Car insurance can protect you from having to pay for unexpected repairs, a new car, medical treatment, or damage to someone else’s vehicle or property. Most states, including Virginia, require drivers to have liability insurance. This coverage pays another driver or a pedestrian if the police and your insurance company determine an accident was your fault. Insurance that covers collisions and other damage to your vehicle is available as well.
To get cheap car insurance in Virginia, consider your options carefully, shop around, and compare prices. Continue reading to learn more about the cheapest insurance companies in the state, get tips for selecting coverage, and discover ways to lower your rates.
Cheap Car Insurance Companies in Virginia
According to U.S. News & World Report’s Cheapest Car Insurance Companies study, drivers in Virginia pay an average of $991 per year for car insurance, which is 25% less than the national average. In many circumstances, you can save even more. Here are some of the best cheap car insurance companies in Virginia and their average yearly rates:
- Travelers: $974
- Progressive: $915
- Erie Insurance: $901
- State Farm: $834
- USAA: $696
For most drivers in Virginia, State Farm is the cheapest option. It has some of the lowest rates on average, and it’s the best option for people over 65, drivers with past tickets or accidents, and those who want the minimum or maximum amount of coverage available.
Erie Insurance has the lowest rates for teen drivers, and Nationwide is cheapest for people with poor credit. If you’re an active member of the military, a veteran, or someone with a veteran in your family, you can get better rates than most other options through USAA. It’s also a good idea to get recommendations from family members and friends. They can let you know which insurer has the best customer service in your area.
Your Coverage Options
You can customize your car insurance according to your needs, and understanding what’s available can help you find cheap coverage. Contact several insurance companies, ask for quotes, and compare them. Consider your deductible and your policy limits as well as your premium.
Coverage that’s a bit more expensive often provides better protection after an accident. Many insurance companies offer coverage for roadside assistance, towing, rental car reimbursement, glass protection, medical expenses, and funeral costs as well. You can also choose gap insurance. This coverage pays the full amount you owe on a vehicle if it becomes a total loss, even if the car is currently worth less than what you owe.
All drivers in Virginia must have at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability and uninsured motorist coverage and $20,000 per accident in property damage liability and uninsured motorist insurance. These include a $200 deductible for hit-and-run accidents. Many people increase their bodily injury coverage to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for better liability and uninsured motorist protection.
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for your expenses if a hit-and-run driver or someone without insurance causes an accident. You can also purchase underinsured motorist coverage that covers any difference between the other driver’s policy limit and your damage. If you don’t get the minimum amount of coverage required in Virginia, you must pay a $500 fee to the DMV when you register your vehicle. Also be prepared to pay for another driver’s damages if you get into an accident and the police conclude you’re at fault.
If you have a valuable vehicle or you still owe money on your ride, you can get collision and comprehensive insurance to protect you from damage no matter who or what caused it. However, using this type of insurance after an accident could increase your rates. When possible, use your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage instead to keep your premium low.
Choosing Your Coverage Carefully
Getting a policy with a higher deductible can help you lower your premium. The deductible is the money you must pay for repairs before your insurer helps you with the rest of your expenses.
If you have an older car and you know you wouldn’t receive much reimbursement for it after an accident — even a total loss — you can skip comprehensive and collision coverage. Just get the minimum amount of liability and uninsured motorist coverage required in Virginia. However, if you still owe money on a car loan or you have a lease, most lenders require you to purchase collision and comprehensive insurance.
People who don’t have this coverage might need to pay for a new vehicle with their own money if an accident is their fault. If you don’t choose collision and comprehensive insurance, make sure you have the funds for a new vehicle or the credit necessary for a loan.
Ways To Save on Car Insurance
You can lower your car insurance rates by improving your credit score. Pay your bills on time, and apply for a credit card if you don’t have one already. If you can’t qualify for a regular card, you can get a secured credit card that requires a deposit for collateral. Many credit card providers let you check your score to monitor your progress. Drivers can also take a defensive driving course and drive carefully to avoid accidents or tickets.
With some companies, you can have a tracking device installed that sends information to your insurer. It records driving safety information, including how hard you turn and brake, how fast you go, and whether you use your phone while driving or engage in other distracting behaviors. Many insurers offer discounts to younger drivers with good grades and those who leave their cars at home instead of taking them to college. You can save by getting your homeowners or renters insurance with the same carrier, as well.
Driving without car insurance in Virginia can expose you to financial risk. Fortunately, getting protection is very affordable for most people in the state, and you can choose from many insurance options from a variety of companies.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.