenses. Although mandatory in every state, some drivers avoid buying a policy because it’s expensive. As a result, about 21.7% of drivers in Washington are uninsured, one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country.

If you’re looking for cheap car insurance, your best option is a minimum coverage policy. If you don’t drive much, you may also consider pay-per-mile car insurance, which is another cheap option for low-income drivers.

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Does Washington Have a Government Program to Support Low-Income Drivers with Insurance?

There’s no government car insurance program in Washington for low-income drivers. The best way to find affordable car insurance is to compare quotes from several car insurance companies. MoneyGeek broke down the cheapest companies in the state for low-income drivers looking to save money on a policy.

The Cheapest Washington Car Insurance Companies for Low-Income Drivers

Car insurance companies in Washington can’t use income as a factor in determining the price of your car insurance policy. However, there are factors related to income, such as age and credit score, that they do consider.

A minimum coverage policy is your best option for getting the most affordable car insurance on the market. MoneyGeek found that Progressive and GEICO are the cheapest companies for different types of low-income drivers. Within this guide, we also analyzed the cheapest minimum car insurance for low-income individuals and families of different ages.

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The Cheapest Washington Car Insurance Companies for Low-Income Families

While car insurance rates aren’t affected by income in Washington, low-income families should keep in mind that their credit scores can have a significant impact on the price of their car insurance. For example, our sample single parent with poor credit in Washington will pay approximately $1,390 per year more than one with good credit. A couple with a teen driver and poor credit will pay $1,893 per year more.

MoneyGeek found that the two cheapest companies for a couple with a kid and poor credit score are:

  • GEICO: $3,103 per year
  • PEMCO: $3,267 per year

For those with military backgrounds, USAA offers the cheapest policies at an average cost of $2,302 per year.

MoneyGeek also found the two cheapest companies for a single parent with a teen driver and poor credit score:

  • GEICO: $2,187 per year
  • PEMCO: $2,431 per year

USAA offers the most affordable option in Washington at $1,644 per year on average, but its policies are exclusive to current military members, veterans and their families.

Remember that a low income doesn’t necessarily mean you have a poor credit score. Toggle the table below to find the cheapest options for you.

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  • Company
    Annual Rates
  • USAA
    $1,009
  • GEICO
    $1,343
  • PEMCO
    $1,493
  • State Farm
    $1,559
  • Progressive
    $1,618
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The Cheapest Washington Car Insurance Companies for Low-Income Individuals

Our sample 40-year-old driver in Washington pays $447 per year more with a poor credit score than a good one. MoneyGeek found that the two cheapest companies for a driver with a poor credit score are:

  • Progressive: $742 per year
  • GEICO: $757 per year

If you have a military background, the cheapest option for you would be car insurance through USAA at $544 per year on average.

Being a low-income driver doesn’t mean you can’t have a good credit score. Progressive offers car insurance for drivers with good credit scores at an average of $455 per year, while GEICO offers policies at $465 per year.

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  • Company
    Annual Rates
  • USAA
    $334
  • Progressive
    $455
  • GEICO
    $465
  • PEMCO
    $474
  • State Farm
    $517

The Cheapest Washington Car Insurance Companies for Low-Income Students

Young student drivers in Washington as elsewhere tend to have higher car insurance rates due to their inexperience on the road. Although the cost of their insurance isn’t based on their income, students are usually low-income.

The two cheapest companies offering car insurance for low-income students in Washington with poor credit scores are:

  • Progressive: $1,714 per year
  • GEICO: $1,750 per year

In Washington, USAA has the cheapest policies at $1,258 per year on average. However, car insurance through USAA is only available to current and retired members of the military and their families.

Having a low income as a student doesn’t mean you also have a poor credit score, and that’s reflected in the cost of insurance. Policies from Progressive for student drivers with good credit scores are $1,053 per year on average, while those from GEICO are $1,075 per year.

Switch by Credit Score:

Good Credit Score

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  • Company
    Annual Rates
  • USAA
    $772
  • Progressive
    $1,053
  • GEICO
    $1,075
  • PEMCO
    $1,096
  • State Farm
    $1,194

The Cheapest Washington Car Insurance Companies for Low-Income Seniors

Seniors tend to pay slightly higher car insurance rates compared to middle-aged drivers. Aside from age, their credit scores will also affect their insurance rates. Our sample 70-year-old driver in Washington pays approximately $489 more per year with a poor credit score than with good credit.

The two cheapest companies offering car insurance for low-income seniors in Washington with poor credit scores are:

  • GEICO: $705 per year
  • State Farm: $841 per year

For seniors with a military background in Washington, USAA has the most affordable option at an average of $690 per year.

Being a low-income senior doesn’t mean you also have a poor credit score. If you’re a senior driver in Washington with a good credit score, you’ll pay $433 per year on average through GEICO or $517 with State Farm.

Switch by Credit Score:

Good Credit Score

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  • Company
    Annual Rates
  • USAA
    $424
  • GEICO
    $433
  • State Farm
    $517
  • Progressive
    $535
  • PEMCO
    $541

Does Income Affect Car Insurance Rates in Washington?

Insurance companies in Washington can’t use income when calculating your car insurance rates. However, factors related to income can have a significant effect.

For example, younger people face higher car insurance rates because they’re considered high-risk drivers. Low-income drivers tend to make more claims because they can’t pay for repairs out-of-pocket. The downside of that is insurers charge more if you have a history of claims.

MoneyGeek analyzed the most significant factors that affect car insurance rates in Washington and found that they are:

  • Your age.
  • The coverage level you select.
  • Adding a teen driver to your policy.

Other factors, like your car model and credit score, are also important in determining the cost of your premiums.

  • Factor
    How it Affects Your Rates
  • Adding a Teen Driver

    In Washington, adding a teen driver to your policy will make your rates 3x as expensive.

  • Age of Driver

    Rates in Washington can vary by 2.3x for young drivers versus their middle-aged counterparts.

  • Coverage Levels

    How much coverage you buy in Washington can affect the cost of your car insurance. Buying a full coverage policy will be 2.2x more expensive than minimum coverage.

  • Car Model

    Depending on the model of your car, your policy could be twice as expensive.

  • Credit Score

    Drivers in Washington with a poor credit score may pay 1.9x more for car insurance than those with good credit.

Frequently Asked Questions About Low-Income Car Insurance in Washington

MoneyGeek answers some frequently asked questions below about low-income car insurance in Washington to help you find the cheapest options:

Methodology

MoneyGeek calculated the cost of car insurance for low-income drivers in Washington using quotes sourced in partnership with Quadrant Information Services. The sample driver is either a 40-year-old male, a single 40-year-old parent with a 16-year-old child, an adult couple each 40 years old or a couple with a 16-year-old child. The individual or family drives a 2010 Toyota Camry LE. The driver buys the minimum car insurance required in Washington.

Costs for poor and good credit scores were extrapolated based on MoneyGeek’s dataset of credit score rate adjustments by score categorization.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.