Virginia drivers are required to purchase a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage for all registered vehicles. You can legally drive without insurance in Virginia, but you have to pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee to avoid a penalty.
Virginia auto insurance requirements
On January 1, 2022, Virginia began the process of gradually raising minimum liability limits over a three-year period. The limits listed below represent the first increase in coverage requirements, which raised bodily injury liability limits by $5,000 per person and $10,000 per occurrence.
|Bodily injury (BI) liability||$30,000 per person / $60,000 per accident|
|Property damage (PD) liability||$20,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury (UM/UIMBI)||$30,000 per person / $60,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage (UM/UIMPD)||$20,000 per accident|
Drivers in Virginia can anticipate a second increase to the minimum auto insurance coverage limits on January 1, 2025. The state plans to raise the requirement to $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person and $100,000 per accident, along with $25,000 of property damage per accident. These increases will be reflected in uninsured coverage as well.
Required coverages in Virginia
Bodily injury liability
Bodily injury (BI) coverage pays the other driver's medical bills up to your chosen limits when you cause an accident, as well as associated legal fees. Higher limits are available in Virginia, up to as much as $1 million per accident. However, the amount available varies by insurer.
Property damage liability
Property damage (PD) insurance covers any damage you cause in an accident up to the limit you purchase. Virginia insurers also offer higher limits of PD, as high as $500,000 from some insurers.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury (UM/UIMBI) covers your medical payments when you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. If a driver whose limits are lower than your UM/UIM limits hits you, the difference between these two limits will also be covered by your insurance company. You can opt for higher UM/UIMBI limits; however, they cannot be higher than the limits of your own liability insurance.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage
Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage (UM/UIMPD) covers your property damage costs when you are hit by an uninsured driver. In the event that an insured driver with lower limits than your UM/UIMPD limits causes the accident, you will also be covered for the difference between the two limits.
Two common occasions when you'll need to show your proof of insurance are when you are pulled over by law enforcement or when you receive a notice from the DMV's Insurance Verification Program. Presenting your insurance ID card and/or responding to the program inquiry with your vehicle identification number (VIN), insurance carrier name and policy number should suffice.
Cheapest companies in Virginia for minimum liability
Minimum requirements for FR-44 policies
Virginia drivers who are caught driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs have different insurance requirements than those with a clean driving record. You will need to carry an FR-44 policy for at least three years, which doubles the minimum coverage requirements and must be filed as your proof of financial responsibility.
The cost of FR-44 insurance in Virginia is higher than the cost of SR-22 insurance because SR-22 drivers may still purchase the standard minimum liability limits. However, both filings will result in higher premiums than for a driver with a clean record, so we recommend comparing quotes from multiple insurers.
Uninsured motorist fee in Virginia
In Virginia, you have the choice to drive without insurance, but you must pay an uninsured motorist fee to the DMV to do so legally. When you register your vehicle for the first time or are renewing your registration, you can pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee.
Although this fee satisfies the financial responsibility law, it does not provide the financial protection that you will need if you're involved in an accident.
Recommended auto insurance coverage in Virginia
Purchasing minimum liability insurance satisfies the legal requirement in Virginia. However, it might not offer enough protection.
The required liability insurance ensures that you have some money to pay for injuries and property damage you cause in an accident. However, these limits may not be high enough to cover a serious accident. Furthermore, there are still other costs that may arise from an accident (such as your lost income when you can’t work) that aren't covered by a liability-only policy.
Here are some other coverages available in Virginia that can help protect you against unwanted expenses:
- Collision and comprehensive coverages protect your vehicle against damage, whether from a car crash, theft, hail or a number of other causes. These coverages include deductibles you must pay before your insurance company will pay out a claim, and the deductible amount you choose will affect the price of your insurance.
- Medical payments coverage covers your medical-related costs resulting from an accident, regardless of fault. If anyone covered by your policy passes away in the crash, this coverage will also pay for funeral expenses. In Virginia, medical payments coverage is also referred to as the medical expense benefit. Insurers offer medical payments limits between $500 and $10,000, varying by insurer.
- All Virginia licensed insurers are required by law to offer lost income benefits coverage for up to $100 per week for a total of 52 weeks ($5,200 total). You might consider adding this coverage to supplement your income and help cover monthly expenses.
Frequently asked questions
Does Virginia require car insurance?
Virginia's financial responsibility law requires drivers to either carry a minimum amount of liability insurance or pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee to the DMV when registering their vehicle. However, the uninsured motor vehicle fee does not offer any protection if you're involved in an accident. For this reason, we always recommend that drivers purchase an insurance policy.
What are the minimum insurance requirements in Virginia?
The minimum car insurance coverage you can purchase in Virginia includes $30,000 of bodily injury liability per person and $60,000 per accident, along with $20,000 of property damage liability coverage.
How much is the uninsured motorist fee in Virginia?
The uninsured motorist fee is $500 per year in Virginia and must be paid at the time of registration.
Is motorcycle insurance required in Virginia?
Bikers are required to follow the same financial responsibility requirements as other motorists in Virginia, meaning they must either purchase insurance that meets the minimum liability requirements or pay an annual uninsured motorist fee.
Is Virginia a no-fault state?
Virginia is not a no-fault state, which means that an accident victim has the right to sue the driver who caused the accident for medical expenses, pain and suffering.