Before you cruise around Virginia in your personal vehicle, you need to learn more about auto insurance requirements as well as about the benefits of potentially purchasing more coverage than what is required. Auto insurance is required per state law, and you may have to comply with other coverage requirements as well. When you understand more about these requirements and about the many benefits that auto insurance can provide to you, you may be ready to set up a protective insurance policy.
Understanding the State’s Minimum Insurance Requirements
In Virginia, motorists must purchase necessary insurance coverage to meet legal requirements. State law requires motorists to take responsibility for any property damages, medical bills or other expenses that they create for other parties while they are driving. The state takes the additional step to ensure that motorists have the financial means to pay for at least most of these expenses through an auto insurance requirement. Drivers specifically must purchase liability insurance that includes $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident and $20,000 for property damage. This is also one of the few states that has additional requirements for underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance. This additional coverage kicks in the pay for expenses when another person’s coverage is not sufficient.
Exploring Your Car Lender’s Requirements
Be aware that the necessary insurance coverage in this state does not necessarily prevent you from having to pay out-of-pocket in the event of an accident. For example, liability insurance only covers expenses that you create for other people. Underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance only covers expenses for an accident if someone else with limited or no insurance cause the accident. However, if you cause an accident that results in damages to your vehicle, you need to have the financial means to pay for your own expenses. Collision coverage may be required by an auto lender so that you can repair or replace your vehicle if you cause an accident. Remember that the auto loan is secured by the car, so the lender understandably wants coverage on it. Comprehensive insurance is an alternative to collision coverage that is sometimes required as well.
Determining If Additional Coverage Is Needed
The necessary insurance coverage required by law and potentially by your lender may be protective of many situations, but you may still need additional coverage. For example, a lender’s requirement for collision coverage does not provide benefits for losses related to theft, a severe storm, fire and other issues. Comprehensive insurance offers these benefits. In addition, some drivers prefer to add coverage for personal injury, personal property, rental car, towing and more. While the coverage types are important to consider, you also need to determine if you should increase your limits. Keep in mind that your insurer will only pay benefits up to your coverage limits. If the amount of a claim exceeds the coverage limits, you will need to pay the difference. This could potentially mean that you must pay tens of thousands of dollars or more out of your personal funds if you do not have adequate coverage.
You could face severe penalties if you do not have the necessary insurance coverage required by law and by your lender at all times. In addition, driving uninsured or underinsured places you at great financial risk. Now that you understand the requirements as well as the benefits of buying additional auto insurance, you can review your existing coverage to determine if you need to make changes. Remember to review your coverage periodically over the years so that it is always as protective as possible.