UPDATED: JANUARY 10, 2023 | 3 MIN READ
Drivers in Virginia need, at the very least, the minimum insurance coverage requirements to remain legal on the road. When driving your vehicle, you’ll need to carry proof of insurance, registration, and driver’s license, just in case law enforcement pulls you over or you’re involved in an accident. Below we’ll review Virginia’s car insurance laws and requirements and how you can be sure you’re well protected on the road.
Virginia car insurance minimum requirements
To remain legal while on the roads of Virginia, you’ll need to carry, at a minimum, a certain amount of liability coverage. For liability coverage, you’ll need at least $30,000 in bodily injury for each person, $20,000 in property damage coverage per car accident, and $60,000 in bodily injury coverage per car accident. For uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage, you’ll need to carry at least $25,000 in bodily injury, $20,000 in property damage coverage per car accident, and $50,000 in bodily injury for each accident.
Liability coverage in Virginia
Virginia requires a minimum liability limit for car insurance coverage. Liability insurance covers property damage and bodily injury expenses if you’re involved in a vehicle accident and found to be at fault. This liability coverage pays for the other party’s injuries and property damage, not yours.
So, if you’re at fault and only carry the minimum insurance requirements, you’ll have to fork out the costs of your medical and car repair expenses entirely out-of-pocket. If this is a financial responsibility you don’t wish to carry the burden of, you may want to consider a more comprehensive insurance policy.
State-mandated auto insurance limits
State-mandated auto insurance limits are the maximum coverage your car insurance company pays when a claim is filed. Each state has different coverage limits and typically covers bodily injury per car accident, bodily injury per person, and property damage coverage. Virginia has its own state-mandated car insurance limits as well.
The limits in Virginia are as follows:
- $20,000 for property damage coverage per car accident.
- $30,000 for bodily injury coverage per person.
- $60,000 for bodily injury coverage per accident (if more than one person is injured in an accident).
The uninsured/underinsured limits are as follows:
- $20,000 in property damage coverage per car accident if an uninsured/underinsured driver damages your car.
- $25,000 for bodily injury coverage per person for an individual injured in your vehicle is hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver.
- $50,000 for bodily injury coverage for each accident. This will cover injuries if more than one person is injured when hit by an underinsured/uninsured motorist.
Are Virginia’s minimum requirements providing enough coverage?
While Virginia is pretty similar to other states regarding minimum insurance requirements, it does differ slightly. Virginia offers drivers the opportunity to pay $500 in uninsured motor vehicle (UMV) fees. This fee allows drivers in Virginia to drive without insurance for a certain period.
Although this may seem helpful for the time being, it’s not the best idea to go this route. Accidents can occur at any point in time without warning. Virginia’s minimum liability coverage ensures that, at the very least, you’ll help cover the costs to other drivers if you cause a car accident. Virginia doesn’t require you to carry insurance on your vehicle, so keep in mind that if you’re the cause of an accident and only have liability coverage, you’ll be out of luck with any damage to your car.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Virginia
It’s imperative, no matter where you reside, to make sure you have some car insurance coverage. Should you end up getting in an accident, getting a traffic violation without insurance, or having paid the UMV fee, you could face several penalties that will cost you a lot of money, time, and headaches. Those penalties include the following:
- Your vehicle’s registration and driver’s license could be suspended.
- You could receive a $500 non-compliance fee.
- You may need to carry an SR-22 certificate for up to three years.
- You’ll need to pay a $145 reinstatement fee.
Virginia’s optional car insurance coverage
As we learned above, Virginia requires minimum liability and uninsured/underinsured car insurance coverage. But just because that’s the minimum recommended requirement doesn’t mean you can’t buy additional coverage to your policy to protect yourself better. Some of the most common other coverages available include:
- Gap Coverage: This is known as lease/vehicle loan payoff coverage. This insurance helps pay the difference between what you owe for your car loan and the car’s value.
- Comprehensive Coverage: This coverage covers the expense of damages caused to your car when not in a collision. Theft, vandalism, and natural disasters are perfect examples of situations where comp coverage will step in.
- Collision Coverage: This helps cover collision-related damages with another car, trees, buildings, etc.
- Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage: If your car is not drivable for any reason, rental car reimbursement will cover the costs of a rental car.
- Medical Payment Coverage: This type of insurance helps pay any medical expenses incurred if you’re involved in a car accident.
- Roadside Assistance Coverage: This coverage helps cover any issues you may have while driving on the road, like a flat tire, towing services, or replacing a dead battery.
Why it’s important to follow Virginia car insurance laws and requirements
Following your state’s laws are always essential. When you fail to carry the proper Insurance requirements, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Not only do you risk the onslaught of expenses that could fly towards you in the event of a traffic violation or auto accident, but you also risk legal implications such as the potential of your license and registration being suspended or needing to carry SR-22 insurance.
How much does the minimum car insurance cost in Virginia?
When shopping for car insurance, you must know that your insurance rates are based on various factors. Insurance claims history, driving record, marital status, and age significantly determine your insurance costs.
USAA currently offers the most affordable minimum required car insurance. USAA costs $28 per month for an individual driver, which is significantly less than the average policy in Virginia, which is typically close to $50 per month.
Cheapest minimum liability car insurance in Virginia
Minimum car insurance requirement in Virginia when leasing a car
When you need to lease a car, it’s essential to know what’s required of you. In most cases, vehicle leasing companies tend to require full insurance coverage. Full coverage encompasses comprehensive and collision coverage.
Leasing companies also tend to require a much higher liability limit than your state. Companies tend to require at least $100k in bodily injury coverage per person, $300k in bodily injury coverage per accident, and $50k in property damage coverage.
Will my car insurance follow my car or me in Virginia?
Car insurance will follow your vehicle in Virginia. So, if you let someone else use your vehicle and they’re involved in an accident, the insurance will still cover any damages incurred, even though you weren’t driving. This includes liability insurance, comprehensive and collision insurance, and uninsured/underinsured coverage.
Do you need car insurance in Virginia?
Virginia differs from most other states when it comes to car insurance requirements. While it’s suggested that you carry car insurance, it’s not necessary. However, if you choose not to have insurance, you’ll need to pay a UMV fee of $500, and if you’re in an accident, you’ll need to pay all accident-related costs out-of-pocket.
Does Virginia have cheaper car insurance?
Virginia’s car insurance costs are pretty similar to other states within the country. It ranks as the 26th most affordable state for liability coverage and the 10th most affordable state for full comprehensive and collision coverage.
Does Virginia require PIP insurance coverage?
Virginia’s version of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is known as MedPay. Virginia doesn’t require you to carry this coverage, that’s used to pay for medical bills related to injuries sustained in a car accident where you’re not at fault.
Do I need insurance before I register my car in Virginia?
To register your vehicle in Virginia, you’ll need to ensure you have adequate car insurance first. You’ll also need to provide your vehicle bill of sale, VIN inspection documents, and an odometer disclosure form.
Get coverage that meets Virginia’s car insurance requirements
Buying affordable car insurance in Virginia is easier than you probably would think. We’re here when you’re ready to find the best insurance policy match for you. Get multiple quotes in minutes by calling or completing our online form.