Virginia Car Insurance Guide- Minimum Required Coverage, Cheap Rates, and How to Find the Best Quote
How does one find the cheapest Virginia car insurance rates? What is the best car insurance company in Virginia? What are the Virginia minimum auto insurance requirements? These are all basic questions that one must answer if they want to get the best auto insurance coverage in VA. Read on to learn some of the common car insurance rules in Virginia and find some ways to obtain low cost Virginia car insurance for you and your family.
Car insurance in the United States is something that most people now understand. However, there are often questions that are left unanswered to many. Why do some people get to pay lower premiums than other when they are the same age? Why do people with old cars tend to pay lower rates than those with brand new ones? Why do people in towns have to pay more in automobile insurance than do those living in farms or rural areas? All these questions have answers that in some way or another offer an explanation to what the automobile insurance business is all about: “Risk”.
Auto insurance consists of a signed deal between a company and an insured in which the car insurance agency will pay the policy holder in case of an accident in exchange for monthly payments. In other words, the insurance company is covering the insured for the “risk” of driving the roads of the United States. Because some areas have more accidents than others, some cars require less coverage than others, and some vehicles have better safety and theft ratings; premiums in the automobile insurance business tend to change from person to person.
The same can be assumed for each state. While some states have the advantage of not having big cities where accident rates are high, some others have plenty of populated areas that have a high degree of accidents and theft. The state of Virginia is one of those states that falls in the middle in both categories. While is does have some major cities like Richmond, it offers residents peaceful and quiet places in which to live like Williamsburg.
According to the United States Census Bureau the state of Virginia had an estimated population of 7,642,884 for the year 2007 (an increase of 8% since the year 2006) and experts predict that it will continue to grow. The population number didn’t seem to matter that much because back in 2003 the state of Virginia was found in the lower end of the spectrum when concerning automobile insurance, since the average premium was that of $752 a month in comparison with the nation’s average of $914.
All of the states in this country require drivers to have a minimum coverage before having the privilege of circulating the roads of this great nation. Virginia is no exception and in case of an accident in this state someone must always be found to be at fault. This means that the person found liable for the accident and their insurance company will be the one responsible for paying the accident related expenses. The state mandates what they call a 25/50/20 coverage and it falls in the middle of the pack when compared to those of the other states. What that means is that a person behind the wheel of an automobile in the state of Virginia must have a $25,000 bodily injury per person and $50,000 bodily injury total in case of an accident; and a $20,000 property damage liability coverage also in case of an accident. Keep in mind that these is only the minimum coverage required to drive in this state and that if you wish you can purchase more than these amount from your Virginia automobile insurance company.
The Virginia State law does not mandate a person to have Personal Injury Protection or PIP like the laws in many other states. Personal Injury Protection aids you and the passengers in your vehicle for medical expenses after an automobile accident and it is always good to have it. On the other hand the state does require a person to have the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage just to prevent this from happening. A driver must have $25,000 per person and $50,000 total for uninsured motorist coverage in order for them to be able to drive in the streets of this state.
Although it sounds like a lot of required coverage that you will need if you are a resident of VA, keep in mind that the average premium is well below the nation’s average. Not everyone in the state of Virginia is going to be able to just purchase the minimum coverage that the state mandates. People that are leasing a car or that are still making payments on their vehicles are going to be forced to have collision and comprehensive coverage. This is due to that same “risk” of accidents and theft associated with driving.
However, a person that has to purchase more than the mandated coverage can try to lower their deductible for a lower premium. Lower deductibles result in higher out of pocket expenses for the driver in case of an accident. This means that an automobile insurance company will be paying less when the driver gets in a wreck and because of this the rate of your policy will decrease.
A policy holder can also refuse to purchase or simply drop coverage that they don’t necessarily need from their policy. The medical coverage of an automobile insurance policy is a perfect example. If have independent health insurance and you know that the medical part of your policy wont cover anything that the health insurance policy doesn’t, then it is time to get rid of the medical part of your auto insurance policy.
The state of Virginia is a pleasant state to live or even to own a vacation home. The state itself is not an expensive one to live in when speaking about automobile insurance. There are many ways in which a resident of this state can save some money when speaking about car insurance; however, the most important thing to have is the required coverage. Lowering your deductibles and getting rid of excess coverage can help much when it comes to saving you money on your car insurance. After all this you will find that living in Virginia and driving a vehicle in this state is not as expensive as it seems.
