Do you need car insurance in Virginia? The Commonwealth of Virginia is one of the few U.S. states that does not require motorists to carry auto liability insurance.
If you choose not to purchase car insurance, Virginia car insurance laws state you must pay an extra fee each year, along with your vehicle registration.
And payment of this hefty fee doesn’t provide you with any insurance coverage. In other words, you will still be personally liable if involved in an accident.
Although you can legally drive without car insurance in Virginia, you face a significant risk of legal and financial liability should you cause a car accident.
If you get hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, the bigger concern will be whether the at-fault party has car insurance.
You could recover compensation for your injuries, lost income, pain and suffering, and more through an insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
An experienced Virginia car accident lawyer from River Run Law can help you get the justice you deserve and maximize your financial compensation.
DO YOU HAVE TO COMPLY WITH VIRGINIA’S CAR INSURANCE LAWS?
Virginia car insurance laws dictate that drivers must carry proof of insurance in their vehicle at all times.
Before you can purchase license plates or register the vehicle, you must show proof that the vehicle meets the auto insurance Virginia requirements.
DOES VIRGINIA REQUIRE CAR INSURANCE?
In Virginia, you must either carry auto liability insurance according to the Commonwealth’s minimum coverage requirements, or you must pay a fee to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
This requirement applies to all registered vehicles. You can legally drive without insurance in the state, provided you pay the required uninsured motor vehicle fee to avoid being fined.
WHAT CAR INSURANCE IS REQUIRED IN VIRGINIA?
Minimum car insurance in Virginia requirements are as follows:
- Bodily injury/death (per person) of $25,000;
- Bodily injury/death (two or more people) of $50,000; and
- Property damage of $20,000.
Under the Virginia car insurance laws, auto policies must also include coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists, with limits that equal the policy’s limits of liability. However, the law provides you with the right to refuse this coverage.
Based on the Commonwealth’s lax requirements for auto insurance, however, carrying uninsured motorist coverage makes good sense.
If you elect to forgo car insurance coverage, you must pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee to the DMV when registering your vehicle.
“Virginia drivers are required to purchase a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage for all registered vehicles.
You can legally drive without insurance in Virginia, but you have to pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee to avoid a penalty.”
WHAT IS THE VIRGINIA UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE FEE?
If you register a vehicle but don’t currently have auto insurance, the DMV imposes an Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee of $500.
This fee is assessed in addition to the registration fees. Paying this fee serves one purpose: It allows you to register a vehicle without having insurance coverage.
This fee expires with your registration each year and must be paid upon renewal to keep your registration valid.
If you cause an accident while driving without insurance, you are personally liable for any damage that occurs as a result. You will also face penalties from the DMV.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T HAVE CAR INSURANCE IN VIRGINIA?
If you register a vehicle and state that you have insurance when you actually don’t, the DMV will assess fines and fees of approximately $750.
You will also face the suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration privileges.
The DMV will also require you to keep insurance coverage in force continuously for three years from the date of your violation.
You must file the SR-22 Proof of Insurance and Financial Liability form during that period to prove valid coverage.
If you cause or contribute to a motor vehicle collision while driving without insurance in Virginia, you are personally liable for any damages that result.
The victims can sue you for damages, and if they prevail, you could face having a judgment entered against you.
This judgment can significantly affect your credit score and lead to liens, wage garnishments, and bank levies.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE COST OF CAR INSURANCE IN VIRGINIA
When it comes to car insurance Virginia requirements, many people opt to buy the bare minimum. Even though Virginia falls below the national average for insurance rates, it’s still expensive for many people.
According to Money Geek, $790 is the average annual Virginia insurance cost. This amount is much lower than the national average of $1,424.
This average helps Virginia rank as the 7th cheapest state for drivers purchasing auto insurance.
However, potential rates can change considerably depending on your driving record, age, and how much coverage you plan to buy.
Here are some examples of other Virginia car insurance rates:
- Drivers who purchase minimum coverage: $433;
- When you add a young driver to the policy: $2,202;
- Drivers who have a violation on their record: $977; and
- Drivers with bad credit: $1,263.
Drivers who have previous traffic violations or are young will typically pay the most for insurance.
Don’t be shocked if you cannot find coverage for the average amount. Depending on what study you look at, the average cost differs.
U.S. News and World Report says the average is higher at $1,066 annually.
CONTACT OUR VIRGINIA CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS TODAY
If you suffered injuries in a Virginia car accident, reach out to the experienced Virginia auto accident attorneys of River Run Law as quickly as possible.
We can help you navigate the complexities of personal injury claims and lawsuits.
We fight to protect your legal rights and get you every dollar possible for your injuries and other damages.