Auto Insurance Basics

Best Car Insurance Rates in Virginia

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ValuePenguin.com analyzed car insurance premiums to give the state's 5.7 million licensed drivers an idea of the best auto insurance rates in Virginia. We studied car insurance rates by company, city, and profile, and found the overall average to be $2,737 for a standard liability protection. 

While $2,737 was the mean blended premium, we found that rates could vary quite widely. In fact, for the same driver, we saw the difference between the minimum and maximum car insurance costs to be as much as 7x between different companies and cities. This is why to find the best rates, consumers should shop around. Type your zip code below to start shopping great quotes from the top auto insurance companies in your area, or read more below.

Best Auto Insurance in Virginia

The annual premiums below are based on auto insurance coverage that adds uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments, and some comprehensive and collision protection in addition to the minimum insurance liability limits in the state of Virginia.

Based on the sample rates below, prospective policyholders can see how researching and comparing rates result in a more informed decision. The difference between the most expensive and lowest rates is $4,206, which could have almost paid for four more years of car insurance at USAA. For non-military drivers, that delta is $3,714 between Progressive Direct Insurance Company and Travelers Home and Marine Company. Read below for the best car insurance companies ranked by premiums.

Insurer Annual Car Insurance Rates
USAA $1,157
USAA Casualty 1,161
USAA General Indemnity 1,600
Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Co 1,637
Travelers Home and Marine 1,649
GEICO Casualty 1,714
Mid Century Insurance Co. 1,826
State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co. 1,972
Erie Insurance Exchange 1,979
GEICO General 2,147
Government Employees Insurance Co. 2,147
State Farm Fire and Casualty 2,334
VA Farm Bureau Town & Country 2,365
VA Farm Bureau Mutual 2,596
Allstate Property and Casualty 2,919
GEICO Indemnity 2,953
Nationwide Property and Casualty Co. 3,036
Nationwide General Insurance Co. 3,103
Integon Casualty 3,348
Progressive Gulf Insurance Co. 3,516
Allstate Insurance Company 3,648
Progressive Advanced Insurance Co. 3,735
LM (Liberty Mutual) Insurance Corp. 5,246
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. 5,271
Progressive Direct Insurance Co. 5,363

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Cheapest Auto Insurance in Virginia

Based on survey data, the three companies with the cheapest auto insurance rates were USAA, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and Traveler's Home & Marine Company. Since the first two are specialty auto insurers (USAA and Garrison are affiliated companies that provide financial services for members of the military forces), we'll add two more to the list: GEICO Casualty and Mid Century Insurance (a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance). Annual auto insurance rates for GEICO, Travelers, and Mid Century averaged out to $1,729, which was about 37% cheaper than the average in the state.

Most Expensive Auto Insurers

At the other end of the spectrum, the three most expensive insurers in the survey were: Progressive Direct Insurance Company, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, and Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp. The average of these three companies is $5,294, which is almost twice the overall state average (93% higher). This helps to illustrate that underwriting criteria and methodologies can differ widely for the same profile across multiple insurers, and that consumers should compare rates at a few insurers to understand what a fair market rate for their policy would cost.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in Virginia: by City

The areas sampled in the study represent a blend of the state capital, large cities, and smaller rural areas. In general, across cities, there was not much variation in the cost of insurance across the 25 underwriters and three driver profiles in the study. Roanoke, with a population of 97,000 was the cheapest place to insure a car at $2,364 a year. Alexandria, the most expensive city in the sample, was 23% more expensive.

Alexandria, VA

As the hometowns of Presidents George Washington and Gerald Ford, Alexandria, VA is a city steeped in history as well as one of the most expensive cities in Virginia for car insurance. The annual cost of insuring one's car in Alexandria was $2,917, the most expensive in our sample size. Car insurance rates for 45 year old married adults, however, were an outlier: they actually saved money by living in Alexandria, as opposed to Norfolk or Roanoke, two cities with higher costs for this demographic.

The most expensive insurer in Alexandria in the study was Progressive Direct Insurance Company at $5,742, while the cheapest car insurance company was United Services Automobile Association (USAA) with rates of $1,178. However, one must be a member or a direct relative of a member of the military services in order to qualify for their insurance. For those without any military affiliation, GEICO ranked as a close second cheapest car insurer in this area with annual premiums of $1,634.

Richmond, VA

The 210,000 residents paid about $2,765 a year to insure their cars in Richmond, the capital of the Old Dominion and former capital of the Confederacy. Car insurance rates in this city were middle-of-the-road for the three driver profiles compared to the other cities in the study. In addition to USAA, Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company had the best car insurance rates per year of $1,465. On the other end of the spectrum was Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, with annual premiums of $5,469. 

To give readers a sample of the auto insurance rates across our profiles, single 20 year old males and females could pay $3,920 and $2,947, respectively, in Richmond. Middle-aged married adults could see annual premiums of $1,429 - nearly half the rates of the younger adults.

Virginia Beach, VA

Despite being the most populous city in Virginia with 447,000 residents, Virginia Beach had the second best and cheapest auto insurance rates in the study. $2,624 was the annual blended cost of insuring and keeping one's vehicle in Virginia Beach - about 4% cheaper than the state average, $292 cheaper than Alexandria, and $141 less expensive than Richmond. 

