You should not underestimate the importance of car insurance. Besides keeping you on the right side of the law, maintaining the proper coverage on your vehicle protects you from potential financial difficulty, even bankruptcy.
Virginia state law requires you to insure any registered vehicle you own, even if it isn't working or being used. The law sets minimum liability coverage amounts, which are:
- $25,000 for injury or death of one person.
- $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people.
- $20,000 for property damage.
However, you should consider raising your liability limits past the minimum. If you get into a crash and the driver of the other car sues you for damages that exceed your limits, you will have to pay the remainder of the bill out of pocket.
If insurance is not an option for you, Virginia law allows you to pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee. This allows you to register and operate your vehicle for a year. However, it isn't insurance, and you can be held liable if you cause an accident.
Sample of Annual Virginia Auto Insurance Rates
Virginia Beach Auto Insurance
Virginia Beach is the largest city in the Old Dominion state with a population of more than 450,000 people. Situated along the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is an oceanfront town that attracts tourists. Virginia Beach is considered part of the Hampton Roads.
From Virginia Beach, Interstate 264 runs west through Norfolk. In Virginia Beach, Pacific Avenue turns into U.S. Route 60 and runs north to into Richmond.
Suffolk Auto Insurance
Suffolk is the 10th-largest city in Virginia with a population of more than 88,000 people. But measure by geographical area, Suffolk is the largest city in the state. The town is situated along the Hampton Roads.
From Suffolk, U.S. Route 58 runs northeast through Norfolk on the way into Virginia Beach, and west toward Interstate 95. Route 17 runs north into Newport News. U.S. Route 460 runs northwest into Petersburg, Va.
Chesapeake Auto Insurance
Chesapeake is the third-largest city in Virginia with a population of more than 232,000 people. Chesapeake is situated along the South Hampton Roads. The town was named after the nearby Chesapeake Bay.
Chesapeake is situated at the southern portion of the Hampton Roads Beltway, which consists of Interstate 64 and Interstate 664, running north through Hampton and Newport News. Interstate 464 connects Chesapeake with Portsmouth and Norfolk to the north. Just outside of Chesapeake, Interstate 264 runs northeast toward Virginia Beach.
Hampton Auto Insurance
Hampton is the seventh-largest city in Virginia with a population of about 136,000 people. The town is the namesake of the Hampton Roads region in southern Virginia. Hampton University played a role in educating former slaves following the Civil War. NBA superstar Allen Iverson was born here.
From Hampton, Interstate 64 runs north toward Newport News. Heading south, Interstate 64 turns into the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, passing Norfolk and Virginia Beach on the way to Chesapeake.
Newport News Auto Insurance
Newport News is the fifth-largest city in Virginia with a population of more than 183,000 people. The city is home to the Virginia War Museum. It is located along the Hampton Roads.
From Newport News, Interstate 64 runs north into Richmond, and south through Hampton, where it becomes the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. U.S. Route 60 connects Newport News with Richmond to the north and Virginia Beach to the south. Virginia State Route 171 runs east into Poquoson.
Norfolk Auto Insurance
Norfolk is the second-largest city in Virginia with a population of more than 247,000 people. The military town is home to the world's largest Navy base. Norfolk is located in the Hampton Roads.
Norfolk is surrounded by the Hampton Roads Beltway, which consists of Interstate 64 and Interstate 664. Interstate 264 runs east toward Virginia Beach, and south through Portsmouth. Just across the river, Interstate 464 runs south toward Chesapeake.
Poquoson Auto Insurance
Poquoson is a small town in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia with a population of about 12,000 people. Poquoson boarders Plum Tree Island National Wildlife Refuge, most of which is closed to the public. The peninsula town consists of four times more square miles of water than land.
The only highways running through Poquoson are Virginia State Route 171, which connects the town with Newport News to the west, and Virginia State Route 172, which runs south toward the NASA Langley Research Center and the Langley Air Force Base.
Richmond Auto Insurance
Richmond is the state capital and fourth-largest city in Virginia with a population of more than 220,000 people. Richmond has played a big role in American history, both as the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War, and the spot where Patrick Henry famously said, "Give me liberty, or give me death" during the Revolutionary War.
From Richmond, Interstate 95 runs north toward Washington, D.C., and south toward Savannah, Ga. Interstate 64 runs west through Charlottesville, and south toward Newport News and Chesapeake. U.S. Route 60 runs south into Virginia Beach.
