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Virginia Car Insurance

Discover auto insurance requirements, the best companies, and how to get the lowest rates in Virginia.

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Virginia, famous for its rich American history, is the 12th-largest state in the country. There are approximately 5.9 million licensed drivers in the state. Many of these drivers are in large city centers, like Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk.

In Virginia, car insurance is a requirement to drive unless you’re able to pay for the expenses of an accident yourself. This article will help you understand how auto insurance works in Virginia. This includes rates, requirements, the best companies, laws, and other key info.

Average Virginia Auto Insurance Rates

Taking a look at your state’s average auto insurance rates is a smart practice. This research can give you an idea of whether or not you’re paying too much (or just enough) for coverage. You can also find out how much you can expect to pay each month if you’re a first-time buyer in the area. Keep in mind that everyone pays a different amount for insurance. Your rates are based on several factors, including:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Car make and model
  • Where you live

In the table below, you can see Virginia’s average rates for full coverage auto insurance. Virginia residents pay less on average than the rest of the country. The cost per month for full coverage in Virginia is $17.44 less than the US average.

CoverageVirginia AverageUS Average
Liability$491.51$650.35
Collision$323.76$381.43
Comprehensive$149.42$171.87
Full Coverage$861.18$1070.47
Price Per Month$71.76$89.20
Note: cost totals are for one year of coverage. Data is from the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Average Full Coverage Rates

The graph below shows Virginia’s average auto insurance rates from 2012 to 2019. Virginia car insurance rates increased from $691 in 2012 to $861 for full coverage in 2019. This was an increase of $170, or 24%.

Despite the increase, Virginia’s rates have remained below the US average. The gap between Virginia and the US average has only gotten wider over time. One reason for this could be that Virginia ranks 30th for standard of living in the US. With a lower cost of living overall in the state, insurance rates are likely to drop also.

Virginia Average Auto Insurance Rates 2012-2019

Average Liability Coverage Rates

Below are Virginia’s average auto liability coverage rates from 2012 to 2019. During this period, Virginia’s liability coverage rates increased from $401 in 2012 to $491 in 2019. This was a 22% increase.

Virginia Average Liability Coverage Rates 2012-2019

Average Collision Coverage Rates

Below is a graph showing the change in Virginia’s average auto collision coverage rates from 2012 to 2019. Virginia collision coverage rates increased 27% during this period, going from $254 in 2012 to $323 in 2019. Like the other coverages, liability rates in the state are well below the US average.

While Virginia’s collision rates are below the national average, they’re still higher than the other coverage types. This could be because of the state’s high car repair costs. According to a study by CarMD, Virginia ranks fifth in the country for average car repair costs. This would likely result in more expensive collision coverage rates for everyone in the state.

Virginia Average Collision Coverage Rates 2012-2019

Average Comprehensive Coverage Rates

The graph below shows the trend in Virginia’s average auto comprehensive coverage rates from 2012 to 2019. Comprehensive rates rose $24 during this time, going from around $125 in 2012 to about $149 in 2019.

Virginia Average Comprehensive Coverage Rates 2012-2019

Rates in Virginia are likely to keep rising for a couple of reasons. In 2021, Virginia passed a bill raising the minimum amount of insurance you must have. This will, naturally, cause rates to be higher for everybody in the state. Inflation will also cause insurance prices to go up. As the cost of car repairs increases, so too will everyone’s rates.

Virginia Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements

In most states, you must have car insurance to drive. But in Virginia, you don’t need insurance if you can cover the costs of a car accident yourself or if you pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee. All other drivers must have insurance.

Below is a breakdown of Virginia’s car insurance requirements:

Liability Insurance

Virginia only requires liability insurance to drive. This type of coverage protects you from having to pay out of pocket for injuries or damages you cause in an accident. To drive, you’ll need the following minimum liability coverage limits:

  • $30,000 of bodily injury liability (BIL) for the injury or death of one person in a one-car accident
  • $60,000 of BIL for the injury or death of more than one person in a one-car accident
  • $20,000 of property damage liability PDL for one accident

You may also see insurers and the state write minimum requirements in a shorthand form: “30/60/20.” This lists the amount of insurance, in thousands, you need.

