Virginia may be one of the original 13 states, but that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to auto insurance. As a driver in the state you need to get Virgina car insurance quotes just like everyone else. Fortunately, buying insurance today is a little easier than it was 200 years ago. Now you can get your insurance quotes online.
To get yours today, just use the zip code form above. Follow the onscreen instructions and you’ll be saving money in no time. On the other hand, you can keep reading below to learn more about insurance in Virginia. Find out how much coverage you are required by law to buy, other important insurance laws and ways to save money on your insurance premiums.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements In Virginia
If you choose to buy insurance in Virginia, you have to buy enough of the right types. The state does have an insurance opt-out (see law section below), but all drivers should still purchase auto insurance. All insured drivers must buy at least the mandatory minimum required amounts of liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Your requirements are as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury liability and bodily injury uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person;
- $50,000 for bodily injury liability and bodily injury uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident;
- $20,000 for property damage liability and property damage uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident.
You should be aware that the property damage uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage portion of your policy is subject to a $200 deductible. Also, you should be aware that the insurance minimums may not be enough to fully protect your financial assets in a crash, if you are found to be at fault. The cost arising from crashes and accidents have been steadily rising in recent years. And if you do not have enough liability coverage, you may have to sell some assets (including your home) to pay for an accident, if you’re at fault.
You might also want to consider additional types of insurance, on top of higher liability limits. The Bureau of Insurance has three categories of additional insurance coverage you should consider. They are: Damage To Your Car (collision and comprehensive coverage), Medical Expenses and Loss of Income, and Transportation Expenses. Make sure you ask your insurance agent and/or insurance company about all your options before you actually purchase an insurance policy.
Virginia State Auto Insurance Laws
As mentioned in the previous section, one law that sets Virginia apart from almost all other states, is that you do have the legal option to pay the Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee, if you choose not to buy insurance. Opting not to buy insurance is not available to everyone and carries some very important implications.
The fee itself is $500 per year. This fee does not offer any financial protection whatsoever. You are still personally liable for all costs arising from an accident, which you will have to pay out of pocket if you do not have insurance coverage. You should also be aware, that if you are a good driver you can most likely get basic liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for around what you’d pay for the uninsured motor vehicle fee. Plus, you would then have the benefit of some insurance protection.
You can find out more about the program from the DMV Insurance Requirements page. In addition, to the program it also touches on penalties for not having proper insurance and/or demonstrating that you have paid your Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee and the Insurance Verification Program.
There is another particular quirk in Virginia’s auto insurance system. Like the majority of states in the US, it operates under the tort legal system that assigns fault in accidents. However unlike most tort states, Virgina’s law is based on contributory negligence rather than comparative negligence. For practical purposes this means either a drive is found 100% a fault in an accident, or fault is shared in an accident. If fault is shared, neither party collects anything from the other. If one driver is found fully at fault they are responsible for all costs. These will be paid by their insurer up to their policy limits, if they have insurance.
Therefore as you can see, Virginia has it’s own unique insurance laws. We have barely scratched the surface when it comes to everything you need to know. The following resources provide information that may be helpful. First, you can read the full text of all insurance laws from the Code of Virginia online. Second, you should known your auto insurance rights. Third, you can check the Administration of Insurance Regulation in Virginia for more on specific laws.
Beyond these legal resources, you may also wish to check the DMV’s Consumer Insurance Information page, along with the Bureau of Insurance’s Frequently Asked Questions page. Finally, none of the information presented here is a substitute for the advice of a licensed insurance agent and/or company. Only they are allowed by law to give proper advice for your personal insurance needs.
Virginia Car Insurance Companies
If you do a company lookup for licensed car insurance companies in Virgina, you’ll be presented with a whole range of choices. Some big, some small; some local, some national; Some good, some bad; some that are cheap and others that are expensive.
A good first step to finding an insurer is to get free auto insurance quotes. You can get them right here, from the top or bottom of this page. You may also wish to visit the websites of the leading insurance companies. The following are all members of the Insurance Information Institute.
