Car Insurance in Virginia

I found $266 in savings in 20 minutes.

Virginia is no stranger to crowded highways and bumper to bumper traffic, making the right insurance policy a must have Even though Virginia’s rates are relatively low at $1,050, a little bit of attentive shopping could save you more money than you think.

I ventured out to find the best basic coverage in state, as well as a few necessary coverage additions and found a decent amount of savings. Although quotes will vary greatly depending on an untold amount of factors, my quotes were rather wide-reaching, from State Farm’s $640 offer to Travelers’ $906 quote.

It’s important to keep in mind that you and I are not the same person. Every citizen of the Old Dominion state may find themselves offered a different quote based on a litany of variables, including your age, zip code, and credit score. Basically, the only surefire way to compare rates accurately is to personally check quotes from the competition yourself; a less exciting, more useful way to spend an evening.

I was able to garner all five of my quotes using some pretty handy online tools. On average they took around 5 minutes to complete, a welcome sacrifice when potentially talking about hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. If you do have to make a call to get a quote, you may have to set aside 15 or 20 minutes to get all the way though, but stick with it! Big or small, the savings will be absolutely worth it. What have you got to lose?

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Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Virginia

Insurer My quote
State Farm $640
Geico $698
Allstate $726
Erie Insurance $888
Travelers $906

I started my search by getting quotes from these companies because of their stellar JD Power rating in the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as a favorable rating from A.M. Best. JD Power conducts incredibly thorough customer service satisfaction surveys while A.M. Best takes a look at insurance companies’ financial viability to help you find the company that will have your back if the the worst should happen. Attention to customer satisfaction is incredibly important. And if neglected, you could wind up in a whole mess of trouble.

After comparing quotes, I found that pretty much all of my options were competitive. State Farm has excellent customer service and a solid reputation to pack a punch behind its comparatively low price of $640 annually. My recommendation would be to stick with the most affordable company and invest the leftovers into far better coverage.

Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years

Unfortunately, things aren’t always on the up and up with the way insurance companies calculate their premiums. Many companies also take into consideration how much money you’re comfortably spending outside of your insurance needs – a practice known as price optimization, or “profit maximization” according to Bob Hunter, the director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America.

There many ways your auto insurance company may be gauging your comfortable spending level, varying your credit score to your web shopping habits, even your social media activity. This controversial tactic for draining the most profit from customers isn’t used by a slim minority, in fact it’s used by 45 percent of large insurance companies according to a study by Earnix.

Shopping around for a shiny new policy every one or two years is an excellent way to keep insurers more on their toes and less on their analytics, and in a state like Virginia where the practice hasn’t been outlawed, it can be vital to retaining a reasonable premium. Most important to remember is that no company wants to lose your as their customer. Frequently keeping an eye out for a better policy is the best way to keep the competitive pricing flowing for your insurer.

Virginia’s Minimum Coverage

The Bare Minimum

The quotes I got were for the most basic level of coverage required in the purchase of insurance in Virginia; $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for total bodily injury for all involved, and $20,000 for property damage, or a 25/50/20 plan. Additionally, I found that the state requires you to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, matching at 25/50/20.

If you wish to avoid insuring yourself, you can pay and Uninsured Motorist Vehicle (UMV) fee to drive uninsured at your own risk. According to Virginia’s Auto Insurance Guide, this is something of a risky decision for any driver. The guide says:

This fee which is paid to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not provide any insurance; it only allows you to drive an uninsured vehicle at your own risk. Although this option satisfies the requirements of the law, it does not constitute insurance, and your home, wages, and other assets may be taken to pay any valid claims against you.”

In the end, it’s a much safer and smarter decision to insure yourself before getting on the road. As I’ve shown, with some shopping around and vigilant quote hunting, you can find yourself fully insured for a fraction of the state average, and an even smaller fraction than the cost of an accident.

If You Skip Coverage, It’ll Cost You

Like just about every state, failing to purchase the required level of coverage or pay the UMV fee could put your ability to drive at risk. Here’s what Virginia’s Auto Insurance Guide has to say about those who fail to meet the state’s requirements:

“If DMV determines that you have not met the financial responsibility requirement, DMV may suspend your license and require an SR-22 form to be filed by your insurance company and require you to pay an Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee, and if applicable, a reinstatement fee.”

As I’ve said before, even in states that offer workarounds to traditional insurance, it’s always advised that you get yourself covered, and covered by a company you trust.

The Best Car Insurance is Not Just Cheap Car Insurance

If the majority of statistics are to be believed, you’re probably going to have to file a claim in your lifetime. Research shows that the everyday driver averages an accident every 17.9 years. What’s even more frightening is that the average cost of a non-fatal injury is $74,900. And unless you have a couple hundred grand laying around, that’s going to be a humongous deal. The moral of the story is that cheap car insurance is not always what it seems. You might feel like you’re saving money now, but it could be a fatal wound to the wallet down the road.

In most cases, upgrading all the way to a 100/300/50 plan isn’t as unattainable as you might think. For example, my quote for a 25/50/20 plan with Erie Insurance was $888. To up my coverage to 100/300/50 the cost went up to $972, only $84 extra annually for a heap of extra coverage, a drop in the bucket compared to shelling out of pocket in the event of an accident. In my mind, it’s worth the peace of mind to have a level of coverage you can trust should the unexpected happen.

Get Quotes Now

Enter your zip code to compare rates from some of my top recommendations.

Beat the Average Premium: 9 Ways to Snag Cheap Car Insurance Rates

Car insurance companies are going to analyze you from every which way to determine how much to charge you. Fortunately, some of the factors they deem most important are under your control. Check out the list below for some ideas at how you can take charge of your premium and win back a few extra dollars each month.

Nine Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance


Why are Virginia’s rates so affordable?

What to Expect
Average Monthly Premiums
United States $139
Virginia $87
Norfolk $93
Alexandria $92
Richmond $91
Portsmouth $89
Hampton $88
Virginia Beach $87
Newport News $86
Suffolk $86
Chesapeake $86
Lynchburg $80
Roanoke $77
Source Quadrant

Virginia’s rates are nothing particularly special, but they are considerably lower than the national average. The competition of having a state set requirement of financial responsibility outside of the auto insurance requirements could play a role, but their is no solid proof of that. Additionally, according to CarMD, Virginia has low car repair labor costs well below the national average which help to combat their higher average cost of parts.

What if I’m not a full-time resident?

The purchase insurance in the state of Virginia, you must either be a resident of the state or prove that your vehicle is principally parked there. The only other exemption to the rule is anyone with active military status.

The Bottom Line

Affordable car insurance rates aren’t a rarity, but they do take a small time commitment. In order to find the best car insurance policy possible, you’re going to have to shop. Shop Geico. Shop Progressive. Shop all the top companies that service your area. What do you have to lose?

Get Quotes Now

Enter your zip code to compare rates from some of my top recommendations.

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