Virginia Long-Term Care Insurance is a fairly recent phenomenon, due in part to the rapidly aging yet longer-living population, retirement planning of the “baby boomers”, and quickly escalating long-term health and medical costs that aren’t typically covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare. This type of insurance is especially helpful for those who develop disabilities or chronic (long-lasting) illnesses later in life. Long-term care services range from home- and community-based services to services provided in an assisted living, retirement or nursing facility. All services are typically designed and intended to improve or maintain an individual’s health in the least restrictive setting that ensures their physical and mental health, safety, and welfare. As well, services facilitated by long-term care insurance providers include help with daily living activities among the wide variety of home, facility and community settings.
Northern Virginia in particular is an area experiencing a very rapid growth in the need for this sort of insurance, especially in the fast-growing and highly-transient Metropolitan Washington DC populations in the counties of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun. Insurance for long-term care is one of the fastest-growing types of health-related coverage in terms of policy-holders, due to the very high regional costs of living and medical care, the lack of reasonable public transportation options, and the large numbers of Federal and Military retirees remaining after service in the area.
Additionally, the rapid growth of planned developments (such as the Dulles South communities of South Riding or Brambleton, in Loudoun County) and infill property over the past ten years, without consistent regional or community planning for retirement facilities, is beginning to squeeze the capacity of existing facilities. Regional volunteer and community services are being leveraged at consistently high rates, such as the Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in Fairfax, VA. This program was established in 1985 to advocate for persons receiving long-term care services to ensure the highest quality of life and care. It serves the city of Alexandria and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William through their Area Agencies on Aging.
There is a great deal of choice and flexibility in long-term care insurance policies. Most persons can select a range of care options and benefits that allow them to get the services they need in the most suitable settings. The cost of long-term care insurance policies are based on the type and amount of services covered, the age when the policy is purchased, and any optional benefits such as Inflation Protection. Some applicants who may already be in poor health or receiving long-term care services may not qualify for long-term care insurance.
In Virginia, there are several very unique and worthwhile supplemental programs to assist with Long-Term Care Insurance needs and situations. For example, The Virginia Long-Term Care (LTC) Partnership (http://valtcpartnership.org/va-ltc-insurance/) is designed to reward Virginians who plan ahead for future long-term care needs. With the Partnership’s Dollar-For-Dollar Asset Protection, Virginians can protect personal assets if there is a need to apply for Medicaid. This innovative alliance between private insurance companies and the state government protects Virginians from depleting all of their savings and assets to pay for long-term care, while still enabling qualification for Medicaid Coverage. Medicaid usually only pays for long-term care only after existing savings or assets are exhausted.
The financial responsibility law of West Virginia demands every driver to carry auto insurance documents on their automobiles. Every vehicle owner is supposed to abide by this law, failing which they would come under the direction of a discretionary authority responsible for the state laws of auto insurance in Wisconsin.
As a vehicle owner you stand a chance of increasing the coverage limits of your auto insurance should the need be. The laws for auto insurance in West Virginia allow coverage up to $10,000 for property damage, however the limit for bodily insurance coverage touches $20,000 as a minimum figure and it only can get up to $40,000. Put simply, one can get a coverage of the aforementioned amount in the event of any casualty or injury to the third party involved in the accident.
No citizen of West Virginia can even think about the possibility of escaping from the claims and charges when he or she is caught for driving without auto insurance. The laws put down by the authorities necessitate that a driver must have auto insurance even if it is invalid, i.e. it has already lapsed. This is why all insurance agencies present the drivers with a proof which must be carried on the vehicle at all times. The proof is an identification card meant for verifying the insurance of the driver who drives the auto.
Statistics show a noticeable increase in the price of insurance premium thanks to strict laws which have forced people to come out and apply for different insurance coverages so as to be insured. The average premium price was standing at $877 approx. in the year 2008 which resulted because of a 3.6% increase in the average premium price that was about $844 in 2007.
This fact and figure has given West Virginia 15th rank in the list of states which recorded higher insurance premium rates. Many factors contribute to the increase in Auto insurance premium rates. Not all factors have equal weight in affecting the prices but still they need to be followed. Some of the factors which are capable of lowering the auto insurance premium rates in West Virginia are given below.
