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Washington D.C. Insurance

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Vehicle owners in Washington D.C. must obtain and maintain auto insurance coverage to drive legally on public roads. The Washington D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) will revoke vehicle registrations and the driving privileges of motorists caught illegally driving without mandated auto insurance coverage.

Basic Auto Insurance

Washington D.C. is a no-fault auto insurance district. That means the respective auto insurance policies of two or more vehicles involved in a collision will cover the costs of the damages and injuries up to policy limits without assigning blame. The idea is to prevent the need for potentially costly legal cases over who is at fault and liable for damages and injuries.

The District’s no-fault auto insurance law requires motorists to carry at least:

  • $10,000 in property damage liability coverage.
  • $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • $5,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage.

The liability coverages do not provide protection for the insured vehicle or its owner. Instead, they cover the costs of property damage and injuries to others as a result of an accident. The vehicle owner would need to add comprehensive and collision coverage to insure the vehicle and its owner.

The uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage pays up to policy limits if a hit-and-run accident occurs or the other vehicle does not have the mandated insurance coverage or lacks enough insurance protection to cover the costs of damages or injuries.

Required Insurance Documents

All motorists musts carry proof of insurance for the vehicles they drive on public roads in the District of Columbia. The proof of insurance shows the make, model and model year of the insured vehicle, its VIN number and the name and address of the owner.

The insurance documents also indicate the types of insurance coverages and policy limits as well as any named insured drivers or excluded drivers on the insurance policy. The insurance documents affirm the vehicle is lawfully insured and are required when requested during a traffic stop or when renewing the registration each year.

Your Insurance Card

Auto insurers provide a convenient insurance card that can fit inside a wallet or purse billfold. The proof of insurance provides the basic insurance information for the vehicle being driven on public roads. It is a very convenient way to prove the vehicle is lawfully insured and legal for operation on public roads.

Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud occurs whenever lying or intentionally omitting information that led up to an auto accident or other insured event. It also happens when lying about the extent of property damage or bodily injuries suffered or providing falsified records to obtain an insurance payout. Insurance fraud is a crime that can rise to the level of a felony and is punishable by fines and imprisonment.

How to Report Insurance Fraud

The Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) accepts and investigates complaints of insurance fraud. The department specifically handles fraud related to home, auto, health, life dental and commercial insurance. It accepts reports of insurance via email at disbcomplaints@dc.gov. Specific cases of flood insurance fraud can be reported via email at floodcomplaints@dc.gov. The DISB also accepts complaints via mail.

Last Verified:
Dec 28, 2022