Margaret Huntley Last Updated On: July 25, 2023

How to Get the Best Car Insurance in Virginia

What do Earth Day, trekking 544 miles of Appalachian Trails, and the Pentagon all have in common? The great state of Virginia! Whether you’re considering moving to the state or you already call Virginia home, you’ll want good car insurance on your side—just in case.

But nobody wants “just car insurance;” they want coverage that they can trust and that’s affordable. So, which insurance companies in Virginia are good, what are the car insurance laws in Virginia, and how can you find the right car insurance policy for you?

Read on, and we’ll delve into everything you need to know about getting Virginia auto insurance.

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Table of Contents

Virginia Car Insurance Requirements

If you’re driving along the I-64 through Virginia, you want to ensure you’re driving legally by meeting the state car insurance minimums. Otherwise, you could face fines and other penalties.

These are the Virginia minimum car insurance requirements for January 1, 2022-2024:

  • Liability minimum requirements (30/60/20)
    • $30,000 bodily injury per person, for a maximum payout of $60,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
    • $20,000 property damage coverage

The 2025 car insurance minimums are increasing come January 1, 2025, to:

  • Liability minimum requirements (50/100/25)
    • $50,000 bodily injury per person, for a maximum payout of $100,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
    • $25,000 property damage coverage

Virginia drivers also need these car insurance coverages:

  • Uninsured motorist coverage (25/50/20)
    • $25,000 a person per accident, if an uninsured or underinsured motorist injures you for a total of $50,000 per accident
    • $20,000 property damage coverage
  • If you need to provide proof of insurance, Virginia residents can show either a paper or electronic copy of their insurance.

Keep in mind: Virginia car insurance minimums will change effective January 1, 2025. Another interesting fact about Virginia is that a state bill allows drivers to pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee for the year, so they don’t have to buy traditional car insurance—although there is speculation this law may be repealed.

Even with the state minimums in Virginia going up, the new coverage limits are still not enough to protect you from paying out of pocket after a car accident. For example, if you cause a multi-car accident, your insurance will only pay $25,000 for vehicular damages, which is hardly enough to cover a minor accident. Add in paying for the other driver’s medical expenses; your coverage is capped at $25,000 per person for $100,000, which means you’ll max out your medical coverage for other drivers if there are any emergency treatments or serious injuries.

What can be done? Your best bet is to take out higher limits for bodily injury and personal property damage or to buy comprehensive car insurance in Virginia. We’ve got all that and more, next.

Car Insurance Options in Virginia

Although car insurance is mandatory, you can choose or build the best auto insurance for you. Check out these optional car insurance add-ons to help create your policy:

  • Collision: Liability or state minimums protect you from paying out of pocket when you’re at fault for the other driver’s expenses (medical or property). However, liability doesn’t cover your vehicular damages; you’ll need collision coverage to repair your car after an accident.
  • Comprehensive: For bumper-to-bumper coverage on your car when it’s parked, comprehensive covers theft, weather-related damages, vandalism, damages from hitting an animal, and more.
  • Medical Payments: If the at-fault driver’s insurance doesn’t cover the total cost of your medical expenses, this coverage will activate, so you’re not paying out of pocket. Medical payments can also cover childminding costs, lost wages, or even funeral expenses.
  • Roadside Assistance: Roadside assistance is coverage that gets your car back on the road if you’ve locked yourself out, the battery has died, or your car needs to be towed to a repair shop.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement: If your car is being serviced and you cannot drive it, this add-on will pay for you to have a rental car, so you’re not stuck without a vehicle.
  • Gap or Loan/Lease Payoff Insurance: For Virginia policyholders leasing or financing a vehicle, gap insurance is something to strongly consider. Suppose something happens to your car and it’s written off while you’re still paying it off, Gap insurance will pay off your remaining car loan, so you don’t have to.

Not all car insurance is made equal. You can pick and choose the coverage you want, and leave what you don’t. This way, you’re only paying for the coverage that’s important to you. But cost is a big factor, so keep reading to find out what you can expect to pay in premiums.

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How Much Is Car Insurance in Virginia?

One of the most important questions a prospective policyholder wants to know about an insurer is: how much is car insurance? But skimping on coverage isn’t the answer to save money on car insurance. After all, Virginia’s slogan is “Virginia is for lovers,” so it’s important for policyholders to have great car insurance so they can take their partner out for a romantic dinner or a couple’s date trekking the Appalachian Mountain National Park without any stress. 

The good news is that Virginia boasts below state averages for car insurance! The average car insurance cost in Virginia for full coverage is around $1,400 a year, while minimum coverage is just below $500.

What Happens If I’m Caught Driving Without Insurance?

Virginia may be a state for lovers, but you’ll get the cold shoulder if you’re caught driving without sufficient car insurance. Consider that policyholders can either pay $500 to drive without insurance for the year or take out car insurance that meets or exceeds the state minimums, so there’s no reason to drive without car insurance.

It should come as no surprise that you will get slapped with hefty fines and penalties if the red-and-blues appear in your rearview and you don’t have proof of coverage.

