Virginia Car Insurance law demands that all drivers pay for any injury they cause or for any damages they cause following a car accident. All these financial responsibilities can be satisfied by either:

  • Paying Virginia department of Motor Vehicles to drive uninsured OR
  • Purchase car insurance.

Read and learn more about Virginia car insurance laws, rates, programs and discounts.

Car Insurance Requirements

If you decide to purchase auto insurance for your financial responsibility, then you need to buy Virginia liability car insurance so as to cover for the costs of injuries and damage to property you caused in a car accident. The following are the minimums to your liability coverage:

  • $50,000 for total injuries per accident
  • $25,000 for injuries per person per accident
  • $20,000 for property damage per accident.

Also, you are required to have underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage so as to help you pay for property damage or injuries following an accident caused by either:

  • A driver without enough insurance coverage to pay for property damage or your injuries
  • An uninsured driver.

Your underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage is required to match the minimums for liability car insurance:

  • $50,000 for total injuries per accident
  • $25,000 for injuries, per person per accident
  • $20,000 for property damage per accident.

Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee

You must certify whether you have Virginia car insurance so as to register your car. If you are unable or unwilling to get insurance at the time, you need to pay a fee of $500 to the Virginia DMV (registration fee is not included here). This fee of $500 will fulfill your financial responsibility and will allow you to drive uninsured for a period of 12 months. Note that by paying the VA uninsured motor vehicle fee will not mean an automatic protection to your financial responsibilities if you cause an accident. If you cause a car accident, you’ll have to pay for all injuries and damages for which you’re responsible.

Optional Car Insurance Coverage

Ask about the following types of optional coverage when shopping for and comparing car insurance quotes:

  • Collision – To pay for damages to your car following a traffic accident
  • Medical expenses – To pay for your medical bills following an accident that you caused
  • Comprehensive – To cover non-accident related incidents, like vandalism.

Vehicle Loans and Force-Placed Insurance

Contrary to banks and finance companies that have financed the purchase of your car, VA law does not require you to purchase comprehensive/collision coverage. If you do not purchase comprehensive and collision coverages, your car might be placed under force-placed insurance by your lender and charge you for the premium. The Force-placed insurance is there to protect the lender (but not you); it’ll therefore not satisfy your responsibility mandated by the state.

VA Auto Insurance Violation Penalties

The VA DMV can electronically track your car insurance status with the help of reporting from Virginia car insurance companies. You’ll face suspension of all of the following if you’re found driving without insurance and if you haven’t paid uninsured driver fee:

  • License plates
  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration.

In order to reinstate all of the above, you need to:

  • Pay a fine of $500
  • Maintain and file a proof of insurance certification (SR-22) for 3 years
  • Pay a reinstatement fee for driver’s license (Fines range from $145 – $220).

Insurance Penalties: SR-22 and FR-44

After you’re convicted of certain crimes and traffic violations, you might be needed to take extra steps to certify that you’re compliant with laws of VA financial responsibility. You’ll have to do so by filing either SR-22 or FR-44 certificate via your car insurance carrier. If subject to this requirement, it’s a must that you’ll have to purchase car insurance (this means that you cannot pay a fee for uninsured motor vehicle in lieu of holding policy).

SR-22

SR-22 certifications serve as proof that you are compliant with Virginia’s liability minimum requirements. You may be required to file an SR-22 after:

  • Falsifying your Driver’s license, Insurance information and Car registration
  • A conviction of involuntary or voluntary manslaughter following a car accident
  • A hit-and-run accident
  • A felony conviction including a traffic law
  • Driving without having paid fee for uninsured motor vehicle.

FR-44

You will be required to file an FR-44 certification after a DUI conviction. You may also be required to file one after:

  • Driving with a forfeited license as a result of a conviction
  • Maiming under the influence.

With the FR-44, you’ll be required to purchase the liability car insurance with increased limits:

  • $100,000 for total injuries per accident
  • $50,000 for injuries per person, per accident
  • $40,000 for property damage.

In order to fill an SR-22 or FR-44 you’ll be required to pay for higher rates. You can only avoid these rate hikes by driving in a safe manner and obeying the law.

Determining Your Car Insurance Premium

There are several factors that determine your premium rates, and these factors include:

  • The make, model, and year of your car
  • The deductibles
  • Your driving record
  • Your age
  • Your credit score.

Car Insurance Discounts

Most of the Virginia auto insurance companies offer the following discounts:

  • Homeowner’s discount
  • Good student discount
  • Safety features (airbags) discount
  • Anti-theft discount
  • Good driver discount
  • Multi-car discount.

Most Stolen Cars in Virginia

You’ll have to pay more car insurance fee if you own a car mostly targeted for theft. According to www.nicb.org, the following cars were Virginia’s most stolen ones in 2013:

  1. Toyota Corolla
  2. Dodge Caravan
  3. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
  4. Honda Accord
  5. Nissan Altima
  6. Toyota Camry
  7. Honda Civic
  8. Ford Pickup (Full Size)
  9. Ford Explorer
  10. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.