Virginia Car Insurance Laws (2022): Minimums Have Changed
Virginia's minimum liability insurance requirements are increasing slightly starting in 2022 — that means more coverage when you're financially liable in a car accident.
Driving without car insurance is still illegal in Virginia. This guide on Virginia car insurance laws can help ensure you're cruising safely and legally compliant into 2022 and beyond.
Table of Contents:
- Required Car Insurance Limits in Virginia in 2022
- Are Virginia State Requirements Enough?
- Penalties for Not Showing Proof of Insurance in Virginia
- Virginia Is a "Diminished Value State"
Car Insurance Coverage Limits Required by Virginia Law in 2022
Virginia Car Insurance Minimum Coverage Limits
Liability Coverage: (30/60/20)
Liability insurance coverage kicks in when you're at fault for another person's property damages or injuries.
Starting in 2022, the minimum insurance requirements are increasing to $30,000 for injuries to one person ($25,000 in 2021) and $60,000 for injuries per accident ($50,000 in 2021). Property damage requirements are $20,000 per accident, unchanged from 2021.
(You can review Code of Virginia § 46.2-472 directly to learn more.)
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: (30/60/20)
Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage applies when the other driver is at fault for the auto accident but they:
Don't have any insurance (uninsured motorist) or
Don't have enough insurance coverage to pay for your property damages or medical bills (underinsured motorist).
In Virginia, the minimum requirements for uninsured/underinsured coverage and liability coverage are the same: $30,000 for injuries to one person ($25,000 in 2021); $60,000 for injuries per accident ($50,000 in 2021); and $20,000 for property damages per accident (same as 2021).
Drivers with FR-44 Certifications
FR-44 Insurance Coverage Minimum Requirements
The state of Virginia raises the minimum liability requirements for Virginians with driving-related convictions. Not just a little bit either — drivers with FR-44 certification must obtain twice the minimum coverage as ordinary drivers.
To recap, a driver with an FR-44 certification is a driver with the following convictions:
Maiming while under the influence
Drivingwhile intoxicated (e.g., drugs, alcohol)
Driving while driver's license was suspended due to conviction
Violating federal or state laws similar to any of the above convictions
Are Virginia State Requirements Enough?
Virginian drivers are required to purchase car insurance for liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage only. The minimum liability requirements were boosted only slightly from 2021 to 2022 but the extra $5,000 in bodily injury per person and $10,000 per accident can certainly help when you're responsible for a car accident.
If you're carrying only the required minimum, you're vulnerable to losses from a wide range of perils, including theft and collision-related damages. For extra protection, consider purchasing these optional coverages from your insurance company:
Optional Car Insurance Coverages in Virginia
Covers damages or losses that arise after hitting another vehicle or stationary object.
Pays for any damages or losses not covered by collision coverage (e.g., weather perils, falling objects, vandalism, theft).
Pays for the medical expenses of yourself or your passengers after suffering an accident.
Pays for a rental car if your car is inaccessible (e.g, your vehicle is undergoing repairs at a shop).
Your insurance company arranges various roadside services (e.g., lockout services, flat tire replacement, fuel delivery, jumpstarts, towing).
Penalties for Not Showing Proof of Insurance in Virginia
Driving without proof of insurance is illegal in most states and Virginia is no exception. Getting pulled over as an uninsured driver can incur fees and penalties, such as having your driving and vehicle registration privileges suspended. Getting these reinstated would require the following steps:
Pay a $600 noncompliance fee
File a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) with DMV for three years
Pay a reinstatement fee
Although the state of Virginia offers a payment plan for drivers required to pay these fees, you're better off having car insurance and not incurring them in the first place. Fortunately, many carriers offer car insurance discounts that can lower your premiums.
Alternative to Getting Car Insurance in Virginia
An alternative to obtaining car insurance in Virginia is to pay a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle (UMV) fee to the DMV. Yes, you can legally drive but in an uninsured vehicle with zero coverage. This pass expires with your registration and you must pay another UMV fee alongside your registration fees to renew it.
Meeting Virginia car insurance requirements costs, on average, $655.84 per year (with 25/50/20 requirements in 2021). Although it costs a bit more than the $500 UMV fee, you're still financially liable during an accident — the cost to repair or replace another driver's vehicle could quickly outweigh any potential savings from driving uninsured.
Opting to pay a UMV fee instead of obtaining car insurance also counts as a lapse in coverage. Insurers will therefore charge higher auto insurance rates if you decide to purchase auto insurance in the future.
Virginia Is a "Diminished Value" State
"Diminished value" refers to the difference in a car's worth before and after an accident. Since motor vehicles often drop in resale value after a car accident, drivers can file a diminished value claim against the at-fault driver. If you can prove your claim, you can recover the amount your vehicle's market value decreased from the other driver's car insurance company.
Virginia does not have any official legislation that drivers or insurance companies must use to calculate diminished value so the process may vary by the accident.
Virginia Car Insurance Laws FAQs
Is it mandatory to have car insurance in Virginia?
Yes, drivers in Virginia must carry liability insurance for bodily injury and property damages plus uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
How long can you go without car insurance in Virginia?
Drivers can pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee to drive without car insurance until their registration expires. Another fee would apply if you intend to renew it alongside your car registration. Otherwise, you would need to carry car insurance that meets the minimum requirements for liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or risk getting your driving privileges suspended.
Is Virginia a no-fault state for auto accidents?
No, Virginia is NOT a no-fault state for car accidents. The at-fault driver in an accident would be legally liable for damages and bodily injuries. A driver's uninsured motorist coverage would offer financial relief if the at-fault driver does not have insurance.
Grab Free Car Insurance Quotes to Match Your New Requirements
Beyond meeting the new requirements for liability in 2022, you may want to add additional coverage, like collision or comprehensive, to ensure you're protected if there's an accident. SmartFinancial can help you find the best quotes for your desired coverage. With our completely free service, you can compare rates and coverage options from hundreds of insurance carriers. Just enter your ZIP code below to get started!
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