Kemper Corporation (formerly Unitrin)
You can look into all of these companies by having a look at the Bureau of Insurance’s page on companies that have had enforcement actions taken against them. If you have a problem with your insurance company, it might be worthwhile getting in contact with the Bureau and finding out if filing a complaint is right for you.
Average Virginia Auto Insurance Rates
While many people like to know how their auto insurance rates stack up to those of their friends and neighbors, it doesn’t really help you to know what they pay. Car insurance rates are determined by so many different factors. Any average is just a crude approximation of what a hypothetical driver pays for insurance. You’re far better off looking at sample premium rate tables for drivers who most closely approximate you, along with shopping tips for those looking to buy auto insurance.
These two resources will help you far more than knowing what the average amount people pay for coverage. Still, if you’d like to know the average Virginia car insurance rate, we can tell you. One thing we can say for sure, is that Virgina is more affordable than average. According to the Insurance Information Institute and CarInsurance.com, average premium rates in Virginia are somewhere between $663 to $1,105 per year. Which is anywhere from $126-$341 per year less than than the national average.
Therefore, a ‘typical’ driver will on average get a good deal in Virginia. That doesn’t mean you will though. Make sure you get at least a few Virginia auto insurance quotes online before deciding on which company and policy you’re going to go with.
Virginia Car Accident Statistics
Unlike most other southern states, Virgina is actually safer than average to drive in. According to data from the Virginia DMV and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Virginia had 116,386 traffic crashes that resulted in 61,418 people injured and 740 people killed in 2010.
These numbers are still very high, but have been steadily decreasing over the past few years. For example, as recently as 2005 there were 947 traffic fatalities. In comparison to other states they are also slightly lower. In 2009, Virginia had a fatality rate of 0.94 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, which was about 20% lower than the US average.
Virginia’s accidents are fairly widely dispersed across the entire state. The 10 worst counties still only contain 30% of all traffic fatalities in the state. Nevertheless, the NHTSA reports that 4 counties routinely record over 25 fatalities each per year. They are: Fairfax County, Henrico County, Virginia Beach City and Virginia Beach City.
For more about the state’s road safety initiatives or how you can become a better driver, have a look at the Virginia DMVs Highway Safety pages.
Virginia Car Insurance Quotes – Picking The Right One
How can you pick the right quote from the numerous instant Virginia car insurance quotes that you can find over the Internet?
Keep in mind that not all Virginia auto insurance policies are suitable for you. When looking for a Virginia auto insurance quote, you need to know that no two car insurance policies are exactly the same. Each driver has their own driving history, drives a different car and has a different background. Similarly, each insurance company has it’s own underwriting rules, preferred customer type and ability to offer discounts.
This is important since no two drivers will get the exact same quote for the same coverage from the same company. Cheap insurance does not always mean that you will get the most for your money. The reputation of a car insurance company relies on how good they are when it comes to claim settlements, financial stability, etc. So try to start from there. Take into consideration the reputation and the company’s trustworthiness by looking at their customer service history.
Try to look for a Virginia car insurance quote that gives you lower premium rates based on the benefits that you need, not just the minimums required by law. In some cases, you can even try to customize their packages and make your own personalized insurance policy that caters to the specific needs of you and your car.
In the end, this all boils down to a person’s ability to do research online when getting a Virginia car insurance quote. There are a lot of Virginia car insurance quotes online that you can get, as well as many discounts that you ask for. Do keep in mind that when getting quotes from car insurance companies, that you are in control. You owe them nothing until you decide to buy.
If they push you to sign something immediately, do not hesitate to say no. It is their job to reel any customer in as quickly as they can. But, it is your job to get the best deal you can. Get started now with some free quotes:
Insurance Guides To Virginia’s Cities
Auto Insurance Consumer’s Guide – Prepared by Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission Bureau of Insurance.