Looking for cheap auto insurance in Virginia can feel like an endless struggle due to the myriad companies that are competing for your business. To help you avoid the headache and save time, our team compared quotes from nine providers to find the best rates for the following four driver categories:
Best Rates For Drivers With No Recent Accidents
Is your driving record free of accidents? If you’ve avoided collisions for multiple consecutive years, you may have an opportunity to lower your auto insurance rates by switching to State Farm.
Best Rates For Teen Drivers
It’s no secret that teenagers are inexperienced behind the wheel compared to their adult counterparts—and they tend to succumb more easily to distractions and peer pressure. For these and other reasons, teens are more likely to file accident claims, which is why insurance companies charge them more for coverage.
If you need to find cheap car insurance for teenagers in Virginia and you’re only looking for coverage that meets the state’s minimum requirements, consider getting a quote from State Farm.
Best Rates For Drivers With A DUI
If you’ve been convicted of DUI, you’ve probably spent a small fortune on fines and attorney fees. To lighten the financial burden, try comparing auto insurance quotes from State Farm.
In our study, these two carriers stood out for their relatively low rates for drivers in Virginia who had a DUI involving a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08. Over time, switching to an insurance company that caters to this driver category may save you thousands since a DUI can affect your premiums for many years after your conviction.
Best Rates For Senior Drivers
If you’re a senior and you rarely drive, consider getting auto insurance quotes from State Farm. The driver in our analysis was 65 years old and hadn’t been found at-fault for any recent crashes or been ticketed for any major traffic infractions. The driver commuted 4,000 miles per year.
Most segments of our research involved a 29-year-old motorist who drove a 2014 Toyota Corolla 12,000 miles per annum. We averaged the premiums for females and males from five zip codes throughout Virginia. For all driver types except teenagers, we used liability limits of 50/100/25 and the same amount in uninsured motorist coverage.
How Much Car Insurance Are Motorists In Virginia Required To Purchase?
Drivers in Virginia are required by law to have auto insurance that meets these minimum limits:
- $25,000 Per Person / $50,000 Per Crash In Liability Coverage For Bodily Injuries
- $20,000 In Liability Coverage For Property Damage
- $25,000 Per Person And $50,000 Per Accident In Un/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage
- $20,000 Per Accident In Un/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
Virginia Car Insurance FAQs
What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in Virginia?
It’s estimated that around 10% of Virginia’s drivers are not insured. But these errant motorists are taking unnecessary risks as a Driving Without Insurance conviction will result in fines and license suspensions.
If you are caught driving without insurance, you will be forced to fork over $500 in fines. Additionally, your driver’s license and vehicle’s registration will be suspended. This violation is categorized as a misdemeanor in Virginia. As a result, a successful conviction will be entered into your permanent criminal record.
To reinstate your driving privileges, you will have to pay $145 in reinstatement fee, purchase an insurance policy, and ask your new insurer to file an SR-22 certificate with the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for three years on your behalf. This document is proof you are insured up to the state’s mandated minimum liability limits. If you let your coverage lapse for any reason, your insurer is required, by law, to inform the DMV that you no longer possess a policy and you will have to restart the SR-22 filing process from scratch.
Important Virginia Traffic Laws
Traffic violations will tarnish your good driving record, resulting in an increase in your premiums and putting your license at risk of suspension. Use our guide to Virginia’s most important traffic laws to make sure you always follow the letter of the law:
Virginia Drunk Driving Laws
Between 2003 and 2012, more than 2,600 people were killed in accidents involving a drunk driver in Virginia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol and drugs impair your judgment and motor functions, increasing your likelihood of causing a serious accident. In Virginia, you may not operate a vehicle if your blood alcohol content is equal to or exceeds 0.08% (the equivalent of drinking a 12-ounce pour of domestic beer).
If you test over the limit, but it is only your first offense, there is no mandated minimum period of jail time. However, there are exceptions to this rule, namely:
- You will face a minimum of 5 days behind bars if your blood alcohol content exceeds 0.15%; or
- You will be jailed for a minimum of 10 days if your blood alcohol content exceeds 0.20%
If you test over the limit, you will always have to pay $250 in fines. However, if there was a passenger(s) under the age of 18 travelling the vehicle with you at the time, this fine could be increased to as much as $2,500.
Virginia Distracted Driving Laws
When you take your eyes of the road to type, send or read a text message, you’re risking causing a serious accident. Virginia’s traffic code prohibits all forms of texting from behind the wheel while your vehicle is moving, stopped at a traffic light, or stationary in traffic. If officers spot you using your cellphone while driving, you can be pulled over and ticketed for this violation. Texting includes using instant messaging apps, typing or reading emails, posting on social media, or any other text-based activity.
