car insurance document signingAlthough Virginia is one of only two states in the U.S. that do not require drivers to purchase car insurance, most Virginians choose to have coverage. The type and amount of coverage they select varies from driver to driver. Below are some considerations and recommendations for buying auto insurance in Virginia.

What to Consider When Purchasing Auto Insurance

The Law

Virginia allows you to drive without liability insurance if you pay an uninsured motorist fee of $500 annually. If you’re a careful driver with sufficient assets to pay for damages resulting from an accident you might cause, then perhaps this is a viable choice for you, but very few people can afford to take such a risk. Because medical bills and property damage expenses resulting from a wreck can be astronomical today, you’re well advised to purchase basic liability coverage at the least.

Ownership of Your Car

If you’re making payments on a car or leasing one, your financial institution or leasing agency will probably require you to purchase full coverage, including collision and comprehensive.

Your Vehicle

If your car is a newer one or a vintage vehicle in excellent condition, you’re likely to want full coverage, including collision, comprehensive, and glass replacement. If you’re insuring an older car that’s not in especially good shape, liability coverage might be sufficient for you. Some cars have better safety ratings than others, and certain cars are more likely to be stolen than others. All these factors can affect your premium. 

Where You Live

If you park your car on the street in an urban area, it’s more likely to be stolen or vandalized than it would be in a garage or driveway in the suburbs. For this reason, city dwellers typically pay higher premiums than those who live in suburban and rural areas.

Usage of Your Vehicle

The number of miles you drive each month and whether you use your car to commute to work or drive it for work purposes can affect the coverage you choose and the premiums you pay.

Other Drivers

If someone else occasionally drives your vehicle with your permission, your insurance should cover that driver in most cases. If, however, other drivers of your car live with you, they must be listed on your policy and will affect your premium.

Other factors, including your gender, age, credit rating, and driving record, can also affect the type of policy that’s best for you and the insurance rates you pay. Once you’ve determined the type of policy you need, you can follow the recommendations below to look for the best company and coverage at a price you can afford.

Recommendations for Choosing Insurance in VA

Suggestions for purchasing an auto insurance policy in VA include:

  • Get quotes from different companies to compare rates and ask about available discounts.
  • Review your driving record, so you can anticipate the premium you’ll be charged. A speeding ticket could raise your rate by 17-28%. On average, your premium could increase by as much as 45% if you cause an accident.
  • The more assets you have, the higher coverage limits you should choose. If your coverage falls short of your victim’s damages, that victim might be able to claim some of your assets to cover the gap.
  • Compare your current policy with the new policy you’re considering in terms of coverage, premiums, and deductible amount. Your policy should include uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
  • Don’t forget to cancel your old policy.
  • Visit the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) website and read consumer reports there about which companies are reputable and reliable. Talk to family and friends about their experiences with Virginia insurers.

According to Value Penguin and Bankrate, Geico, Farm Bureau, and Travelers offer good coverage options at reasonable rates in Virginia. Geico and Travelers will forgive one speeding ticket without increasing your rates. Farm Bureau offers a rate that’s approximately half the state average for someone who’s caused one accident in the past. The best time to purchase a new policy is about ten days before your old one expires.

Have You Been Involved in an Accident in VA?

Even with good insurance coverage, you’re well advised to consult a car accident attorney who can help you examine your options and take the right steps toward fair compensation for your damages. Contact us online or call us at 540-341-0007 to schedule your free consultation. You pay no attorney fees until we win your case.

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Working with Andrew and his team has been--without exception--one of the most pleasant, productive, and professional experiences of my adult life. I was seriously injured in an accident in July, 2018, in Virginia. I was driving a company vehicle that was registered in Maryland, for a company that was based in Wisconsin. And I live in New Jersey, where my personal vehicles are insured. The several jurisdictions involved presented a very unique case that demanded an experienced and nuanced strategy. I found Andrew Thomas (of Dulaney, Lauer, & Thomas) through some online research. And it is noteworthy that Andrew has worked the other side of the aisle--he used to work with insurance companies. Andrew took on my case with the assurance that he would work it with no less energy than he does each of his cases. At each turn, and with each question I had, Andrew and Paralegal Misty kept me informed, returned my calls, provided detailed explanations, and kept me feeling like I was in the loop and there was an eventual end to our journey. Nearly five years after the accident, we settled out of court for a significant sum in recognition of my personal injuries. The settlement was much more than I had expected. And without Andrew & Misty, I am sure the award would have been much less. If you are looking for professionalism, knowledge, dedication, answerability, responsiveness, integrity, and human-level communication from a personal injury attorney--look no further. You have found him. Thank you, Andrew and Misty. Gary Daley
I'm grateful for all your work . . . Roger V. (Remington, VA)
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