The speed limit on road inside the city as well as the highways.
Though there is no ban on handheld cell phone driving it is a factor to think about.
The blood alcohol rate does play an important role in determining the final price of an insurance premium. Laws state the rate must be 0.08 and emphasizes that this rate is kept in mind.
Open container driving, cell phone while on-drive are similar factors which have a stake in determining the final price.
Though these factors may not be applicable to a few of those out there, reading the legal terms and conditions on these aspects may help you bargain and get a buy-in when you shop around for the cheapest auto insurance in West Virginia.
Although car insurance is a recurrent expenditure, it is an important one since it will protect you against financial liability or loss if your car is involved in a collision resulting to property or physical damages. In the united states, auto insurance rules differ among states, but in most cases, liability insurance is required as a proof of financial responsibility, or to put it simply, to demonstrate that you, as the car owner, can cover the cost of damage to other people or property in the event of an accident where you are at fault.
Some jurisdictions, such as Wisconsin, have less stringent “proof of financial responsibility” rules. In the state of Virginia, insurance is also not required, and people living there can instead pay the state an annual fee, around $500 per car, if they opt out of buying liability insurance. By comparison, there are a few states such as North Carolina where it is mandatory for you to buy liability insurance prior to the issuance of a driver’s license. Because of these variations in insurance requirements, it is best to check with your state’s transportation bureau.
Understanding required car insurance in USA
When looking at your state’s insurance requirements, you would probably encounter numbers like 25/50/25. The first two numbers refer to bodily injury liability limits and the third number refers to the property damage liability limits. To elucidate, 25/50/25 signifies each person hurt in a car accident would receive a maximum of $25,000, but only $50,000 is permitted for each accident. This means, if there are three individuals hurt, and each of them need $25,000, whoever submits a claim first gains first access to the $50,000 limit. As for the last number, it indicates that the total coverage per accident allotted for property damage is $25,000.
In the event of an accident, these state required limits often could not adequately cover all of your liability and property damage requirements. As such, even though purchasing a policy that satisfies your state’s minimum requirements is all that is required to operate a vehicle legally in your state or avoid being penalized for not showing proof of financial responsibility in the event of an accident, this is not always the best choice. This is because doing so would translate to more out-of-the-pocket expenses for you, and the possibility of jail time or being sued if you cannot pay for your liabilities.
How much insurance should you buy?
Insurance agents may tell you that you should purchase as much as you can pay for. While that may seem rational, it is not necessarily practical. For instance, you don’t have to shell out a lot of money on a personal injury protection policy if you already have a health insurance or disability insurance through your employer.
The choices for West Virginia insurance review options are extensive. When you are reading a statement, you want to use some caution. A person who is dissatisfied with anything about the coverage will likely leave a comment that might be misleading such to their dissatisfaction when in truth the company may be very good.
Reading reviews about companies can help you get a basic understanding of the atmosphere that is projected by that company. However it is important to read several reviews to get a good understanding of any problems that there may be. For example it is impossible for a company to have a completely favorable review with no negative comments.
If you are finding that the carrier you are considering has absolutely no negative reviews, you might want to use caution. It is likely that any unfavorable comments have been removed to improve their image. However, smart consumers know that no one is perfect and that there will likely always be at least one customer who is not completely happy.
Many of the reviews that a person might read will include the feeling projected by the organization toward the customer who is writing the review. Through the use of these reviews you might determine if the person had any real problems. It is key that you understand that some negativity will always be found when a person is dealing with any organization. Because of this it is key that you read the statements carefully to determine if the company truly is as awful as the person is claiming they are.
You should realize that some people are simply negative about everything surrounding this requirement of the state. When you are forced to pay for something that you do not agree with or that you do not understand, it is understandable that you might become upset by the charges. When you need the coverage however and have a bad experience with the adjuster for the company, your review is not tainted and you are justified in the comments you make.
The use of West Virginia insurance review comments should be taken with a grain of salt so to speak. You must remember that any comments can be removed if they are negative. Many times those making the comments might be upset about the cost and just simply unhappy overall. They might let their unhappiness with the requirements cloud their judgement and their statements might be unjustified. Using your own judgement is the best way to make your own decision.
