auto insurance for Washington, Oregon, and California state residents

Ballard / Seattle Automobile Insurance

For most of us, our cars are our freedom and are worth protecting. At Salmon Bay Insurance, we do the research and insurance shopping for you, making sure you get the best auto insurance coverages in California, Oregon, and Washington State at the best value from trusted carriers.

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What is auto insurance?

Auto insurance is a requirement in most states for all types of vehicles such as cars, trucks, and other road vehicles that are used on public roads. The primary functions are to provide 3rd party liability coverage and financial protection to the policy holder against financial loss should you have an accident.

Why do you need auto insurance?

There are two main reasons that you need auto insurance. The first involves 3rd party coverage. If you are a resident of the state of California, Oregon, or Washington, each state requires that you carry a minimum amount of auto insurance. This coverage is to ensure that you have the minimum financial capability to handle the costs involved with either a) paying for damage to another’s property, or b) paying for any costs related to a 3rd party’s injuries.

The second reason you need auto insurance is for the protection of your own financial well-being. Auto insurance is there to protect you and your assets.

Types of auto insurance coverages

There are several types of auto insurance coverages to consider in choosing what is best for your individual circumstance. It’s good to be familiar with the following terms, although a licensed insurance agent will be able to explain them to you in an easy-to-understand fashion:

Liability Coverage

In the case of an accident where you are at fault, this covers the cost of repairing other’s property damage (PD) and bodily injury (BI) associated with the accident up to the insured amount. Each state has its own requirement for liability minimums. Of course, extra coverage can be obtained at an additional cost. Contact us to get the specific requirements for your state (for CA, OR, & WA residents).

Collision Coverage

While liability insurance covers the property of others, collision insurance covers your vehicle in the case of an accident up to the insured amount. In other words, your insurance carrier will pay for repairs or the current value of your automobile minus the deductible if you should be at fault in an accident. This type of coverage is optional.

Comprehensive Coverage

Like collision insurance, comprehensive coverage is optional. Comprehensive coverage will pay for damage to your vehicle from events other than car accidents such as, but not limited to, fire, vandalism, theft, or animal collision. This coverage is relatively inexpensive compared to collision coverage. Be sure to ask us if this coverage is right for you.

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage

When the other driver is at fault in an accident and they are uninsured or underinsured, they technically are responsible for all expenditures, but what happens if they don’t have the insurance or the resources to pay out of pocket for the damages? If faced with this scenario, you’ll be glad you included uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in your policy to help offset those unexpected losses.

Medical / Personal Injury Protection

No matter who is at fault in an accident, this will cover at least a portion of the medical costs for the you and your passengers up to the limit on your policy (note: in cases where the other driver is at fault, most medical costs will be subrogated). To determine if this coverage would be beneficial to you, contact us and we can discuss the coverages more in detail.

Loan / Lease Payoff Coverage

This is also known as GAP coverage/insurance. Essentially, this coverage helps to bridge the gap between the value of your automobile and the amount remaining on your loan/lease at the time of an incident that your vehicle is declared “totaled”. Depending upon the carrier you have for your insurance, the gap coverage may pay out differently. Give us a call if you have questions regarding this coverage.

Towing / Roadside Assistance Coverage

This coverage addresses towing incidences and/or roadside assistance such as gas outages, flat tires, or locksmith services.

Loss of Use Coverage

This is also known as rental coverage. If your vehicle is in need of repair after an accident or other covered loss, and you need a rental car during the time it is with the mechanic, Loss of Use coverage provides for the associated rental expenses.


Here are just a few (depending upon the carrier, there could be hundreds of variables):
  • age
  • gender
  • driving history
  • driving record
  • annual mileage
  • location
  • year/make/model of vehicle
  • anti-theft device


These are just a few of the common discounts available. You may qualify for more:
  • good driver
  • multiple policy
  • multiple driver/
    multiple car
  • good student/
    distant student
  • homeownership
  • education level
  • anti-theft device
  • married/domestic partner/single

Auto insurance coverage considerations

First and foremost, you’ll need to abide by state requirements for minimum insurance limits. Next you’ll need to determine how much can you afford to pay in case of an accident? In the case of liability insurance, how much you need depends on whether you have a lot of assets to protect. (You are personally responsible for any claims that exceed your coverage’s upper limit.) These are just a few things used to assess one’s insurance coverage needs.

As you can see, there are many factors that determine the best types of coverages for you. Each policy is unique to every individual’s specific needs. It’s wise to talk to a professional licensed insurance agent about your particular situation. We’ve been doing this for years and are honored that our clients rely on our knowledge and experience. Let us know how we can help you!

Contact Salmon Bay Insurance Agency

We welcome your email inquiry or call us at (888) 310-1027.