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General Virginia Insurance Guidelines
Virginia currently requires that all drivers be covered under liability insurance. You may pay a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee instead, but you will not be covered for damages. Proof of insurance must always be accessible in the vehicle.
Minimum Liability Coverage in Virginia
Virginia's minimum liability amounts are as follows:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person.
- $50,000 total bodily injury per accident.
- $20,000 total property damage per accident.
These are only the minimum requirements set by the state. Experts advise protecting your assets by getting more coverage than the state-mandated minimums as these limits tend not to keep pace with the ever increasing costs of car repairs and medical bills. Most drivers also add collision and comprehensive coverage to their policies to cover possible damage to their own cars as well.
Penalties for Driving without Insurance
The penalties for driving without insurance in Virginia are:
- Vehicle owners who are uninsured (and have not paid the UMV fee) will have their operator license suspended.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Some states require drivers to carry UM/UIM, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects a driver if they get in an accident where the other party does not have auto insurance. Virginia requires UM/UIM coverage. The minimum UM/UIM coverage amounts for Virginia are required at the same level as the liability coverage you maintain. The $20,000 property damage coverage is subject to a $200 deductible when a loss is caused by a hit-and-run driver who cannot be identified.
Some states have “No-Fault” laws where a policy holder will be reimbursed by their insurance company without proof of fault, and restricted in the right to seek reimbursement through the court system for losses caused by other parties. Virginia is not a “No-Fault” state.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Some states have Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” regulations requiring drivers to carry PIP insurance. This is an extension of auto insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages and/or other damages. Virginia does not require drivers to purchase PIP insurance.
SR-22 Requirements for Virginia
An SR-22 form is a vehicle liability insurance document to be filed with a state’s DMV as proof that a driver has the minimum required liability insurance coverage for that state. SR-22 filings are usually only required to reinstate driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident or driving without insurance. Virginia requires an SR-22 filing for driver’s license reinstatement.
Virginia DUI Laws
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the United States with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08% or higher. All states have driver's licensing laws that state that a licensed driver has given implied consent to a field sobriety test and/or method of determining BAC. This means that a driver is required to take such tests if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for administering one, with automatic penalties for refusing to comply. If BAC is determined to be above the legal level a driver will be penalized in various ways. The first DUI offense penalties for Virginia are:
- Minimum 5 days imprisonment if minor under 18 in vehicle
- 5 days imprisonment if BAC is 0.15% - 0.20%
- 10 days imprisonment if BAC is 0.20% +
- Minimum $250 fine
- Add $500–$1,000 if there is a minor under 18 in vehicle
- 1 year license suspension
- Ignition interlock if BAC is 0.15% +
- Alcohol safety program
Additional Information on Insurance for Virginia
For more information, please contact Virginia Bureau of Insurance: 1-800-552-7945 or visit their website at www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/.
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