Here’s what you can expect if you’re caught without car insurance in Virginia:

  • You face a class 3 misdemeanor charge,
  • A noncompliance fee of $600, or
  • Having your license, plates, or registration taken or suspended.

If you wish to avoid these penalties after you’re caught driving without car insurance, you must obtain insurance within 30 days of being ticketed. Also, if your license is suspended, you will need an SR-22 form that your insurer will submit for you (it’ll stay on your record for three years), and you have to pay a reinstatement fee of $145 to get your license back. Find out more here

How Car Insurance Rates Are Calculated in Virginia

Insurance companies use varying factors to determine car insurance premiums. If you’re wondering how the home state with the most U.S. presidents calculates your car insurance rates, read on:

  • Age: Young drivers will pay the most for car insurance in Virginia.
  • Driving History: The incentive for good drivers is discounts, whereas if you have a driving infraction like a speeding ticket, then unfortunately, your rates will go up.
  • Coverage Level: Liability-only coverage costs a lot less than full coverage, so the coverage you choose will have a major impact on your rates.
  • Credit Score: Virginians with good to exceptionally good credit have lower premiums than policyholders with poor credit scores.
  • Your Vehicle: You’ll save on rates if you’re driving a vehicle that isn’t a sports car, luxury car, or commonly stolen car, as these cost more to repair or replace.
  • Annual Mileage: What are your driving habits? If you commute long distances to work, you’re at greater risk of getting into an accident and as such, will pay more than someone who drives infrequently.
  • Where You Live: Those who live in big cities like Virginia Beach or Chesapeake will pay more than those who call the country home.

Find out more about the factors that affect your car insurance costs here.

Some of these factors are outside of your control, but it’s not all bad news. Next, we’ll explore ways to help you save on your car insurance so that you can put a little bit more money back in your pocket each month.

How to Get Affordable Car Insurance Rates in Virginia

Who doesn’t want to save on car insurance? Virginia is for lovers of adventure and features a zoo, theme parks, memorials, fine arts museums, and many natural wonders to see and explore; you want to save where you can, like on insurance, so that you can do more!

Fortunately, you can reduce your car insurance rates in Virginia in many ways, including:

  • Bundling: One of the most effective ways to save money is by bundling your car, home, or other insurance products together.
  • New Car: For drivers with new vehicles (up to two years old), ask your insurance provider if they offer a new car discount.
  • Payment Discounts: If you can afford to pay your full premiums upfront, you’ve not missed a payment within 12 months, or you set up automatic withdrawal, you can save on premiums. Another way to save is by choosing paperless billing.
  • Safety Equipment: Another way to get discounts is by installing safety equipment like anti-lock brakes, an anti-theft system, and side airbags. Although, be sure to check which safety features are applicable for discounts.
  • Defensive Driving: If you pass a defensive driving class that your insurance company recognizes, you can save money. This is a good option for young drivers looking to reduce their high rates.
  • Safe Driver: You can earn 5-10% off your premiums just by being a safe driver, which means being accident and claims-free for 2 to 3 years, depending on the provider. Find out more here.
  • Shop Around: The most important way to save money on car insurance is by not settling. Every insurer uses different rates to calculate your premiums, so by this logic, your rates will vary across providers. This means getting the best premiums and coverage requires you to collect multiple quotes, so you can figure out the right car insurance fit for you!

Are you ready to start shopping around for car insurance quotes in Virginia? If so, go ahead and get access to free quotes here.

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Which Car Insurance Companies Are Good in Virginia?

There are many car insurance providers in the great state of Virginia; your task is to find the right insurer for you! These are some of Virginia’s best car insurance companies in terms of affordability and customer satisfaction:
  • Erie
  • Geico
  • Nationwide
  • State Farm
  • Travelers
  • USAA
But of course, be sure to do your homework and find the right provider for you, with the coverage and costs that meet your needs.

Final Thoughts on Finding Car Insurance in Virginia

Virginia is the lover’s state. If you love driving, sightseeing, or exploring, it’s in your best interest to find the right car insurance at an affordable rate! The first step to unlocking car insurance savings is knowing what you want: are you satisfied with state minimums, or do you want bumper-to-bumper protection with collision and comprehensive car insurance?

But for those drivers that know what they want, the next step is shopping around for car insurance. Since insurance companies use different factors based on your personal profile (e.g., zip code and age) and your coverage choice to set rates, the only way to find cheap car insurance in Virginia is by collecting a few quotes.

Once you’ve got a few car insurance quotes, you can easily identify which is the best auto insurance in Virginia. So, get started by getting access to free quotes now!

Finally, Virginia is in the process of upping their car insurance minimums by 2025, so when you’re shopping for insurance, please note rates will increase with the higher state minimums. Another thing to remember is that the $500 downpayment to avoid having traditional car insurance for the year is under review. If you’ve relied on this insurance option in the past, you may wish to explore other insurance coverages if they repeal this Virginian law.

We’ve got you covered.

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