Virginia car insurance law is unlike laws in many other states. Therefore, if you are involved in a serious accident, you should speak with a Warrenton car accident attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.
Though most states in the country require their drivers to have insurance coverage to be allowed on the road, Virginia is one of the few that does not. There are required minimums for Virginia drivers choosing to have insurance, though, and those who do not have coverage must pay a mandatory uninsured motorist fee before registering a vehicle or renewing a registration. Registration, as well as a state safety inspection, is an annual requirement of every Virginia vehicle.
If you are pulled over and found to be in violation of the insurance regulations or that you have failed to pay the uninsured motorist fee, you could face steep penalties and charges. In addition, if you are involved in a collision with a negligent driver in violation of these mandates, you may need to file a claim to get compensation for any damages or injuries incurred. A Warrenton car accident attorney can be especially helpful in this situation.
Virginia Car Insurance Law & Minimum Requirements
To get a Virginia state driver’s license, license plate, or to register a vehicle, you must have the minimum required amount of liability insurance or pay an uninsured motorist fee of $500. The fee acknowledges that you are assuming the risk of driving an uninsured vehicle and that you are personally responsible for any damages you may cause in an accident. The uninsured motorist fee is valid for one year.
For drivers who opt to carry insurance coverage, current Virginia car insurance law requires these minimums:
- $25,000 toward bodily injury or death of one person ;
- $50,000 toward bodily injury or death of two or more people; and
- $20,000 toward property damage.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles verifies insurance coverage through the Insurance Verification Program. As part of this program, insurance carriers in the state provide the DMV with electronic updates on its insured drivers, including when policies are canceled, when coverage expires, and when new coverage is created. Anyone who is found to be in violation of the minimum insurance requirements and has not paid the uninsured motorist fee is subject to punishment.
Penalties for Violations for Virginia Car Insurance Law
Virginia drivers who are found to be in violation of Virginia car insurance law or who have failed to pay the annual uninsured motorist fee can face serious consequences. Their driver’s license, as well as vehicle registration will be revoked. These can only be reinstated after the violator has paid a $500 statutory fee, as well as a $125 reinstatement fee. They will also be required to file proof of insurance, also called a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate, with the DMV for the next 3 years.
Virginia Car Insurance Law for Professional Motor Carriers and Companies
All Virginia motor carriers, such as transportation and trucking companies, taxis and buses, are required to have liability insurance toward injury and property damage. Those minimums are:
- Bulk property carrier - $750,000;
- Bus carrier - $5,000,000;
- Taxicab - $125,000;
- Common carrier - $350,000 to $5,000,000, depending on the number of passengers and routes;
- Household goods carrier - $750,000 toward injury and $50,000 toward property damage; and
- Nonprofit passenger carrier - $1,500,000 to $5,000,000, depending on the number of passengers.
Any motor carrier who fails to keep proof of minimum insurance coverage on file may have their state operating permit revoked.
Contact a Warrenton Car Accident Attorney
Were you involved in a collision with a driver in violation of Virginia car insurance law? You may need to file a claim to recoup costs incurred in the accident. Call 540-341-0007 to speak to a Warrenton car accident attorney at the Dulaney, Lauer and Thomas today to learn about your legal rights.