Auto insurance provides financial protection if you cause an accident that results in property damage or injury. It protects against monetary loss from vandalism, theft, accidents, and other unfortunate calamities.
Virginia requires drivers to maintain minimum auto liability insurance and sometimes high-risk insurance for license reinstatement. Finding and buying the kind of insurance policy to optimize protection can be daunting, especially without a reliable auto insurance company.
It helps to get reliable guidance regarding mandatory and optional coverage options and recommendations about how much coverage is best for you. Lack of professional insurance assistance can lead vehicle owners (and non-owners) to pay higher premiums for unnecessary or inadequate coverage.
Besides knowing Virginia’s minimum auto insurance requirements, you must consider various factors like your location, driving history, vehicle value, and budget to choose the right insurance coverage.
Maybe this is your first experience buying insurance, or perhaps you need to get high-risk insurance for license reinstatement. This guide will give you all the necessary information to decide on your next step. Here are some auto insurance coverage options that ensure compliance when navigating the gorgeous Virginia scenery in your car or motorcycle.
Liability insurance covers the damages a driver causes to another vehicle. It pays claims up to the policy limit, which can be the required state minimum coverage or the maximum coverage offered by an insurance policy.
Liability insurance includes bodily injury and property damage benefits. Virginia requires liability insurance as minimum coverage to demonstrate your ability to handle costs stemming from an at-fault accident.
All drivers need to maintain the minimum coverage requirements for liability insurance. But choosing higher than minimum coverage makes it less likely you’ll have to pay claims out of pocket in case of a serious accident.
Underinsured Motorist or Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
While every state requires drivers to have auto insurance coverage, some motorists don’t comply with those laws. The Insurance Research Council reported that nearly 14% of motorists don’t have adequate insurance, and some don’t have any coverage.
Underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage comes to the rescue when the driver at fault doesn’t have the resources to pay claims out-of-pocket. Buying UM coverage helps you pay for expenses you incur if the driver at fault has no insurance, inadequate insurance, or no resources to pay for them.
This optional coverage pays the cost of repairs to your vehicle resulting from a collision. Even if your car is totaled, collision coverage pays the replacement cost. Unsure if you should invest in collision coverage? To help you decide, consider these factors:
- Your vehicle’s current value
- The amount you’ll pay annually for the additional coverage
- The deductible amount you’ll pay before the policy takes over
All the other insurance coverage options offer protection from costly injuries and damages caused directly by auto accidents. The optional comprehensive coverage policy covers damages caused by fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, and harsh weather.
What Happens if You Drive on the Roads of Virginia Without Auto Insurance?
Besides being of legal age, you must also have a valid driver’s license to operate any motor vehicle in all fifty states across the United States. If someone gets caught driving illegally without a valid driver’s license, it may be considered a misdemeanor, resulting in heavy penalties.
Being caught the second time could lead to the penalties becoming harsher with a higher chance of you ending up with a felony receipt. The rules also apply to driving without valid insurance. This is primarily to encourage people to drive safely and responsibly while ensuring protection from hefty losses Here are some avoidable legal, reputational, and financial repercussions you could face if you drive without insurance.
If you’re driving freely on the roads of Virginia but end up in an accident that results in injuries, you could be liable for all the healthcare expenses. Insurance is critical in such cases because not having coverage by a reliable insurance carrier could put your savings and assets at risk if the other party files for bodily injury claims.
Vehicle Impoundment or Registration Revocation
Driving without insurance could lead the state of Virginia to revoke your vehicle registration or impound the vehicle altogether. If you’re lucky enough to free your vehicle from the impoundment lot, you’ll need to bear the expenses of re-registering the vehicle. Not having proof of insurance also requires you to pay for towing expenses and other associated costs.
Higher Auto Insurance Premiums
Whether you’ve been driving without insurance ever since you got your dream car or just experiencing a coverage gap for a few months to save some money, you’ll likely have to pay a higher insurance rate in the future. This is because most insurance companies view such drivers as high risk and hesitate to insure them adequately.
Most incidents of uninsured driving in Virginia do not result in jail time unless there are prior violations on your record. However, repeat offenses result in harsher punishments such as higher fines and jail time for up to five years. You may have to oblige to conditions that come with driving offenses such as community service but none of these can remove the permanent mark against you on the driving record.
If your license was revoked due to some type of major drug-related driving offense, or simply because you were caught driving recklessly, the state may suspend your license, especially if extenuating circumstances exist or if it is a repeat offense. In this scenario, you might need to file for an SR22 certificate or FR44 insurance. If your offense was DUI or DWI-related, you may also be asked to install an IID before you’re allowed back on the roads.
How UltraCar Insurance Can Help
The risks of uninsured driving are not worth it because you can end up with additional fines, penalties, and even vehicle impoundment. It can also lead to jail time, license revocation, or suspension, time added to an IID requirement.
UltraCar Insurance can help you get back on the road with state-compliant auto and motorcycle insurance policies, commercial auto insurance policies, non-owner SR22 insurance, and non-owner FR44 insurance in Virginia.
Without judgment, our state-licensed professionals help high-risk drivers get low rates on quality, state-compliant SR22 and FR44 certificates in Virginia. Besides high-risk auto insurance, we also help you connect with state specialists at Intoxalock for cost-effective ignition interlock (IID) installation in Virginia.
This article was last updated on August 30th, 2022 by UltraCar Insurance