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Rights And Obligations Of Car Drivers And Insurers In Virginia

Most people try to do everything in their power to keep their car insurance premiums low. However, almost all of them don’t know what affects their premiums the most. Here is a list of top 10 factors that influence their premiums.

Virginia car insurance rates are one of the highest in the country and that’s a fact. Another fact is that anyone that knows few things how car insurance companies work can lower his premiums below the state average. In addition to that one needs to know his rights and responsibilities regarding the auto insurance. Knowing your rights can help you lower your premiums the same way as knowing how car insurance works. The better you know them the less you can rely on what the insurance agent will tell you and more on your own conclusions and reasoning. Here are some of the basic rights that you have regarding car insurance in Virginia.

Right to buy car coverage

Anyone who applies for car coverage in Virginia cannot be denied to obtain one because of ethnicity, race or gender. As long as you are considered “eligible person” an insurer cannot deny you coverage. “Eligible person” is considered anyone who has less than seven insurance eligibility points on her or his driver’s record. In case you are denied coverage the insurer needs to state the reason for doing so. Most of the car drivers that are denied car coverage are denied because: they are not “eligible person” (number of points on the record), the insurer works only with special categories of car drivers such as farmers, military, teachers, police officers, etc., the insurer is prohibited to stop writing new policies by the department of motor vehicles, the insurer has underwriting guidelines approved by the state.

Right to change or cancel your car coverage

The drivers in Virginia have the right to shop for cheaper car coverage in VA at any time they want, not just when they need to renew their policy. In case you find much better price you have the right to cancel your policy and ask for a refund of your unused premium. All you need to do is to bring a proof of your new insurance to your old insurer. However, even there are no penalties for doing so most of the drivers avoid doing so. The drivers avoid doing so because that can affect their future premiums, they may become higher just because of that.

Right to choose

Every insurer that is licensed on the territory of Virginia has a legal obligation to inform you of your car insurance options when you apply for a new policy or at any other time when requested by you regardless if you have or have not purchased car coverage. The insurer have obligation to fully inform you how each of your choices affects your premiums and how you can benefit from all that in case of an accident. He must respect and not deny your right to be fully informed about anything regarding your car insurance; asking about additional options is included in that right.

Right to a timely response

When you apply for car coverage the insurer needs to response to your application or appointment request within five business days. Any voluntary insurance company in the state of Virginia is obligated to do so by the current regulations.  However, in case your application is not complete with all the pertinent information the insurer is not obligated to follow those regulations. That is if your application misses verification of any previous coverage or a copy of your driver’s record from the Virginia Motor Vehicle Commission.

Right to fair and prompt handling of claims

You have full right to ask about any payments which are made too others by your VA auto insurance compan and charged to your coverage. Also if you file a claim, the claim should be handled fairly and promptly. In case your claim has been denied, your insurance company must send you a written explanation why your claim was denied. The insurance company is obligated by state laws to do so.

Right to a notice of cancelation

In some pretty specific circumstances an insurance company has the right to cancel your coverage, the term used for that is mid-term cancelation. This happens when the insurance company discovers a fraud or when the policyholder fails to pay his premiums. In case you fail to pay your premiums the insurance company is obligated by law to send you a 15 days warning notice before they cancel your coverage. In cases other than that, a 20 day warning notice is obligatory.

The right to appeal

In case you want to make an appeal because your coverage was non-renewed or canceled, the appeal must be sent to the Virginia Department of Banking and Insurance. However, they don’t guarantee that they will reinstate your policy, so it’s highly recommendable you shop for alternative solutions. The important thing is that you have a place for an appeal if you feel you are treated unfairly by your insurance company. If you have all the facts and evidence that prove that you are right the department will protect you and your rights.

Right to a discount if you pass the defensive driving course

Any driver in Virginia that passes a defensive driving course approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles has the right to a discount. The state law obligates the insurance companies to give discounts to everyone that can prove that have passed the course. You would want to find state approved school near you where you can take the defensive driving.

You have the right to multiple free quotes

This is not defined by a state law, but it is something that is given as an option to every driver in Virginia. All that is needed is few minutes from your time to enter your zip above on this page and you can quickly run a free auto insurance price check. That is the most effective as well as fastest way to find cheap car insurance company that operates in the state of Virginia. Enter your zip and give it a chance.