Yes, your credit score is a major factor when it comes to determining how much you pay for Virginia auto insurance. However, insurance companies cannot non-renew your policy based solely on your credit report.
If you or a family member has caused a motor vehicle crash or been cited for a moving violation, you may need to pay more for your auto insurance. Alternatively, if you qualify as a good driver, insurance companies may reward you with a discount on your premium. In Virginia, auto insurance premium increases due to violations or accidents may be applied for 3 years. Ask about qualifying for a good driver discount. And, while you're talking to your agent, inquire about other discounts like:
- Anti-Lock Brake
- Anti-Theft Device
- New Car
- Passive Restraint
- Utility Discount
- Good Student
- Home Ownership
- Full Pay
- Multiple Car
- Multiple Policy
- Resident Student
- Vehicle Safety
Yes. Virginia motorists no longer have to worry about carrying paper or plastic ID cards in the glove compartment Proof of insurance can be shown digitally on a phone, tablet, or other mobile devices.
If you own a vehicle in Virginia and fail to carry the minimum required insurance or have not paid the UMV fee, your driving, and vehicle registration privileges will be suspended. To be reinstated, you must pay a $500 statutory fee, pay a reinstatement fee if applicable, and file a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) with the DMV for 3 years. The consequences are not worth a lapse in coverage.
It's against the law to drive in Virginia at the following BAC percentages:
- .08%+ at 21 years old or older
- .04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
- .02%+ at under 21 years old
You can be convicted of driving under the influence in Virginia even if the amount of alcohol in your blood has not caused obvious impairment. Moreover, you can be convicted if your BAC is at or above 0.08% or you're impaired and just sitting in your vehicle with the key in the ignition. Your vehicle does not need to be moving and your ignition can be in the "off" position and you can still be found guilty.
If you're suspected of a DUI and refuse to submit to a chemical test in Virginia, the penalties may be harsh. Your refusal can be admitted as evidence at a criminal trial and constitutes grounds for revocation of your driver's license. The first refusal is a civil offense, but the second and subsequent refusals are criminal offenses with possible jail time.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Virginia is a big mistake. Potential penalties for a first offense DUI in Virginia include fines, jail time, court costs, driver's license revocation, ignition interlock installation for restricted licenses, enrollment in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP), and DMV demerit points. High BACs or conviction of a DUI while transporting a minor result in mandatory jail time.
Completion of a State-approved driver education course may qualify you for a reduced auto insurance premium. If you're a young or elderly driver, the savings may be greater. Ask your insurer for more information on taking a driver improvement course.
Many insurance consumers fail to benefit from discounts simply because they never thought to ask their carrier about ways to save. You may be able to reduce your premium by installing or choosing a vehicle with automatic seat belts, airbags, and anti-theft devices. Maintaining a clean driving record and a satisfactory credit history are other things to focus on, and you can save big by choosing a higher deductible and by shopping around and comparing rates every time you renew your policy.
Uninsured motorist insurance protects you if you're injured in an accident with a driver who does not have any or enough insurance coverage, or if you collide with a hit-and-run driver. Virginians who elect to insure their vehicle must purchase this type of coverage.