Be aware that Virginia’s minimum limits may not be enough. Accidents can cost thousands of dollars and often go way over your limits. It’s best to buy as much insurance as you can. The auto insurance industry recommends bodily injury limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.

Find the Best Car Insurance in Virginia

Compare quotes among leading car insurance companies to get better coverage and lower rates.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM and UIM)

Virginia requires that auto insurers include uninsured motorist coverage (UM) on policies. Consumers have the option of rejecting this coverage in writing. UM limits must not exceed your policy’s liability limits.

Virginia doesn’t require drivers to carry underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage on their policies. It also doesn’t require any other type of coverage including collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection (PIP), or medical payments coverage.

Valid Proof

Virginia doesn’t require drivers to keep proof of insurance with them. But this doesn’t mean the DMV has no way of keeping track of your insurance status. Virginia has partnered with the insurance industry to randomly verify insurance coverage. If the DMV can’t find coverage for your vehicle, you must provide them with information regarding your policy or you may face a penalty.

Self-Insurance

In Virginia, you may only have self-insurance if you have over 21 vehicles to insure. If this is the case, you’ll need to apply for self-insurance by filling out Form FR-302. Otherwise, you can avoid buying insurance if you have enough money to handle the costs after an accident. All you’ll need to do is pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee.

Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee

The Virginia DMV allows drivers to pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle (UMV) fee to drive their car for 12 months without insurance. This is at your own risk. The $500 doesn’t provide any form of insurance. If you get into an accident, you must meet your financial obligations out-of-pocket.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

It’s illegal to drive without insurance in Virginia. The only exception is if you’ve paid the UMV to allow for a year without coverage. Failing to comply with Virginia’s insurance requirement law will bring harsh penalties, including:

  • $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee
  • Temporarily deactivate your license plates
  • Or permanently lose the license plates

Drivers with no insurance that haven’t paid the UMV fee will have their driver’s license and vehicle registration suspended. To reinstate driving privileges, you must pay a $600 noncompliance fee, file an SR-22 with the DMV for three years and pay a reinstatement fee.

Best Car Insurance Companies in Virginia

You’ll have plenty of options if you’re shopping for auto insurance in Virginia. But how do you know which one is the best for you? The best companies are those that put the customer first. To find the best insurer, you’ll want to take a look at the overall quality of each company. The best carriers have the following features:

  • Excellent customer service
  • Competitive rates at a great value
  • Plenty of benefits, such as customer loyalty programs and discounts

Top Companies by Market Share

Looking at which companies own the most market share in Virginia is a good way to find the best insurer. These companies are the most popular in the state. They also likely have the most resources, such as large, accessible agent networks. Here were the top property casualty insurance companies in Virginia by market share in 2020:

RankCompanyDirect Premiums WrittenMarket Share
1State Farm$807,637,1665.45%
2USAA$694,067,0524.69%
3Erie Insurance$543,759,027  3.67%
4Allstate$379,529,0642.56%
5GEICO$375,080,1762.53%
6Progressive$349,762,9082.36%
7Nationwide$203,951,7341.38%
8Continental$148,655,0321.0%
9Cincinnati Insurance$139,921,2580.94%
10Virginia Farm$138,866,5720.94%

J.D. Power Rating

It’s also a good idea to look at the companies with the highest customer satisfaction in Virginia. These are companies that tend to treat their customers the best. J.D. Power ranks insurers in each state or region based on a customer satisfaction score. Below are J.D. Power’s top companies in the Mid-Atlantic region (including Virginia):

RankCompanyCustomer Satisfaction Score (Out of 1,000)
1NJM Insurance Co.867
2Erie Insurance856
3State Farm851
4Travelers836
5GEICO835
6Progressive834
7Liberty Mutual833
8Allstate830
9The Hartford829
10Plymouth Rock Assurance827
11Nationwide823
12CSAA Insurance Group806
13MetLife806
14Farmers794
Note: USAA is not part of this data because it didn’t fit J.D. Power’s scoring criteria.