5 Reasons Your Auto Insurance Claim Can Be Denied in Virginia
1. You Didn’t Understand Your Policy
If you don’t do your research when buying insurance, your policy won’t cover what you need. For example, you wouldn’t buy a new television without first checking a few reviews, right? The same applies to purchasing a new policy. If you don’t understand your policy, you may file for loss that isn’t covered by any of its individual features and therefore, your provider will have no choice but to deny your claim.
2. You Didn’t Report the Accident in Time
Insurers in many states have strict time limits for motorists when filing a claim. Remember, the clock starts running as soon as you’ve been involved in a crash. In Virginia, if you wait too long to file your claim it may be denied immediately for falling outside of your provider’s acceptable window for processing new cases. This time limit can range from 30 days to six months from the date of the accident depending on your insurer’s terms and conditions.
3. You Were Inebriated at the Time
A claims adjuster is investigating who was at fault for causing the accident. If the official police report reveals that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the crash took place, your insurer will most likely conclude that you were responsible and will reject your claim.
4. You Let Your Coverage Lapse
Whether you missed a payment or didn’t sign the correct forms, if your insurance lapses for any reason, your financial safety net disappears. If you don’t have a current policy, or have not resolved an outstanding payment at the time of filing your case, your claim will be denied.
5. You Didn’t Seek Medical Treatment in Time
When you file a claim, it pays to present your insurer with a complete breakdown of the medical treatments and related costs you have undergone or still require as a result of injuries sustained in the car accident. Failing to do so will often result in a payout that does not cover the full spectrum of costs resulting from the crash.
West Virginia’s License Points System
Whenever you commit a traffic violation, your run the risk of accumulating demerit points on your license. Collect too many demerits in a short period of time and your license could be suspended.
The exact number of demerits you will receive for a particular violation depends on the severity of this infraction. For example, you will only be strapped with 3 demerits for making an illegal U-turn, but speeding 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit on a street will earn you a total of 6 demerits.
As an adult driver, if you receive 12 demerit points within just 12 months (or 18 points in 24 months), your license will be suspended. Drivers aged 18 or 19 will have to attend a safe driving course or driver improvement clinic upon receiving even a single demerit. Drivers under the age of 18 will have to do the same, but run the risk of losing their license if this course is not completed within 90 days of the citation.
West Virginia doesn’t just punish errant drivers, but rewards safe motorists too. Drivers who don’t collect any demerits within the space of a calendar year are rewarded 1 Safe Point for their achievement. Safe Points can be used to offset demerits, potentially preventing a license suspension. Motorists can collect a maximum of 5 Safe Points
What Happens If I’m Involved in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver in Virginia?
As around 10% of Virginia’s motorists are driving without insurance, there is 1 in 10 chance your next accident could involve a driver who does not possess adequate insurance. The uninsured and underinsured aren’t just risking severe penalties but are also putting your finances at risk. Because Virginia is a fault state, the driver(s) who caused the accident are responsible for covering the costs of damages sustained by the other parties involved. Now, if you were at fault, that’s no problem, those costs would come out of your own policy. But if the uninsured driver is to blame, he/she most likely won’t have the means to compensate you for your loss. To make sure an uninsured driver doesn’t crash your bank account, you can purchase uninsured motorist protection that will kick in cover the costs of damages caused by an uninsured driver. The cost of adding this feature your policy is relatively affordable when compared to most other forms of protection.
There are three categories of uninsured motorist protection:
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM): Most drivers choose to pay for only the bare minimum coverage to meet the state’s mandated liability limits. In minor accidents, these amounts are enough to cover damages and injuries, but for more severe crashes, this coverage will always fall short. Purchasing UIM coverage will ensure you have the funds to pay for repairs and treatment even when another driver’s policy falls short.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage (UMPD): This addon to your basic policy will compensate you for damage to property caused by an uninsured motorist. However, we recommend rather bolstering your collision coverage feature by adding a lower deductible or increasing the limits as this feature will cover you for loss resulting from an accident with another motorist, object, or pothole.
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) Coverage: Repair costs often pale in comparison to the expense of treating injuries caused in a crash. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, this feature will cover costs of injuries sustained by you or anyone else listed on your policy, such as family members, friends, or employees.
How Do Car Insurance Companies Determine Rates in Virginia?
Auto insurance rates are regulated by the Virginia Bureau of Insurance (VBI), which enables providers to adjust premiums based on certain criteria. Factors insurers may consider when calculating your rates include:
- Your car’s make, model, and age;
- Your previous auto insurance policies;
- Your permanent driving and safety record;
- Your gender, age, and marital status;
- Your occupation;
- Your deductible, or the amount you must pay out of pocket before your coverage kicks in;
- Your mileage; and
- Your credit history and outstanding debts.