The best rates for car insurance in Virginia Beach were found at Mid Century Insurance Company (outside of specialty insurers such as USAA and Garrison). Insuring one's car with Mid Century, a Farmers Insurance subsidiary, cost $1,613 on average, compared to $5,135 at Liberty Mutual, or $5,327 at Nationwide Mutual. That's a difference of $3,500+, which would have more than paid for two more years of insurance at Mid Century with a little bit of research and comparison shopping.

Norfolk, VA

With a blended car insurance rates of $2,872, Norfolk ranks as the third most expensive in the study. This city of 238,000 residents is home to the largest naval base in the world and the American headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The city is easily accessible by interstate highways 64 and 264, which link to the northern, southern, and western parts of the States. Vehicles have plenty of places to get parked: there are 20,000 public parking spaces spread across the city's fifteen garages and nine lots, as well as and over 700 on-street spaces.

Roanoke, VA

Roanoke has the cheapest car insurance rates on a blended basis in our state study of $2,364. Nestled in the Roanoke Valley between the Blue Ridge and the Virginia Alleghany Highlands, this city of 97,000 has a number of sites and sights within driving distance. Fanning out from the main arteries of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Mill Mountain Parkway Spur are attractions such as the Peak of Otters, the Discovery Center, and the Roanoke Star, the largest illuminated standing star in the world, to name a few. Some more miles away are destinations that make for great day and road trips via car.

Charlotte County, VA

Charlotte County has a number of historical plantations and sixteen spots on the National Register of Historic Places that span both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. There are two self-guided driving tours of note for Civil War history buffs: the Lee Retreat and the Wilson-Kautz Raid routes. From the comfort of your car, you can drive across 40 Civil War sites that circle through cities such as Chase City, Kenbridge, Hopewell, Petersburge, Blackstone, Burkeville, and Keysville in Virginia.

Blended rates of $2,879 in Charlotte County make it the second most expensive area in the study. The county's rates are meant as a ballpark estimate of what auto insurance premiums can cost in rural areas of the Old Dominion. 

Car Insurance Costs by Driver Type

  Single Female, 20 Single Male, 20 Married Adult, 40 Average 
Alexandria, VA $3,106  $4,152  $1,492 $2,917 
Richmond, VA  2,947  3,920  1,429  2,765 
Virginia Beach, VA  2,801  3,714  1,358  2,624 
Norfolk, VA  3,060  4,064  1,493  2,872 
Roanoke, VA  2,514  3,353  1,226  2,364 
Charlotte County, VA  3,029  4,077  1,531  2,879 
Average $2,909  $3,880  $1,421  $2,737 

Best Car Insurance Companies in Virginia

To determine the best auto insurance companies in Virginia, we decided to look into how many customer complaints each company received relative to their competitors. We analzyed the number of complaints and the amount of business for the top 90% of insurers in the state to calculate a complaint index. The complaint index compares the ratio of a company’s complaints and premiums to the state’s total auto insurance complaints and premiums. In Virginia, Northern Neck, Virginia Farm Bureau, Farmers, and Erie Insurance ranked as the four best companies based on this metric. Below are the insurers in Virginia ranked by the lowest (best) to highest complaint index (an index number of 1 indicates the average company in VA):

Company Total Premiums Underwritten # of Complaints Complaint Index
Northern Neck Insurance Company $14,690,278 0 0.00
Virginia Farm Bureau 102,147,111 1 0.05
Farmers 35,791,022 3 0.42
Erie Insurance 160,015,448 15 0.46
Nationwide 396,846,371 40 0.50
Allstate 427,588,268 52 0.60
State Farm 809,251,036 109 0.67
Progressive 382,932,189 53 0.69
USAA 601,932,737 88 0.72
MetLife 19,909,956 3 0.75
GEICO 767,018,054 139 0.90
Travelers 56,441,120 12 1.05
Esurance 32,772,163 8 1.21
Liberty Mutual 137,708,820 36 1.29
Victoria Insurance 28,935,535 8 1.37
Donegal Insurance Group 20,839,888 6 1.43
Rockingham Group 14,397,820 5 1.72
Amica 16,293,778 6 1.82
Direct General 15,799,200 6 1.88
National General 71,543,771 32 2.21
Agency Insurance Company 25,044,490 15 2.97
Alfa 79,050,893 52 3.26
Hartford 22,494,068 21 4.62
Elephant Auto Insurance 37,567,019 45 5.93

Methodology

In Virginia, the minimum liability requirements for auto insurance are 25/50/20: $25,000 for bodily injury for one person, $50,000 for bodily injury for the accident, and property damage of $20,000. In addition to the above statutory minimums, the policy coverage contemplated by the sample premiums include underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage for the same limits, medical expense benefits of $2,000 per person, and comprehensive and collision protection with $100 and $200 deductibles, respectively. 

Together, the cities and counties sampled represent a selection of neighborhoods in Virginia. They range from the state capital of Richmond and the largest city of Virginia Beach down to Charlotte County, which is representative of the rural areas in the Old Dominion.

We used data submitted to the Virginia Bureau of Insurance for three representative profiles in our study: a 20 year old single male, a 20 year old single female, and a married 45 year old adult. Each driver has had a clean driving record for the past three years - no accidents or traffic violations or point additions. They drive a 2013 car in the $25,000 range to and from work 12,000 miles a year.

These sample premiums are for illustrative guide purposes only. Actual auto insurance rates will differ based on the policy limits, vehicle driven, place of resident, driving record, and other factors in the underwriting guidelines of the car insurance company.

Information current as of January 2014

Source: Virginia Bureau of Insurance, DMV, and DOT

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