Best Companies Based in Virginia

Some of the best insurance companies for you may be based in Virginia. Local insurers commonly have unique benefits for people who live in the area. Below are well-known insurers based in Virginia (in no particular order):

  • Rockingham Insurance
  • Elephant Insurance
  • Virginia Insurance group
  • Central Virginia Insurance

Virginia Auto Insurance Laws

No-Fault or Fault?

In a no-fault state, you must buy insurance that covers your injuries no matter who caused the accident, such as personal injury protection (PIP). Virginia isn’t a no-fault state. It’s a fault state, where the at-fault driver assumes full responsibility for damages they cause. The only insurance you need in Virginia is liability coverage.

Totaled Cars

Your car will typically become a total loss if the cost of repairs is more than the actual cash value (ACV). Even so, many states use different criteria for when an insurer can declare to be a total loss. Some states use the total loss formula (TLF), where a car is totaled if the damages and the salvage value outweigh the ACV. However, in Virginia, cars become a total loss if the damages reach 75% of its ACV.

Salvage and Rebuilt Titles

After an insurer labels your car as totaled, it’ll get a salvage title. Salvage cars are illegal to drive in Virginia. You must restore the car to a safe and drivable condition. Then, you’ll need to apply for a rebuilt title with the Virginia DMV to legally drive the car.

How to Get a Rebuilt Salvage Title in Virginia

Getting a rebuilt title in any state usually takes several steps. In Virginia, you must follow a specific process. First, your car will need to pass a rebuilt vehicle examination. To schedule one, you’ll need to mail the following to the Department of Motor Vehicles Vehicle Branding Work Center at P.O. Box 27412, Richmond, Virginia 23269-0001:

  • Original salvage title
  • A completed Form LES 022A – Request for Examination of Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle
  • A $125 exam fee
  • A $15 substitute title fee

When you go to the examination, you’ll need to bring these papers with you:

  • A copy of Form LES 022A
  • Receipts for all original car parts
  • Photos of the car in its original salvage condition (pre-repairs)
  • Proof that your car passed a Virginia state inspection
  • A list of all old parts along with their VIN

After you pass the examination, the DMV will tell the Vehicle Branding Work Center to mail you a new certificate of title. This process may take up to 48 hours. Once you receive your rebuilt title, you may legally drive the car.

Insuring Cars with Rebuilt Titles in Virginia

Once your car has a rebuilt salvage title brand, you’ll need to insure it. Most insurance companies in Virginia cover cars with rebuilt titles. However, you may only be able to buy liability insurance. This means full coverage won’t be an option.

You should also expect to pay higher insurance rates for cars with rebuilt titles. This is because insurers consider rebuilds less safe because they were totaled. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal. If you think your rebuilt car’s coverage costs too much, try comparing rates from several companies.

Full Windshield Replacement

In some states, insurers must repair your windshield damage without charging you a deductible. Virginia doesn’t have such a law. This means that if you file a comprehensive coverage claim for your windshield, you’ll need to pay a deductible.

Some insurers may also offer full glass coverage as an add-on to your policy. With full glass coverage, you pay extra each month but won’t need to pay a deductible if you file a claim. This may be a good option if you think your car is at risk for lots of windshield damage. Otherwise, it could just cost you more in the long run because it adds an extra cost to your bill each month.

