The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that in 2015, it cost $8,558 on average to own and operate a sedan, which includes the cost of insurance. Purchasing car insurance is an important part of being a driver—for protecting yourself and other drivers on the road. However, Virginia allows residents to forego car insurance minimums if they pay a fee.
Virginia’s Car Insurance Minimums
If you choose to buy car insurance in Virginia, you must meet minimum coverage amounts—to protect yourself, your passengers, your property, as well as the other driver and his property (in case you cause an accident). Especially in cases of hit-and-run accidents or accidents involving uninsured/underinsured drivers, the money paid in insurance premiums every month is put to good use. Virginia’s minimum coverage requirements are:
- $25,000 for the bodily injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for the bodily injury or death of two or more people
- $20,000 for property damage
- $20,000 limit on uninsured/underinsured accidents
Virginia’s Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee
Most states require drivers to carry the minimum insurance coverages. Virginia offers an alternative option—the uninsured motor vehicle (UMV) fee—for those who do not wish to pay insurance premiums. By paying this $500 fee, a Virginia driver agrees that:
- He is not insured, but has permission from Virginia to drive uninsured.
- He is financially responsible for any costs incurred by accidents.
- He will pay the fee with his registration renewal every 12 months.
However, if a driver fails to buy minimum insurance coverages or pay the UMV fee, he may have to pay a $500 penalty, file an SR-22 with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for three years, and pay an additional reinstatement fee to earn back his driving privileges.
Your Next Steps After an Accident
If you’ve been involved in a car accident with someone who lacks proper or adequate insurance or is unable to cover expenses, you may need to speak with an attorney. At Tavss Fletcher, we can help you file proper documents, gather evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement. Contact us today by starting a live online chat with one of our team members.