What car insurance is required in Virginia?
If you are driving a car that is registered in Virginia, you have two options: either purchase insurance, or pay the Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee.
If you elect to purchase insurance, minimum insurance requirements are as follows:
- Bodily injury/death of one person: $25,000
- Bodily injury/death of two or more persons: $50,000
- Property damage: $20,000
Bodily injury coverage means that, in the event of an accident, you are not obligated to pay the injured party’s medical bills, up to the amount insured for.
Property damage covers damage done to the other vehicle and to other personal property, like a phone or laptop.
Let’s look at an example:
Mike rear ends another vehicle, which is driven by John. John injured his back and neck. To reach maximum medical improvement, he will have four visits to his doctor, and twenty physical therapy sessions. Medical bills amount to $10,000. John’s car costs $5,000 to repair. For pain and suffering, John will be awarded another $10,000. Mike’s insurance is sufficient to cover all costs.
However, this is not always the case. If John’s medical bills amounted to $30,000, Mike, not Mike’s insurance company, would likely be liable for the excess damages.
The second option for a Virginia driver is to pay the $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee. This fee is paid to the DMV and does not provide insurance; it merely allows the driver to operate an uninsured vehicle at his or her own risk.
If you fail to either purchase insurance or pay the UMV Fee, driving and registration privileges will be suspended. To be reinstated, you must pay a $600 noncompliance fee, file a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate with the DMV for three years, and sometimes pay a reinstatement fee.
Reasons to Purchase Car Insurance
Well, accidents happen. In 2019 in Virginia, there were 128,000 accidents – an average of 350 every day. Insurance is important because it removes financial liability. It pays for injuries and damage to your car and other cars. It pays you if you cause damage to your own car, or if your car is stolen.
Factors that Influence Monthly Cost
Several factors influence your premium. They include driving records, your age and type of vehicle.
To lower your premium, avoid getting tickets or getting accidents, don’t drive a high performance vehicle, and maintain good credit. You can also consider a higher deductible.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney. The attorneys at Cohen & Cohen have served the Commonwealth of Virginia for more than twenty years. Contact us today at (202) 955-4529 for a free, zero obligation case evaluation.