Virginia Car Insurance
You may be responsible for the losses of others if involved in an auto accident. You may also be required to pay for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses involved, amounting to a substantial sum of money. Auto liability pays for these expenses and your defense in the event of a claim or lawsuit brought against you. Auto insurance in Virginia requires a policy that contains bodily injury and property damage liability, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Bodily injury and property damage liability covers you in the case that you are responsible for the injury or death of others, or the damage to the property of others involved in an auto accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance covers your bodily injury and property damage if you are in an accident caused by an uninsured, underinsured, or a hit-and-run driver.
An auto insurance company may offer further coverage to protect against financial loss in an auto accident, including collision damage and comprehensive coverage policies to pay for your vehicle’s repairs or replacement in listed perils. But Virginia’s financial responsibility law requires you to pay for losses resulting from automobiles you own or operate, and to certify liability insurance at or above the minimum limits:
Required Coverages in Virginia:
- Bodily Injury Liability Per Person: $25,000
- Bodily Injury Liability Per Accident: $50,000
- Property Damage Liability: $20,000
Virginia also requires drivers to pay an Uninsured Motorist Vehicle (UMV) Fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The fee allows a policy holder to drive an uninsured vehicle at the policy holder’s own risk, and does not provide any insurance. If caught driving without proof of insurance, you may face a fine or the suspension/revocation of your license or registration. If you cannot obtain insurance through the voluntary market, you may apply to the Virginia Automobile Insurance Plan for aid in obtaining a policy.
Determining Your Rate in Virginia
Virginia law ensures that companies will charge different prices for auto insurance through a competitive rating law. Virginia prohibits insurance companies from choosing not to underwrite a premium based solely on age, sex, residence, race, color, creed, nationality, ancestry, marital status, or lawful occupation. Driving history, including traffic accidents or violations, may affect the price of auto insurance. An auto insurance company may also take into account your credit history to help underwrite as an indicator of your likelihood to file a claim. Since companies are regulated through a competitive rating law, it’s important to shop around for an auto insurance company for the best coverage at the lowest price. Any information you provide to the company should remain consistent to ensure a fair comparison. The Insurance Information Institute (III) that the average expenditure for car insurance in Virginia was $667 in 2009.