SR-22 Forms

In Virginia, you may need to file an SR-22 form if you commit a serious driving violation. SR-22 forms certify that you’re carrying the minimum amount of liability insurance on your policy. Below are the types of violations that require you to file an SR-22 form in Virginia:

  • Driving without insurance or failing to provide valid proof
  • Uninsured motor vehicle suspension
  • Any unsatisfied judgments
  • Insurance fraud
  • Driver’s license suspension due to:
    • Perjury
    • Manslaughter (voluntary or involuntary)
    • Any felonies involving a motor vehicle
    • Hit and run
    • Driving without a license or allowing someone without one to do so

A Virginian court may also require you to file an FR-44 form. These are like SR-22s but come with even higher insurance requirements. FR-44 forms require you to have twice the amount of liability coverage. Here’s when you’ll need to file an FR-44:

  • DUI conviction
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Causing injury while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Filing Claims

After an accident, you’ll likely need to file a car insurance claim. State laws make this a straightforward process. Insurers must follow rules set by Virginia’s state laws when handling your claim. These rules include deadlines for how long insurers have to settle your claim.

How long do insurers have to settle a claim in Virginia?

There isn’t a set date for how long insurers in Virginia have to settle your claim. However, insurers must accept or deny your claim within 10 working days. If the company only pays part of your claim or rejects it entirely, they must tell you why in writing.

How long do you have to file a claim in Virginia?

You should notify your insurer as soon as possible if you get into a car accident. Virginia doesn’t have strict requirements for how long you have. But your insurer may have a deadline for filing. It’s best not to wait too long to file.

Credit History

Several states, such as California, don’t allow insurers to use your credit history as a factor in determining your rates. Virginia, however, allows insurers to do so. This means that having a low credit score in Virginia could mean expensive insurance. Insurers may also use your credit score to decide whether or not to offer you a policy.

Policy Cancellation

Insurers in Virginia may only cancel your policy for certain reasons. These include:

  • Driving with a suspended driver’s license
  • Missing premium payments
  • Moving to another state

Virginia Drunk Driving Laws

Getting behind the wheel while under the influence is a terrible decision. It’s hazardous to yourself and everyone around you. Not to mention, it carries a ton of legal trouble along with it. In Virginia, a DUI is where your blood alcohol content is 0.08 or higher (0.02 for a minor). The penalties for a DUI are severe and only get worse with each offense. Below are the penalties for a DUI in Virginia:

First offense:

  • At least $250 in fines
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to one year

Second offense:

  • At least $500 in fines
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to three years
  • Jail time of up to one year (minimum of 10 days if within ten years, 20 days if within five years)

Third offense:

  • At least $1,000 in fines
  • Indefinite driver’s license suspension
  • Class 6 felony
  • Minimum of six months in jail if the offense was within five years of another

DUI Impact on Auto Insurance

A DUI won’t just result in legal trouble. Your insurance rates are likely to go through the roof. Insurers may also label you a high-risk driver. This makes it hard to get coverage and may force you to turn to non-standard insurance instead.

Virginia Driver’s License Points System

Virginia uses a driver’s license points system to keep track of your moving violations. But, unlike other states, Virginia also uses points to reward you for consistent years of safe driving. You’ll receive demerit points for any moving violations. Racking up enough points may result in a driver’s license suspension, although the DMV doesn’t say how much will cause this.

After each year with no moving violations or suspensions, you’ll receive one safe point. You can only have five safe points on your record at one time. Safe points help to offset the effect of moving violations on your record. They can help prevent license suspensions.

Most Popular Cars in Virginia

Below were Virginia’s most sold cars in 2021. These cars were the most popular in the state. Insurance companies pay close attention to this list because these cars may also be a target for thieves.

  1. Honda CR-V
  2. Ford F-Series
  3. Toyota RAV4
  4. Chevrolet Silverado
  5. Ram 1500/2500/3500

Most Stolen Cars in Virginia

These were Virginia’s most stolen vehicles in 2021. Insurers also watch this list closely because thieves regularly target these cars. Owning one of these could result in a bump in your comprehensive insurance rates.

  1. 2014 Honda Accord
  2. 2006 Ford Pick-Up (Full Size)
  3. 2020 Toyota Camry
  4. 2013 Honda Civic
  5. 2020 Nissan Altima
  6. 2020/2016 Toyota Corolla
  7. 2020/2015 Chevrolet Pick-Up (Full Size)
  8. 2013 Hyundai Elantra
  9. 2019 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
  10. 2013 Hyundai Sonata
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