Shopping online for car insurance is a common method many consumers use to lower their current premiums. Almost all of the large car insurance companies allow you to view their quotes online, compare options and apply for coverage without paying any fees.
Reputable carriers such as Allstate, Nationwide, Progressive, Geico and Travelers are available on the Internet at their lowest available rates. However, consumers do not have to go directly to their website to secure the best rates. Many reputable websites owned by brokers offer a combination of great rates and constantly updated information.
What Type Of Car Insurance Website To Look For
Obviously, there are hundreds… and perhaps thousands of websites that will provide car insurance quotes. Selecting the site that provides the lowest available rates is your ultimate goal, along with educating yourself with information that will help you understand your policy.
A website that offers numerous articles and information about vehicle insurance is typically going to be a very good resource. If their articles and content appear to be updated daily, it is likely that the owners of the site have a good working knowledge of what companies are the best choices for your specific situation.
It also is important that the website is “state-specific.” This type of destination offers excellent research articles on topics related to your state.
As an example, if you are searching for Virginia auto insurance quotes online, a website that is rich in Virginia insurance-related content will most likely be able to help you. Whether it is pointing out discounts or recommending which companies to quote, the “local flavor” is always helpful.
How Much Information Should Be Given Out
To view accurate quotes from different carriers, it will be necessary to provide some information. The most common items are your zip code, the type of car you own, how the car is driven, the drivers in the household and their dates of birth, and of course details regarding any recent tickets or accidents. Although additional information may be required, it generally is not necessary to provide your driver’s license number, social security number or billing details until you are ready to apply for coverage.
Once the actual application process begins, you will probably be required to furnish the serial numbers of the vehicles you are going to insure along with other detailed information. You will be able to select the method of billing, which can be changed at your request.
What Fees Are Paid To The Broker?
When shopping online for car insurance, you should never pay any fees. There are no costs to using a broker or applying for coverage. If you are ever asked to pay an agent or broker a fee for their services, immediately find a new person to work with.
Brokers are compensated directly from the insurance company and the rate you pay is the same whether a broker is involved or not. However, it is always advisable to utilize an experienced broker’s website because of the unbiased information you receive and the help in the application process that you get.
Buying car insurance online doesn’t have to take much of your time. And often, you’ll be richly rewarded with the money you save on your auto insurance premiums.
Virginia requires drivers to demonstrate that they are able to provide financial compensation for any damages or injuries that they are responsible for in an accident. One way to comply with the state’s financial responsibility requirement is by getting basic liability insurance. Virginia insurance consumer information is dispensed by government agencies to protect citizens and assist them if they have concerns or questions.
Prior to purchasing a policy, you should find out what each type of coverage means and how it will help you if you are in an accident. Sometimes people will only get the minimum coverage required by state law because it is the cheapest. Getting minimum coverage or basic liability may not be in your best interests. The Insurance Consumer Advocate Network is an impartial third party that can answer any questions you have regarding policy coverage and limits. It is beneficial to be informed of your options before making a decision.
The reason to buy coverage is to ensure that you will be financially protected if an accident occurs. If you have concerns regarding the solvency of an insurer, you can contact the State Corporation Commission. You can verify if an insurer is licensed to issue a policy in the state. You can also check the insurer’s financial data and credit rating.
It is important to know your rights while dealing with an insurer. Insurers are prohibited from refusing to issue a policy based on race, gender, age, marital status, and other forms of personal identification. If the insurer wants to terminate your policy, it must submit a written notice to you at least 45 days prior to the termination date. The written notice needs to also state why your policy is being terminated.
If you are experiencing difficulties with an insurer or agent, you have the option of filing a complaint with the Bureau of Insurance. The Bureau will investigate the complaint and seek a resolution. The Bureau’s services are free of charge to consumers. Keep a copy of all records and documents so that they can be forwarded to the Bureau, if necessary. Providing as much detailed information as possible will help the representatives at the Bureau develop an in-depth understanding of the pending issue.
Consumers are able to make the best decisions when they are well-informed of their options and rights. Buying a policy is a common practice that millions of drivers engage in within the state. Government agencies are available to protect your rights and assist you during the process.
Some individuals just don’t think ahead and by the time they realize they need a life insurance policy, they are already suffering with a serious illness. It can seem impossible at that point to find affordable life insurance but that’s just not the case. With all the cheap life insurance that can be purchased online in Virginia, residents here have several different viable options.
