Washington DC Car Insurance
Driver’s in The Nation’s Capitol should know
The first and the most important thing about Washington DC car insurance law is that they follow the No-Fault based car insurance law. Most of the states in the USA support the traditional follow the traditional “fault” found car insurance laws, but not Washington DC.
What the “No-Fault” insurance system implies is that; in case if you are involved in an accident, your car insurance policy will cover all the expenses of your injury or any damages to the vehicle or any property damage. It won’t matter which party caused the accident, both the party involved in the crash can claim their car insurance coverage.
This eliminates the complicated process of suing one another who are involved in the accident since both the parties get fair compensations. In most cases, the parties are prohibited from filing against each other, but in some severe accident cases, they are allowed to do so. The situations can be –
- If the accident causes a severe injury that leads to permanent scarring or much worse medical condition
- If the accident causes an injury that leaves the person unable to perform his or her daily work or activities
- If the accident causes an injury that leads to a critical medical condition that prevents the person from performing his or her daily activities for a period of 180 days or more
- If the accident causes significant and life-threatening injury and the medical expenses exceed their own (the injured person) car insurance limit under the No-fault insurance coverage
Car Insurance Requirements in Washington DC
When you first register your vehicle in Washington DC, it is mandatory to get your car insured for at least the minimum types of car insurance available. Without insuring your car from the primary and minimum required car insurance policy, you cannot proceed to register your vehicle under Washington DC state. The minimum car insurance coverage is –
- Liability Coverage
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage
- Liability Coverage
The liability coverage of your car insurance will cover all the medical cost and also the property damage cost to someone else that may result due to the accident. The minimum required limits for liability coverage are as follows –
- $25,000 liability insurance (per person) in case of bodily injury or accident leading to the death of a person and caused by the owner of the vehicle under whose name the car is insured
- $25,000 – $50,000 liability insurance (per accident) in case of total/ severe bodily injury or accident causing death due to the sole fault of the owner/ driver under whose name the car is insured
- $10,000 liability insurance in case of any damages caused to someone else’s property and caused by the owner of the vehicle under whose name the car is insured
- The liability insurance of “per person” injury will be applicable if the accident causes injury to a single person. In the same way the liability insurance of “per accident” will be valid if the accident causes injury to multiple persons. The “per accident” liability will cover all the medical expenses of all the persons injured as a result of the accident.
The liability insurance of “property damage” applies if you have caused damages to someone else’s property, it can be someone else’s personal property or their lawns. Your “property damage” liability insurance will cover all that expenses.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
The uninsured motorist coverage refers to the coverage that you may have to pay if you are involved in an accident where your driver doesn’t have insurance of his own. This will also apply to the rest of your family members or friends who are driving the car with your permission and are uninsured.
The minimum limit requirement for the “Uninsured Motorist Coverage” is as follows-
- $25,000 uninsured coverage per person for any bodily injury
- $50,000 uninsured coverage per accident for any bodily injury
- $5,000 uninsured coverage for property damage (a deductible amount of $200 can be applied)
Washington DC uninsured insurance is unique in the sense that, it covers both the property damage as well as personal injury insurance coverage. In most states where the uninsured motorist coverage is available, it only covers the personal injury cost of the person driving the car.
Optional car insurance in Washington DC
While the primary and minimum car insurance will cover up most of the expenses from the accident, it provides very less insurance for your vehicle damage. Several other optional car coverages can help you with this, these are –
- Comprehensive coverage – this will cover all the damage dealt with your vehicle due to non-accidental incidents. These incidents may include natural occurrences such as wildlife, extreme weather or theft.
- Collision coverage – this insurance will cover all the damage caused to your vehicle as a result of the accident.
- Driving Without Insurance in Washington DC
Any driver found guilty of driving without valid car insurance is considered a criminal offense and can be fined heavily and can also lead to suspension of his or her driving license. Every driver is required to possess the minimum required car coverage while driving at all times.
The penalties of not producing or possessing the minimum car insurance can lead to severe consequences in Washington DC. The penalties or fines can include –
Your vehicle can be attached with a suspended registration tag. This will prevent you from using your vehicle until such times when you can produce valid car insurance documents.
A fine of $150 for up to 30 days in case of lapsed coverage
If you cannot or do not cover your lapsed coverage within 30 days of notification, you will be fined $7 per day until you cover up the lapsed amount completely. The amount can go up to $2,500
If you already have an existing car insurance policy from Washington DC, you can inform the DMV authorities to give you a 6-month time to pay up all the fines and in the meantime acquire a temporary registration for that duration.