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Why Should You Buy Auto Insurance?

Couple in carIf you cause an auto accident, you may be responsible for the losses of the other people involved. A claim may be made or a lawsuit filed against you for those losses. You may have to pay not only for the property damage you cause but also for the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering of any injured person. The amount of money you may have to pay could be substantial. If you do not have insurance, anything of value that you own, including your home, savings, future wages, and other assets, may be taken to pay for those losses. Auto liability insurance will protect you so that this does not happen. Liability insurance also pays for a lawyer to defend you against any claim or lawsuit.

You can also buy insurance to cover your injuries or damage to your auto. These optional coverages will pay you for your own losses whether or not you caused the loss. Insurance is based on the theory that only a small portion of all drivers will be involved in accidents in any one year. The premiums paid by all drivers during the year are used to pay for the losses of those few drivers who have accidents.When you buy insurance, you receive financial protection in case you become involved in an accident. You also make sure that a person injured through your fault will recover for losses you cause. You may feel that you never get to use your auto insurance unless something bad happens, but it makes sense to have that protection.

What Types of Auto Insurance Are You Required to Buy?

Virginia has a financial responsibility law which requires you to show that you can pay for losses resulting from motor vehicles you own or operate. These financial responsibility requirements can be met in one of two ways:
  1. When you register your vehicles, if you certify that they are covered by an insurance policy, the policy must have the following minimum limits of liability:
    • $25,000 for injury or death of one person;
    • $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people; and
    • $20,000 for property damage.
  2. Uninsured Motorist Vehicle (UMV) Fee: 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.

Consequences: Vehicle owners who are uninsured and have not paid the UMV fee will have their privilege to drive and register motor vehicles suspended. To be reinstated, they may be required to pay a statutory fee, file a financial responsibility insurance certificate (SR-22) with DMV for three years, and pay a reinstatement fee.

If you buy insurance, your policy must contain the following coverages:
  1. Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability.
  2. This coverage provides protection in case you or drivers of your car are responsible for causing injury or death to other people or damage to property of others.
  3. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
  4. The Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) provides bodily injury and property damage protection to you if you are in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist or a “hit-and-run” driver. If your vehicle is damaged by a “hit and run” driver who cannot be identified, you must pay the first $200. Every policy which offers motor vehicle liability coverage must include this coverage. Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage protects you directly in the event you are injured by a driver whose liability limits are not high enough to cover the damages and not as high as the UM/UIM liability limits on your policy. This minimum amount of coverage required by law is $25,000/$50,000/$20,000.

At Tabitha E. Walker Insurance Agency, we offer professional advice, education and value-added service with a personal touch. Since 2006, our highest priority has been to meet your needs. Call us today at 540-657-5633 for a Stafford car insurance quote.
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Mailing: 11 Hope Rd., Suite 111-306 Stafford, VA 22554 Location:  25 Clement Drive Stafford, VA 22554

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