When it comes to car insurance, Virginia is a bit unique. Virginia is one of only two states (along with New Hampshire) that do not require drivers to get car insurance. But there’s a catch—if you decide to forgo car insurance in Virginia, you’ll have to pay a DMV fee of $500. 

That said, it’s still probably a good idea to get car insurance, even if it isn’t a requirement for Virginia drivers. After all, getting into an accident can have severe financial consequences for drivers who aren’t insured. And if you shop smart, you might even be able to find liability insurance that’s less than the $500 DMV fee. 

To find those affordable car insurance rates, be sure to compare quotes with Insurify. Just answer a few questions about your vehicle and driver history, and you can quickly access 10+ free Virginia car insurance rates from a wide range of carriers. 

 

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Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Virginia

As we discussed, Virginia drivers will have to pay a $500 fee if they don’t buy car insurance. If you do buy a car insurance policy, you must be sure to meet the state’s minimum car insurance requirements. To drive legally with car insurance in Virginia, you must buy $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage. Additionally, you need to buy $20,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage

So if you are at fault in a car accident that injures a person, your insurance will cover medical care up to $25,000 per person injured or $50,000 for the injuries involved in the accident as a whole. And if you cause property damage as a result of your accident, your insurance policy will cover the cost of repairs for the other driver’s vehicle or property up to $20,000. 

In a state where auto insurance isn’t required, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is a bit more important. That’s why the state also sets uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage minimums at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This comes in handy if you’re in an accident where the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance. Additionally, a minimum of $20,000 per accident in uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage is set in case an underinsured or uninsured driver causes damage to your car or property. 

Is state minimum car insurance enough in Virginia?

According to a study by the Insurance Information Institute, the average bodily injury liability claim for 2019 was $18,417. While this cost is lower than Virginia’s minimum personal injury protection, it shows that it’s not uncommon for the costs associated with an accident to approach $20,000. That’s why it’s probably a good idea to have coverage limits that comfortably exceed these insurance minimums.

Many car insurance companies offer full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive car insurance. No matter who caused an accident, collision coverage will pay for the repairs to your vehicle after you pay your deductible. Then, comprehensive coverage has your back in the event of non-collision events like theft or vandalism.

Say, for instance, you rear-end another vehicle while. If you don’t have collision coverage in this situation, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for any repairs to your car. The same can be said if you hit an animal while driving and don’t have comprehensive insurance. Anything can happen on the road—so while adding comprehensive and collision coverage can increase your premiums, they can also save you thousands if you get in an accident. 

But adding additional coverages doesn’t doom you to high insurance premiums. With Insurify, you can compare rates from a wide array of Virginia car insurance companies. When you put a variety of policies side by side on Insurify, you can quickly zero in on the coverage that fits your budget.

What is the penalty for driving without car insurance in Virginia?

In Virginia, you must either have the minimum liability coverage, which is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, or have paid the uninsured motorist fee of $500. If you drive without either of these requirements met, you could be in for some major fines and suspensions.

For your first offense, your driver’s license and registration will be suspended, and you’ll be fined $500.

For repeated offenses, your driver’s license and registration will again be suspended, and you’ll be fined an additional $500. 

There is also the possibility that you could be pulled over without your proof of insurance even though you have coverage. This is a minor administrative violation, and your citation will be dismissed if you can provide proof of coverage within 30 days. 

These fines are nothing compared to the costs that come if you cause an accident while driving without insurance. You might be on the hook for thousands of dollars—and your license could be revoked until you’re able to pay for the repairs and medical bills in full.

Minimum Requirements in Virginia for SR-22 and FR-44 Policies

After you commit a serious driving violation in Virginia, you’re required to hold SR-22 car insurance for three years. Note that this length of time can be extended if you commit another serious violation or if your coverage lapses within that three-year period. Not all car insurance carriers offer SR-22 insurance, so be sure to browse a wide range of Virginia auto insurance companies to find one that offers affordable rates even for high-risk drivers.

Virginia law also requires the use of FR-44 certificates. Similar to an SR-22, an FR-44 form proves a driver has active liability insurance at or above a required minimum amount. Such a form must be carried for three to four years. 

FR-44 forms are specifically for drivers buying coverage after a DUI or DWI. Because these violations are considered more severe, an FR-44 calls for double the liability coverage requirements. 

Finding car insurance with a high-risk violation on your driving record can be more expensive. After all, insurers see high-risk drivers as more likely to file a claim in the future. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for high prices. With some help from Insurify, you can find coverage that meets your needs without making a major dent in your wallet. 

Additional Coverage Virginia Drivers Should Consider

For Virginia drivers who really want to stay protected on the road, you can go the extra mile with these additional coverage options. For instance, medical bills can pile up after a major accident. MedPay is a supplemental form of coverage that will cover the medical expenses of you and anyone else in your vehicle after an accident. 

MedPay is similar to personal injury protection (PIP), but it doesn’t cover any lost wages or household expenses that might arise after an injury. You might find that it’s a better idea to boost your personal injury protection limits rather than invest in MedPay coverage. 

Other smaller issues can arise when you’re on the road. For those little things—like a flat tire, towing fee, or help unlocking your car—you’ll want to consider roadside assistance. It’s an affordable add-on that can come in handy when you need emergency service on the road. 

Of course, adding additional coverage to your insurance will raise your monthly premiums. But just because you’re investing in robust auto insurance coverage doesn’t mean you need to break the bank. With Insurify, you can browse a wide range of policies and find just the type of coverage you’re looking for—at a price that works for your financial situation. 

FAQ: Virginia Minimum Car Insurance Requirements

Is car insurance mandatory in Virginia?

Virginia is one of two states where drivers are not required to buy car insurance. But keep in mind that if you decide to skip car insurance coverage, you’ll have to pay a $500 fee to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. If you do buy an auto insurance policy, you’ll have to buy minimum coverage of $25,000 in liability coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, along with $20,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident.

In what situations do drivers in Virginia have the right to sue?

Virginia is technically a “no fault” state, which means a driver is compensated for injuries out of their own car insurance policy, no matter who is at fault in the accident. Still, if you aren’t satisfied with the claims process and still want to sue after an accident, you have that right. Lawsuits regarding a wrongful death or injuries sustained in a car accident must be filed within two years of the accident, while lawsuits over property or vehicle damage must be filed within five years.

Are there alternative proofs of financial responsibility in Virginia?

Virginia drivers can show proof that a surety bond has been executed after depositing cash or securities with the DMV. Or one can apply for a self-insurance certificate from the DMV. In most cases, the easiest move would just be to buy car insurance that meets Virginia’s auto insurance requirements.

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Updated May 5, 2021

Mark Steinbach is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to his years of work as a copywriter, he is also a TV writer with a degree in English from Harvard University. When he isn't writing, he can be found playing tennis or doing crossword puzzles.