Virginia Car Insurance
Drivers in Virginia are required to carry vehicle liability insurance or pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee. Minimum liability insurance requirements in Virginia are 25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $20,000 minimum coverage for property damage. Business owners may be self–insured or have surety bonds.
If a Virginia driver does not wish to purchase auto insurance, they must pay an annual $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee along with their vehicle registration to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The fee does not provide any insurance; it only allows an uninsured person to drive legally in Virginia at their own risk.
Car Insurance Helps Protect Your Assets
Despite the uninsured motor vehicle fee option, Virginia drivers are well advised to purchase auto insurance. Each day, hundreds of Virginia drivers are involved in car accidents. Without insurance, a driver can be financially responsible for all damages caused in an accident. Some auto accidents involve damages amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Driving without auto insurance is fiscally irresponsible and can lead to financial ruin.
Furthermore, Virginia drivers who drive without insurance or having paid the uninsured motor vehicle fee will have their driving and vehicle registration privileges suspended. To have their driving privileges reinstated, they must also pay a $500 statutory fee, file an SR–22 certificate wherein they have to purchase expensive SR–22 auto insurance for a three year period, and pay a reinstatement fee. Virginia drivers should always know when their auto insurance policy expires to avoid a coverage lapse.
In lieu of paying the uninsured motor vehicle fee, Virginia drivers must also purchase Uninsured Motorist (“UIM”) coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $20,000 minimum coverage for property damage. With UIM coverage, a driver is protected up to the UIM limits in the event the other at fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance for the damages caused in an accident. It is wise to purchase UIM coverage as many drivers do not have insurance or have only minimum limits policies.
Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) is an optional insurance coverage that pays for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of household services and funeral expenses following an accident, regardless of who is at fault. PIP coverage is the primary form of medical insurance for accident related bills. Once the PIP limits are exhausted, a driver may be able to use their health insurance coverage to pay for additional medical bills.
Virginia drivers can purchase PIP for varying limit amounts. PIP is not fault, paying for damages to the driver and their passengers regardless of who is at fault for the car accident.
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
Other important optional coverage types available to Virginia drivers include Collision and Comprehensive coverage. Collision pays for vehicle repairs or vehicle replacement value following a collision regardless of fault. Comprehensive coverage pays for all vehicle repair damage or replacement value for incidents other than a collision such as the car being stolen or a tree falling on a car.
There are minimum deductible limits for collision and comprehensive, but Virginia drivers can also raise their deductible amounts to lower their premiums. These types of coverage can make a big difference in the event you are in an accident.
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