Virginia Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
The state of Virginia requires any driver going to purchase a license plate to carry two types of car insurance: liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Each of these insurance requirements also come with their own mandatory minimums every driver in the state of Virginia must possess. Those mandatory minimum insurance limits are as follows:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident
- $20,000 property damage per accident
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $20,000 for property damage per accident
Under Virginia law, every driver automatically must carry uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, but there is a chance you could specifically decline such coverage when purchasing your policy. On top of all of this, if you have an auto loan or lease your vehicle, your lender or leasing company could require you to carry additional coverage.
Where the state of Virginia is a bit unique in its handling of uninsured motorists. You do have the option to opt out of carrying car insurance so long as you pay the correlating fee. If you wish to carry insurance, you must meet the requirements outlined in this piece.
Virginia Liability Insurance
Liability insurance is required for the registered drivers to carry in the state of Virginia. This is not uncommon as many states mandated such coverage. Liability insurance will pay for bodily injuries and property damage you cause in an accident you have found to be at fault for.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Virginia
As previously mentioned, when you purchase car insurance in Virginia, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is automatically tacted on as a requirement. This type of insurance will cover your expenses following an accident when the at-fault driver does not carry proper liability insurance. Coverage limits for this insurance mimic those of liability insurance. It is possible to decline this coverage, but we advise you against doing so.
Diminished Value in Virginia
Virginia is one of the 15 states that is a diminished value state. Being a diminished value state means that you are able to try to recover diminished value from the at-fault driver’s insurance if you experience losses when selling your vehicle. Even if your car has been completely restored following a collision, the fact that it has been in an accident will decrease its overall value. Should you witness such loss during the selling process, you can file a diminished value claim with the other party’s insurer.
In the state of Virginia, you must meet the following requirements in order to file such a claim:
- You were not responsible for the accident
- You can provide substantial documentation of the accident, including photos and a history of repairs
- The statute of limitation on such a claim is 3 years
- Virginia does have uninsured motorist coverage for this kind of claim.
Car Insurance Limits in Virginia
A coverage limit is the maximum amount your insurer will pay to cover expenses following an accident. Minimum limits are set by nearly every state, usually revolving around liability insurance. Coverage limits can be adjusted when purchasing a policy but should never dip below the state-mandated minimum.
In the state of Virginia, for example, the liability insurance limits are expressed as 25/50/20. Each number represents a different aspect of liability insurance: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage, respectively. Further explanation as to what each cover can be found below:
- Bodily injury per person refers to the maximum amount your insurer will pay for a single person injured in an accident you caused.
- Bodily injury per accident is the amount that your insurance company will pay up to for all injuries that you cause in an accident.
- Property damage per accident is how much your insurance will pay for damage that you cause in an accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage has the same minimum insurance limits as liability coverage. What each cover is also similar to what has been outlined above, except that uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance pays for your expenses.
Is Virginia’s Mandatory Insurance Minimums Enough Coverage?
Virginia is unique in the way that they mandated drivers carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This offers a bit more protection than other states; however, the coverage limits are not adequate for either type of insurance. If you choose to only carry the state-mandated insurance amounts, you will be leaving you and your assets at great risk. It is recommended that you purchase a policy with increased coverage limits. It would also be worth it to look into additional insurance to add to your policy for even more protection.
Driving Without Proof of Insurance in Virginia
Virginia is a bit unique in that you technically do not have to carry car insurance by law. There is just a mandatory minimum if you choose to do so. If you want to drive uninsured, you will have to pay a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee to the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV). However, if you do not pay this fee and still drive without insurance, you could be facing the following penalties:
- A fine of $500
- License suspension
- Reinstatement fees
- SR22 certificate for 3 years
Additional Types of Car Insurance in Virginia
If you wish to carry a car insurance policy in the state of Virginia, there are many ways you can continue to improve your protection. Listed below are some common types of car insurance you can add to your policy.
- Collision: This coverage protects your car against damage it sustains in an accident with another vehicle.
- Comprehensive: This covers damage to your vehicle following a non-collision-related incident. Some perils covered by this policy include theft and extreme weather.
- Medical Payments: This coverage will pay for medical expenses you and your passenger(s) accumulate following a car accident.
- Roadside Assistance: If your car is experiencing some technical issues while on the road, roadside assistance can be there to resolve a variety of mechanical problems.
Car Insurance is Important For Any Virginia Driver
While you may not be required to carry car insurance in the state of Virginia, obtaining a policy can help you in the long run. Insurance will protect you and your assets following an unfortunate accident. Just make sure you increase coverage limits and add on any additional insurance you feel you would benefit from.
*This product may not be available in every state, please call an agent for more information.