Here you’ll learn everything you need to know to buy sufficient car insurance in Virginia at an affordable price.
Virginia cities surrounding Washington, D.C., pay much higher car insurance rates than the rest of the state. You can see how all Virginia ZIP codes compare by clicking around the map below. No matter what neighborhood you live in, though, you'll find that different car insurance companies will charge the same driver very different state car insurance rates. That's why it's wise to compare rates to be sure you're not overpaying. For example, in Alexandria ZIP code 22312, the highest rate is among major carriers surveyed was $1,443. That’s $614 more than the lowest ($829). You can save, on average, $450 in Virginia by comparing rates, according to CarInsurance.com’s average car insurance savings rate by state analysis.
The average car insurance rate for Virginia is $972, according to a CarInsurance.com rate analysis.
To get a customized rate for your neighborhood, enter your ZIP, age and coverage level in the tool below. You'll also see how much you can save by noting the difference between the highest and lowest rate fielded from major insurers.
Cheap car insurance in Virginia
Virginia car insurance requirements
Virginia state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
Additional coverage is typically affordable, and, naturally offers more protection. Increasing coverage from the state minimum to higher liability limits costs $37 a year or $3 a month. Hiking your policy to full coverage with a $500 deductible costs, on average, $600 more, or $50 a month.
Average annual rate
Liability Only – state minimum
Liability Only - 50/100/50 BI/PD
Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD $500 Comp/Collision deductible
*The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in Virginia from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.
Recommended car insurance coverage
When deciding how much car insurance to buy, you need to assess your particular situation. To drive legally, you must buy at least the minimum liability insurance required by your state. If you didn’t borrow money from a lender to buy your car and you don’t have a lot of money or assets to protect, that might be a wise choice. If, however, you don’t own your car outright, you will be required to get comprehensive and collision coverage. Additionally, if you have a home and savings to protect, it’s wise to buy more coverage.
The more money and assets you have, the more likely it is that you may be sued following a car accident. Unless you are determined to pay the lowest car insurance rate possible, we recommend you buy higher than minimum liability coverage. If your net worth is:
less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100
If you're leasing or financing your car, you automatically need coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.
Collision and comprehensive
Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. If your car is:
less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.
Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or a driver with coverage that’s insufficient to pay for your repairs and medical expenses. In Virginia, these are required by state laws. These should match the liability limits you choose.
Medical coverage (MedPay)
Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. In most states it's an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:
Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking
If you and your passengers:
Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.
If you got a loan to pay for your car and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.
If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you don't already have the coverage in your lease agreement.
If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.
Virginia car insurance rates by company
Below you'll see average annual rates for Virginia, ranked cheapest to most expensive, for three coverage levels:
State minimum liability requirements
Liability limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $50,000 property damage
Liability of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident and $100,000 property damage, with comprehensive and collision at $500 deductible
State minimum average annual rate
50/100/50 average annual rate
100/300/100 average annual rate
Best car insurance companies in Virginia
Insure.com surveyed 3,700 drivers to find out what they thought of their car insurance companies. Scores are out of 100.
Best customer service:
1. Allstate -- 100
2. USAA – 99.1
3. Travelers – 97.5
3. Auto Club of Southern California – 95.7
4.CSAA – 94.9
5. Nationwide – 94.9
Best claims service:
1. USAA – 100
2. Travelers – 99.1
3. Nationwide – 96.8
3. Allstate – 96.8
4. State Farm -- 96
5. Geico – 95.1
Best value for the price:
1. Mercury -- 97
2. Travelers – 93.2
3. American Family – 91.2
4. CSAA – 91.1
5. Automobile Club of Southern California – 90.1
Virginia Car Insurance Laws
Stringent speeding laws: Virginia is tough on speeding. For example, a conviction for speeding above 80 mph can be considered reckless driving -- a six-point offense -- and stay on the driver's motor vehicle record for 11 years, long after the points have disappeared.
A "super speeder" law added fines of as much as $1,050 to tickets before that provision of the law was repealed in 2008.
Bank some safety points: For every year without incident, a Virginia driver can accumulate a "safety point" that offsets a demerit point. Drivers can also get an additional safety point for taking a defensive driving class. In total, you can't accumulate more than five, though.
Pay $500 a year and drive anyway: Virginia has an unusual "Uninsured Motor Vehicle" fee that allows a car owner to register an uninsured vehicle and drive at his or her own risk. The owner is still legally liable for any damages he or she causes.
Uninsured motorist penalties for Virginia: If you don't register and pay the fee to drive uninsured, you may be fined $500, have your license and registration suspended and be required to file an SR-22 form.
Electric vehicle tax: To make up for lost gasoline tax revenue, owners of electric vehicles face an additional $50 cost at registration time.
DUIs in Virginia:Driving under the influence and other drug- and alcohol-related violations in Virginia add six points to your license and will stay on your driving record for 11 years.
No age restriction for insurance, title or registration: Virginia allows minors to own, register and insure vehicles, but it is up to an insurance company to decide if they will write a policy for a minor.
Biggest car insurance companies in Virginia rated on customer satisfaction
Direct premiums written
Market share %
Virginia Farm Bureau
Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2015. Customer review rankings based on Insure.com's 2016 "Best Insurance Companies" survey of 3,700 customers. Scores are out of 100.