Here’s the short answer: if you are a Virginia resident, it is legal to drive your vehicle without purchasing auto insurance. However, it’s important to learn all the factors involved before making a decision. Driving without insurance can come with serious consequences.
Virginia Is a Fault State
When you purchase auto insurance and get into a wreck in a no-fault state—your fault or not—your insurance company is responsible for paying for damages. However, Virginia is a fault state, which means that your liability insurance carrier will pay only if the driver of your car was at fault. If you choose to forego auto insurance, you are required to:
- Pay the DMV a $500/year fee to waive insurance. When you choose to drive without insurance, the Virginia DMV requires that you pay $500 in addition to your typical registration fees every year to waive insurance. You may also choose to prorate this $500 fee if you need to go without insurance for only part of the year.
- Be 100% personally liable for any car accidents you cause. Think about what this means. If you cause a crash, you alone would be responsible for property damages, medical bills, and any lost wages. It might be a fender-bender, or it might be a fatal crash. Repairing a bumper might not be so bad, but even a few days in the ICU can cost upwards of $100,000.
Why It’s Better to Pay for Auto Insurance
Even though you’re not required to purchase auto insurance in Virginia, it’s important that you do. Unfortunately, the Virginia DMV reported 120,282 traffic crashes in 2014, so it’s not unlikely you’ll be involved in a crash. Even if you drive safely and responsibly, other drivers may not. Minimum car insurance coverages in Virginia follow a 25/50/20 rule:
- $25,000 coverage for bodily injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people
- $20,000 for property damage
These coverages are the minimums for a reason. Serious car accidents need more coverage, so it’s important to buy the highest insurance coverages you can afford. Doing so will protect you, your family, and your property.
If you’ve been involved in a car wreck and need the help of an experienced lawyer to file a claim, the team at Tavss Fletcher is here to help. We have the skills and strategy necessary to help you build your case. Start a live chat on our website to get started on your case today.