Car insurances rates cost Washington drivers 18% more over the last 2 years

Washington State drivers are experiencing sticker shock after insurance rate increases that are, on average, higher than anything seen in the last few years.

Over the last two years, Washington State experienced about an 18% increase in average insurance rates.

According to officials with the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner, 2023 saw about a 12% increase in insurance rates, and 2022 saw a 6.5% increase.

"It seems like there should be a better way to reward people that do drive good, don’t have speeding tickets, or anything like that,’ said Kim Barson, a Washington driver.

Barson tells FOX 13 News her daughter’s insurance went up $150 extra per month without any cause.

"We had her on the plan for a year, with no incidents, no tickets, no accidents, and they just claimed it’s because she’s an inexperienced driver," said Barson.

The numbers are even more surprising for drivers when considering average insurance rates increased by .06% in 2021 and .02% in 2020.

"That is a significant jump," said Andrew Davis, a policy analyst with the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. "And we certainly understand why consumers would be concerned."

He says the reason for higher insurance costs varies from company to company. He does say higher value cars on the roads, and increased accidents play a part in why rates went up.

Officials say insurance companies are required to file rate changes with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. 

They say most of the time, it is a flat rate statewide. However, companies can file rate changes specific to locations, but if the filing is more complex, the approval can take longer.

Officials with the office of the insurance commissioner say there is no cap on rate increases, but companies must show their work to be approved.

To save money, officials with the office suggest these tips:

  • Shop around or check with your agent to see if you qualify for any discounts.
  • Consider going with a higher-deductible and ask your agent to compare plans and how higher collision or comprehensive premiums change your deductible.
  • If you have a low-value car, consider whether or not collision coverage is a good investment.