When you want to operate your automobile in the State of Virginia, you need to abide by the law requiring you to have the financial ability to pay for expenses incurred in the event that you cause an accident on the road. You have two options to meet this law: purchase the minimum required Virginia car insurance coverage or make a payment to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to drive without insurance.

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Average cost of car insurance in Virginia

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) claim that the average person pays roughly $718.72 for car insurance in Virginia each year.

They broke this figure down to:

$415.86 is the average annual liability insurance expenditure.

$263.54 is the average annual collision insurance expenditure.

$130.00 is the average annual comprehensive insurance expenditure.

Young Drivers in Virginia

Our case study found that a young driver in VA can expect the following premium averages per year:

  • $1156 for state minimum coverage1,
  • $2358.4 for basic full coverage2 and
  • $3276 for premium full coverage3.

One of the primary factors that contribute to this high car insurance cost for new and teen drivers is their tendency of unsafe driving. Compared to the other two types of drivers we used in our case study’s methodology4 more young drivers don’t use seatbelts. This increases the possibility of sustaining injuries during an accident, making insurers regard them as high-risk drivers.

 Female Drivers in Virginia

A female driver can have yearly premiums averaging to:

  • $490.8 for state minimum coverage,
  • $920.4 for basic full coverage and
  • $1315.2 for premium full coverage.

Comparing the collected data, we found that the payments women make towards their insurance are hundreds of dollars less than new and teen motorists. Statistically, this gender has shown they favor safety over vehicle appearance and speed. Because the type of car and the safety features it comes with impact premiums, a female driver can spend as little as $25 a month.

Senior Drivers in Virginia

A senior driver in the Mother of States can expect to pay premiums with a yearly average of:

  • $472 for state minimum coverage,
  • $850.4 for basic full coverage and
  • $1202.8 for premium full coverage.

These numbers indicate that auto insurance payments can drop for an older adult. The results of our study show that this type of driver can have premiums even lower than women.

Minimum car insurance requirements

Although the initial cost of just paying VA’s DMV to drive uninsured is lower, you shouldn’t look at it as your best choice. Keep in mind that you will not receive any financial help for covering expenses (bodily injury or property damage) incurred in the event you find yourself caught up in a road traffic accident.

When you purchase the mandatory policy though, you will have liability coverage. This serves the purpose of providing you with financial aid (from your insurer) for medical and repair costs. This applies to bodily injury to others and property damage that you cause after a road traffic accident. You need to maintain the following coverage minimums though: $25,000/person/accident for bodily injury, $50,000/accident for total bodily injury (in case there is more than one victim), and $20,000/accident for property damage.

Your policy will also feature the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This covers your own expenses for both bodily injuries and property damages in case you get involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t carry insurance or has insufficient coverage. The required coverage minimums include the following: $25,000/person/accident for bodily injury, $50,000/accident for total bodily injury (in case there is more than one victim), and $20,000/accident for property damage.

You also have the option to make your policy more extensive by purchasing the required minimums for the following non-mandatory coverages: collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and medical payments coverage.

Violations and Penalties 

In VA, when you don’t comply with the driving-related proof of financial responsibility laws, law enforcement officers will penalize you in several different ways. You will receive a Class 3 Misdemeanor charge. You will also have to pay a fine of up to $500 as well as surrender your plates, motor vehicle registration, and driver’s license. You can only retrieve these back once you provide the authorities with proof of financial responsibility valid for the next three years and pay the $500 fine.

Driving safety in Virginia

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that only 78% of drivers and front-seat passengers wear seatbelts in Virginia, as opposed to the national average of 86%.

In a 2015 study performed by the National Highway Safety Administration, it found out that 753 cases of driving fatalities occurred in the state during the said year. Alcohol impaired drivers caused 208 of them.

The CDC stated that the overall vehicle occupant death rate in the state is at 6.8 per 100,000 residents.

Final thoughts

Since you can’t predict when you will get into a road traffic accident or cause one, you should always prepare yourself. Purchase the required Virginia car insurance coverage so that you can drive with peace of mind, knowing that you have protection.

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licensed drivers in Virginia, 2014
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privately insured vehicles in Virginia

Source: StatistaInsurance Information Institute

1State minimum coverage includes the minimum liability insurance limits required in your state but excludes the following:
  • No Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • No Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Car Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
2Basic full coverage includes:
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $50,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $750 Deductible Collision And Comprehensive Coverage
  • $50 Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Reimbursement Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
3Premium full coverage includes:
  • $250,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $250 Deductible Comprehensive Coverage And No Deductible Collision Coverage
  • $75 Towing Coverage
  • $30/day Rental Reimbursement, Max Of $900
  • Full Glass Coverage
4Methodology: To achieve accurate results we obtained estimates for 10 cities in the state: 5 of the largest cities and 5 randomly picked smaller cities. For each city, we collected premiums for 3 levels of coverage: state minimum coverage, basic full coverage and premium full coverage. We used 3 different driver profiles for the case studies. For the young driver profile we used a 20-year-old single male or female with 1 year driving experience. Second, the profile fit that of a 35-year-old married female with 12 years of driving experience. The last profile we used in our studies is a male senior driver who was 68-year-old with 45 years of driving experience. The vehicle we used for all three driver profiles was a 2012 Honda Accord EX.
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