Virginia insurance companies are permitted to sell a type of life insurance that is referred to as all risk. This really means that the consumer takes all the risk. People interested in this type of insurance can gather quotes online from some of the insurance companies that offer it. It should be noted that even though they will have a policy in place, if they die within a specified time period which may be up to two years, the beneficiary they named won’t get anything.
Another point to keep in mind when looking for cheap life insurance online in Virginia is how frequently each insurance company you get a quote from, wants to be paid. Most people like the idea of spreading their payments out over the course of a year, but that can actually result in a higher overall premium. If their quote is based on a twice yearly payment, try and adapt to that to save yourself some money. You can even save a little each month in a separate bank account so that when the payment does come due you’ll be prepared.
There’s another hidden cost that comes with the convenience of paying more frequently and that’s service charges. Although this can seem minimal if they are just a few dollars a month, when you add that up over the course of a year, it’s quite a bit of wasted money. Most insurance companies will note the frequency of payments they prefer on their website during the quote process.
Already known as the state with the highest rate of car-deer accidents, West Virginia also might be the costliest with an average $44 million in auto insurance claims paid annually due to collisions with deer.
Between 2002 and 2009, car-deer accidents annually inflicted an average $44 million in damages covered by auto insurers, according to the West Virginia Insurance Commission. But because state officials only tallied auto insurance claims paid, the actual amount of damages exceeds $44 million when factoring in deductibles and coverage limits. The state has a deer herd of about 1 million.
Passenger vehicle collisions with deer are more frequent during the deer migration and mating season of October, November and December, and the combination of rising deer populations coupled with loss of habitat to urban sprawl are increasing the odds of car-deer collisions in states like West Virginia.
Based on auto insurance claims data from the last half of 2007 and the first half of 2008 and motor vehicle registration counts by state, and insurance officials estimate the odds of a driver in West Virginia hitting a deer over the next year at 1 in 45. A year ago, the odds of hitting a deer while driving in West Virginia were 1 in 57.
West Virginia drivers are about twice as likely to hit a deer while operating a vehicle in the state than a U.S. taxpayer is to be audited by the Internal Revenue Service in 2009 and 1,100 times more likely to hit a deer than win a state lottery if purchasing one ticket per day for the next year.
Michigan drivers face 1 in 78 odds of hitting a deer, placing Michigan second among states where drivers are most likely to hit a deer. Pennsylvania, 1 in 97, Iowa, 1 in 105, and Arkansas, 1 in 108, ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. South Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana, North Dakota and Virginia rounded out the top 10. Hawaii ranked last among states in which drivers are most likely to strike a deer with odds of 1 in 10,962.
The United States averages about 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions every year, killing more than 150 drivers and passengers and causing $1.1 billion in property damage, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Auto insurance claims data indicate the total number of deer-vehicle collisions in the United States increased nearly 15 percent from five years ago. The average auto insurance claim from car-deer accidents during the past year was just over $2,950, up 2.5 percent from a year prior.
Now you have a good means of transportation, that will get you from point A to point B. Now you have to protect it. Yes we all know that automobile insurance is a “must have”. It is very expensive especially in Virginia. Here some ways you can save money:
1. Compare and Analyze. You can confer with different online insurance quote services in order to see what’s available out there. You can also consult consumer information provided by Virginia insurance department. These guides will tell you what kind of policy or coverage you made need and give you sample rates just so you can get a feel of how much it will cost you and what you need.
2. Request higher deductibles. When you file a claim the deductible is the amount you have to pay out of your pocket before your insurance company starts helping paying for the deductible. The higher your deductibles are the less you will have to pay on your monthly premiums. This can save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars a year.
3. Opt out on collision and comprehensive coverage on old cars. If your car is not even worth $2,000 then you can end up paying more for the coverage than you would if you were to file a claim.
4. To make sure you save as much as you can you should look into the discounts available. Some insurance companies will give you discounts for having airbags and other safety features.
5. Maintain a good credit record. Most insurers don’t tell you this but if you have a good credit report you will definitely have to pay less. If you have a good credit report than insurers know that you pay your bills on time, don’t skip payments and that you don’t open and close accounts frequently. They use all this information to settle on a insurance risk score.