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The Consequences Of Not Having Auto Insurance Coverage In Virginia

Every day individuals get behind the steering wheel of their vehicle without thinking about their automobile insurance coverage.   The law in Virginia is that the owner of every vehicle must have mandatory minimum coverage or their license plate can be seized and the vehicle impounded.   The driver and owner are also subject to fines or other consequences. Appropriate automobile insurance will eliminate that risk and protect the driver, passenger and owner of the vehicle from much of the economic loss of an accident or collision.

According to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and reported by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles,  there is a fatality in a vehicular crash every 16 minutes.   A person is injured in a crash every 14 seconds.  There is property damage from a crash every 8 seconds and law enforcement reports a crash (which may be one of the above or may be a crash without damage or injury) every 6 seconds.   Considering the number of vehicles on the roads today and the enormous variance of skill levels among the drivers, there is a substantial risk that anyone can be involved in a collision at any time they are near a roadway.

Virginia strives to make certain that all vehicles which are registered in that state have at least a minimum amount of liability insurance.   If the vehicle is found to be operating without having the state minimum requirements (Death or bodily injury to one person  $25,000;  Death or bodily injury to more than one person  $50,000;  Damage to property $20,000)  then the license plates must be surrendered to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the vehicle parked until the condition is remedied.   Even Antique vehicles which are otherwise not required to have Emission inspections must have the state minimum liability coverage.

Appropriate insurance, however, is not limited to the state minimum liability levels. Note that none of those categories pay for injury to the driver. Mandatory coverage is for the benefit of other persons and property, not that sustained by the vehicle owner. If there is a collision with damages over and beyond that covered by the state minimum levels, then the owner and driver can find themselves paying those debts from their personal assets.   If there is personal injury where the medical bills and lifetime injury to the survivors exceeds the state minimum coverage then any excess is still the responsibility of the vehicle owner or driver if he or she is at fault.    Insurance policies can and should be written to protect the owner and occupants of the insured vehicle as well as other cars, people or property involved in the incident.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist insurance is a form of policy which can be written by VA car insurance companies authorized to do business in Virginia.  This policy coverage protects YOU if you or your vehicle is struck by someone who has the state minimum coverage or no insurance.   By obtaining UUM coverage you can protect yourself and your passengers from being in pain and having no means to pay the bills.

Consequences for failing to have state minimum insurance coverage in Virginia include suspension of the driver’s license and vehicle registration.  There are reinstatement fees which exceed $500.00 plus the filing of a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) for three years,   plus a fee to the DMV.   Consequences for failing to have sufficient insurance (that amount necessary to meet the costs of an accident or collision) can be a lifetime of debt, pain and suffering.

At the top of this webpage you will see a box into which you can insert your zip code and then receive three or more competitive quotes for cheap but appropriate VA auto insurance policies. Compare – you may find that you can afford to drive legally in Virginia and still protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of a problem on the roadway.