Lynchburg Auto Insurance
Lynchburg is the 11th-largest city in Virginia with a population of nearly 80,000 people. Lynchburg is known as the "City of Seven Hills," because it is situated near the Blue Ridge Mountains. During the Civil War, Lynchburg was one of the few places in Virginia that the Union army did not capture.
From Lynchburg, U.S. Route 460 runs southwest into Roanoke and east toward Suffolk. U.S. 29 connects Lynchburg with Charlottesville to the north. U.S. Route 501 runs south into Durham, North Carolina. Passing north of Lynchburg, U.S. Route 60 runs east into Richmond.
Portsmouth Auto Insurance
Portsmouth is the ninth-largest city in Virginia with a population of more than 96,000 people. Portsmouth is home to the historic Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The town is located inside the Hampton Roads.
Portsmouth is surrounded by the Hampton Roads Beltway, which consists of Interstate 64 and Interstate 664. Interstate 264 connects Portsmouth with Norfolk to the north and continues toward Virginia Beach. Just outside of town, Interstate 464 runs south toward Chesapeake. Interstate 664 begins in Hampton and also runs south toward Chesapeake. U.S. Route 60 runs north into Williamsburg, and south along the coast toward Virginia Beach.
Finding Auto Insurance Resources in Virginia
The Bureau of Insurance has a wealth of information about auto insurance. You can look up insurance companies and agents, find tips on buying auto insurance, and read up on the state's insurance information materials.
Buying Auto Insurance in Virginia
State law requires a minimum amount of liability coverage for all registered vehicles. It's a good idea to have insurance anyway because you may be liable for damages if you cause an accident. There are also coverage options that protect you and your property if you're involved in an accident, regardless of fault. Collision coverage pays for repair or replacement of your vehicle after a crash. Uninsured motorists coverage offers protection if you're in an accident with someone who doesn't have insurance.
Moving to Virginia: Important Information
You have 30 days to title and register your vehicle in Virginia if you move there. Before you can do that, you have to get a vehicle inspection. You may also have to get an emissions test if you live in certain cities or counties. These are:
- The counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Stafford.
- The cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park.
If you have a current emissions certificate from another state, you may not need a test. You will need insurance that meets the minimum requirements in order to register your vehicle.
After you move to Virginia, you have 60 days to get a Virginia driver's license. If you hold a valid license from another state or from Canada, France or Germany, you don't have to take a written or road test. You do have to take a vision test and show proof of identity and residency to get a Virginia license. All this information and more is available on the state's DMV website.
Understanding Driving Laws in Virginia
Virginia uses a point system to evaluate and rate drivers. You incur demerit points if found guilty of a traffic violation. Points for certain violations remain on your record permanently. You can also earn safe driving points for every year that you have a valid Virginia license and don't get any demerit points. You can use these points to offset demerits. Since this affects you as a risk candidate, having fewer points equates to lower insurance premiums.
Frequently Asked Questions About Virginia Auto Insurance
1. What happens if you just can't afford to buy insurance?
You can pay an uninsured vehicle fee, which allows you to operate the vehicle at your own risk for one year. You have to pay this fee every year that you don't have insurance.
2. Can your insurance company add points to your driving record?
Insurance companies can add points to your insurance record, but this is separate from your DMV driving record. Insurance companies use your driving record to assess points in their own databases. These points affect your rates.
3. How much coverage do you have to buy?
Virginia state law sets limits on the liability coverage you are required to have. You can purchase additional or other types of coverage, but you have to have at least the minimum.
How to Get Great Rates on Virginia Auto Insurance
Finding an auto insurance quote can seem overwhelming – but insuranceQuotes.com helps you find the best car insurance policy at the best price. Every year, we match 15 million consumers to the nation’s biggest auto insurance companies, including State Farm, Allstate and Liberty Mutual.
insuranceQuotes.com connects you with local and national insurance companies that give you free car insurance estimates by phone or email within minutes. By comparing multiple quotes, you can be sure that you’re getting the best price for car insurance.
Virginia Auto Insurance Resources
Need more than just Virginia auto insurance quotes? Below are some helpful resources.
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Virginia Bureau of Insurance
Virginia Cell Phone Driving Laws
insuranceQuotes.com Auto Rate Methodology
Rates are based on one vehicle and one driver who has state minimum coverage with $500 deductibles. The hypothetical driver is 35 years old, female or male, employed, a college graduate, and has good credit. She has no traffic violations, claims, or lapse in coverage. The vehicle is assumed to be a sedan that is garaged on premises, used primarily for commuting, and driven 16,000 miles per year. Rates include commonly available carrier discounts and are estimates and not guaranteed.