Virginia Auto Insurance
If you are looking for Virginia Auto Insurance, it’s important that you understand the many laws that will affect your policy. As a state, Virginia has more laws than most covering auto insurance, which will both guarantee that you are protected as you drive but also give some necessary protections to the automobile insurance companies.
Minimum Virginia Auto Insurance CoverageAs a resident and car owner in Virginia, you are required to carry certain minimum levels of coverage. These include:
- Bodily Injury Liability Insurance, which coves injuries or deaths of other people in case of an accident. Minimum coverage is $25,000 for one person, and $50,000 for two or more people in a single accident.
- Property Damage Liability Insurance, which covers damage caused by your vehicle to someone else’s property. Minimum coverage is $20,000.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, ensuring that if you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, there is some recourse for medical expenses and property damage. Minimum coverage matches that required for bodily injury liability - $25,000/$50,000, and $20,000 for property damage.
If you choose not to purchase insurance, state law requires payment of a $500 Uninsured Motorist Fee (UMV) to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which allows you to drive an uninsured vehicle at your own risk. Penalties are severe for motorists who drive without either insurance or payment of the UMV fee, including license suspension, hundreds of dollars in fees, and significantly higher insurance premiums for the next three years.
Virginia residents are strongly encouraged to purchase more coverage than just the minimum levels because if you are in an accident that exceeds your insurance limits, you will be personally responsible for the difference. Paying a slight increase in premiums will ensure that your home and other personal property remains protected.
Recommended Virginia Auto Insurance CoverageVirginia drivers are also encouraged to include other types of coverage in their car insurance policies, such as:
- Collision Coverage – for repairs to your car if you collide with cars or other objects.
- Comprehensive Coverage – paying for damages like hail, vandalism, or theft.
- Medical Expense Benefits Coverage – covering medical or funeral expenses for you and your passengers in case of an accident.
- Rental Reimbursement Coverage – for rental vehicle expense if your auto cannot be used for more than 24 hours.
Other Important Details About Virginia Car InsuranceMany additional state laws will affect your insurance coverage and premiums. For example:
- Insurance companies cannot increase your premium amount for involvement in an accident that was not partially or wholly your fault.
- If someone uses your car with your permission and is at fault in an accident, they are covered by your policy.
- Virginia automobile insurance will cover driving in Canada, but not in Mexico. Be sure to get the necessary documents from the insurance company before heading north.
- Once a policy is in force for sixty days, it can only be cancelled for non-payment, license suspension or revocation, or changing state of legal residence. The auto insurance company must give 45 days notice including the termination date and the reason for cancellation.
- Contributory Negligence, which recognizes that persons may have contributed to his/her own injuries, like entering a crosswalk against the “Don’t Walk” sign, can reduce compensation from the insurance company.
- Physical damage resulting from acts of terrorism is covered by your policy.
- Drivers over 55 who successfully complete a DMV-approved motor vehicle accident prevention course automatically receive a reduction in premiums.
More InformationFor more information on auto insurance in Virginia, contact the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Bureau of Insurance, at 800-552-7945 or visit http://www.scc.virginia.gov/division/boi/.
The Virginia Competitive Rating LawState law allows auto insurance companies to charge different prices for auto insurance, usually based on their previous experience in each zip code. As a result, it is extremely important to compare prices from multiple companies.
Fortunately you can instantly see a comprehensive list of companies offering insurance in your area, just by entering your zip code in the box below. Choose three or four that sounds best to you, then shop and compare for the best price. Since shopping for Virginia auto insurance is so easy, what are you waiting for?