Virginia Auto Insurance Guide
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From Norfolk to Roanoke, Virginia Beach to Charlottesville, Virginia has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from downtown Richmond to historic sites from Colonial times, the Revolutionary War and Civil War, into the Shenandoah Valley and along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. They’re used by over half a million licensed drivers, who each average over 10,000 miles a year. Along the way, they’re involved in thousands of traffic accidents, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Old Dominion State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Virginia’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Virginia state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines. Virginia has a tort system, which means that if you are found to be at fault in a car accident, you can be sued for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering. However, Virginia also allows you to purchase personal injury protection.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Virginia drivers is:
Virginia requires you to carry minimum liability insurance or proof of financial responsibility and provide proof if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Failure to do so can carry severe penalties. Your driver’s license can be suspended and you will have to pay a $500 statutory fee and a $30 reinstatement fee.
Your insurance company must provide the Virginia DMV with electronic updates when they write a new policy for a vehicle registered in Virginia and when a policy is canceled.
Virginia law also required that your insurance company offer you a reduced premium if you are 55 or older and have successfully completed an approved accident prevention course. Your premium reduction remains in effect for 3 years thereafter.
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Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the Virginia Bureau of Insurance. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
Virginia also allows insurers to consider your credit rating to determine your premium.
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Virginia. The following laws have recently been enacted in Virginia and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Insurance Information Institute
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