Most drivers try to be as safe as possible. Still, even the safest drivers can and do get into accidents. The main problem is that there's no way to control what other drivers will do. Defensive driving helps a lot, but it's not foolproof. In acknowledgement of the fact that accidents happen all the time, many states require drivers to carry valid auto insurance. Virginia is one of them. People who want to drive in the commonwealth of Virginia must have valid auto insurance at all times, and their policies must adhere to the state's minimum requirements.
Although a policy that meets the commonwealth's basic requirements will keep a driver out of legal trouble, it can easily fall short of what he really needs. It's amazing how expensive a single accident can be. If limits are too low, a driver is still likely to end up with large bills and will have to find a way to pay them. Most people get more extensive coverage. Those who don't think it matters should consider driving statistics for the commonwealth of Virginia, which are very revealing indeed.
Who Drives in Virginia?
Virginia is a fairly large state, and it has many heavily populated areas. Richmond is one example, and the part of the state that borders the nation's capital is another. In any event, there are plenty of people on the road in the Old Dominion State at any given moment. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia's estimated population in 2012 was 8,185,867. Not all of those people drive, of course. That information is offered by the Federal Highway Administration, which reports that there were 5,467,045 licensed drivers in the state in November 2012. 66.8 percent of the population is legally permitted to drive.
There are nearly as many male drivers in Virginia as female drivers. This information is interesting, but it's not the kind of thing that matters to insurance carriers. They don't take gender into consideration at all when calculating auto insurance premiums. There were 2,646,835 male drivers, so they accounted for 48.41 percent of the total. Female drivers totaled 2,820,210, so they accounted for 51.59 percent of the total.
Insurance companies try to assess the risk that they are taking by extending coverage to drivers. Age can be a big risk factor because younger drivers have a lot less experience and tend to get into more accidents. For this reason, young drivers tend to have to pay more for auto insurance. In Virginia in November 2012, there were 108,977 drivers aged 19 and below, so they accounted for 2 percent of the total. There were 287,700 drivers between the ages of 45 and 49, which is the largest group. It accounts for 5.3 percent of the total.
Car Insurance Requirements in Virginia
Few people savor the idea of having to pay for car insurance. Those who opt not to do so in Virginia can face some pretty serious consequences. Some states give drivers several ways to establish financial responsibility. In the Old Dominion State, auto liability insurance is the only option. Drivers can technically also pay an Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee, which costs $500 per year. However, they will still be liable for any damages or injuries that stem from an accident and will have to pay for them out of their own pockets.
Before shopping around for auto insurance in Virginia, drivers should make sure they're aware of the state'sminimum car insurance requirements. All insurance policies must include the following to meet the standards set forth by law:
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $20,000 in property damage coverage
Insurance providers electronically report the statuses of people's insurance policies to the DMV. Those who drive without valid insurance in Virginia may face the suspension of their plates, registrations and driver's licenses. A $500 statutory fee is assessed, and there are usually reinstatement fees as well.