February 28, 2019
Like other states, Virginia sets forth minimum requirements on what types of insurance coverage drivers are required to carry. Some drivers may opt to purchase the bare minimums, while others will carry higher limits. Virginia also has a unique option that allows you to drive uninsured, but only after you pay an Uninsured Motorist Vehicle fee to the DMV, and it means you are on the hook to pay for any accident out of your own pocket.
If you’ve been in an accident that was not your fault, it’s important to know what types of coverage may be available to reimburse you for damages you sustained.
Required Coverage in Virginia
If you purchase a Virginia auto insurance policy, you will be required to have a certain amount of coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and uninsured motorists. To satisfy the Virginia requirements, you must have:
- Bodily Injury (BI): Minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,00 per accident. This coverage pays the other party’s medical bills, legal fees, etc. up to the limit you carry.
- Property Damage (PD): Minimum of $20,000 per accident. PD covers property damage caused to another person in an accident, up to the maximum limit you purchase.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UM/UIMBI): The minimum limits for UM and UIMBI are $25,000/$50,000. It can never be higher than the bodily injury liability limits you carry. This coverage is activated when the other at-fault driver did not have insurance, or their limits were not enough to compensate you for your loss.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage (UM/UIMPD): The minimum limit is $20,000 per accident. This is the property damage equivalent of your UM/UIMBI. Your UM/UIMPD will never be higher than the property damage limits you carry.
Special Coverage Requirements for FR-44 Policies
In some instances, some drivers will be required to carry higher limits than noted above. This includes anyone on an FR-44 policy, which is required for a minimum of three years after being convicted of a DUI. On an FR-44 policy, you are required to carry double the minimum limits and it must be filed to show proof of financial responsibility. BI and PD limits are 50/100/40 per accident, and your UM and UIM coverage will be the same limits as you purchase for BI and PD.
Optional Coverage in Virginia
There are several other types of coverage that are optional but may provide some financial assistance during an accident or loss. These include:
- Comprehensive and Collision: These have deductibles that must be paid before the coverage kicks in. These two coverages can apply to vehicle damage, whether it is from a crash or some other type of accident, or theft.
- Medical Payments (MedPay): MedPay will cover your medical expenses in an accident, regardless of who was at fault. If anyone in your vehicle is deceased, it will also apply towards funeral expenses. Limits vary by insurer, but common options are between $500 and $10,000.