While Virginia is one of the few states where owning car insurance isn’t required by law, it’s still useful to have it in case you get into an accident and need to help pay for damages. The state also has some of the cheapest car insurance rates in the country, and it’s important to understand what you can expect to pay if you own one or more vehicles so you can take advantage of the more inexpensive rates. Here’s your guide to the average car insurance cost in Virginia.
Minimum Required Insurance in Virginia
Virginia is one of two states that doesn’t currently require motorists to carry car insurance. However, the government does require them to pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee if they decide not to drive without insurance. Like many states, Virginia uses an electronic insurance verification program to determine which drives carry insurance. If you get into an accident and you don’t have insurance, you’re expected to pay the full amount of damages. If you decide to purchase an insurance policy, it must cover up to:
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death per person involved in the accident
- $60,000 for bodily injury or death per person involved in the accident
- $20,000 for property damage per accident
This liability is the same for uninsured or underinsured motorists. The potential penalties for driving without valid proof of insurance or having paid the uninsured motor vehicle fee include a $500 fine. Repeat offenses may lead to a suspension of your driver’s license and a Class 3 misdemeanor charge. When choosing your insurance policy, it’s important to consider a variety of factors while keeping in mind that even if you choose the minimum insurance policy, you’re still vulnerable to losses from collision-related damages, theft, or catastrophic events.
Average Cost of Car Insurance in Virginia
Virginia drivers pay an average of $1,304 per year for full car insurance coverage and $441 per year for the minimum coverage required by law. These rates are significantly cheaper than the rates in nearby states and the national average of $1,674 and $565. This is primarily due to extensive government regulation in the insurance industry and heavy competition, with a wide variety of providers not available in other states. However, there are numerous factors that might affect the amount you end up paying annually.
In addition, if you finance your vehicle in Virginia with a lease or a loan, the state will most likely require you to purchase full coverage to avoid potential liability if you get in an accident. Even if you don’t have a newer vehicle, it’s often still beneficial to obtain full coverage so that you don’t have to worry about being responsible for paying for your vehicle’s repairs out-of-pocket if you’re involved in an incident.
Virginia Car Insurance Rates
In addition to saving big, you have plenty of reputable insurers to choose from when deciding on an insurance policy if you live in Virginia. The following national providers are especially popular among Virginia drivers who prefer full coverage:
- Nationwide: $770 annually/$64 monthly
- Progressive: $945 annually/$79 monthly
- State Farm: $993 annually/$83 monthly
- Geico: $1,227 annually/$102 monthly
- Allstate: $1,421 annually/$118 monthly
Keep in mind that these rates are likely to vary significantly, depending on your driving history, along with several other factors. If you opt for minimum coverage, you can expect to pay the following premiums from the same providers:
- Geico: $309 annually/$26 monthly
- State Farm: $331 annually/$28 monthly
- Nationwide: $357 annually/$30 monthly
- Progressive: $364 annually/$30 monthly
- Allstate: $466 annually/$39 monthly
Factors That May Affect Your Insurance Rate
After requesting a car insurance quote, there are several factors that providers like to take into consideration to determine your rates. Drivers who have a riskier profile may cost more to insure. This includes drivers with a history of speeding tickets or traffic violations and drivers who have a DUI or an accident on their record. Teenage drivers are also likely to pay a higher premium due to the number of accidents they’re involved in. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an annual premium of $4,382, while 30-year-old drivers only pay $1,431.
Like in most states, insurers in Virginia are likely to factor in your credit history when considering the rate to charge you. Generally, if you have poor credit or no credit, you can expect to pay a little more than drivers who have good credit. Your marital status may also play a role in your insurance rate. Married drivers may save $20 in car insurance costs compared to those who are single or divorced.
Location is another major factor affecting insurance rates in Virginia. Drivers who live in larger, more populated areas closer to Washington, D.C. or the coastline will likely pay more than drivers in more rural localities. This is due to the increased risk of auto theft and accidents. Here are the cities with the most expensive annual average insurance premiums for full coverage:
- Norfolk: $1,499
- Portsmouth: $1,446
- Alexandria: $1,398
- Hampton: $1,377
Cities where drivers pay less for full coverage:
- Harrisonburg: $1,097
- Winchester: $1,162
- Roanoke: $1,185
- Williamsburg: $1,196
How To Save On Your Car Insurance in Virginia
While car insurance costs are cheaper in Virginia than in many other states, there are still many ways for you to save. One simple way you can save is by obtaining quotes from several insurance companies so you can compare rates to find a lower premium and switch to an even cheaper provider. You may also be able to access a discount if you’re a safe driver.
In addition, consider bundling your home and auto insurance. You might be able to earn a discount on both types of insurance. If you’re unsure of the discounts that might be available to you, check with your insurance agent to learn how you can save. In addition, speak with your employer to see if they offer any special discounts or coupons for certain providers.
Whether you opt for full coverage or just liability, you should spend some time researching so you can locate the best possible price. Now that you know Virginia’s average car insurance cost, you can make a more informed decision when it’s time to purchase coverage.
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.