Virginia had more than 128,000 car crashes in 2019 alone. Many of these crashes (58,771) were due to high-risk driving behaviors, including teen driving, speeding and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Obtaining affordable car insurance for high-risk drivers in Virginia can be a challenge because insurance carriers penalize policyholders with poorer driving records by increasing their rates. Our team evaluated what the leading auto insurance providers in Virginia charge high-risk drivers, with high-risk drivers defined as those with at least one speeding ticket, at-fault accident, DUI conviction or lapse in coverage on their record.
Rates for high-risk car insurance in Virginia
Because insurance providers must assess the risk of each policyholder based on their driving record, high-risk drivers will generally pay more for coverage. How much their insurance rates will increase depends on the specific driving infraction committed and other individual factors. Each provider penalizes drivers differently, with some doling out harsher average rate increases than others for the same violation.
Rates after a speeding ticket
Speeding in Virginia is a serious offense: In fact, driving just one mile over the posted speed limit could land you three demerit points on your license. If you accumulate 12 points within 12 months, you may have your license suspended. Not only that, but Virginia drivers who receive a speeding ticket will also face insurance rate increases between 11% and 51% on average. The table below illustrates what some car insurance providers in Virginia charge their policyholders on average both before and after receiving a single speeding ticket:
|Car insurance company||Virginia average annual premium for full coverage before a speeding ticket||Virginia average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket||% increase|
|Electric Insurance Company||$3,308||$5,144||55%|
|Virginia Farm Bureau||$984||$1,096||11%|
Rates after an accident
In Virginia, drivers found at-fault for causing an accident are financially responsible for any physical, personal or emotional damages they cause. Proving fault for an accident requires the plaintiff to illustrate that the driver behaved negligently, either through reckless driving, distracted driving or other careless behavior.
Insurance providers are deeply involved in the settlement process for such car accident cases, and therefore will know what the at-fault driver did to contribute to the damages incurred. Depending on how severe the accident and the specific actions taken that led to it, your insurance provider may raise your rates anywhere between 7% and 92% on average, according to the data below:
|Car insurance company||Virginia average annual premium for full coverage before an accident||Virginia average annual premium for full coverage after an accident||% increase|
|Electric Insurance Company||$3,308||$5,058||53%|
|Virginia Farm Bureau||$984||$1,054||7%|
Rates after a DUI
Virginia takes driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol seriously. The state has a plethora of alcohol- and drug-related crimes that go beyond the standard definition of a DUI: Drivers caught having an open container in the passenger area of a vehicle may also be charged with an alcohol-related crime.
Drivers face severe consequences for being convicted of a DUI. A first-time offense will land you administrative license suspension for a week, a maximum $300 fine, license revocation for one year, and court-ordered restitution in the form of either Alcohol Safety Action Program completion, ignition interlock device installation or restricted driver’s license. Additionally, the driver will receive a permanent mark on their criminal record.
Virginia also requires drivers with DUI convictions to file an FR-44 Financial Responsibility Certification — a special document that certifies that the driver holds auto insurance coverage with much higher policy limits than the state requirement for non-DUI-convicted drivers. As such, high-drivers holding a DUI on their record will have a harder time finding affordable car insurance in Virginia. The rates below reflect just how significant rate increases will be for incurring such an offense:
|Car insurance company||Virginia average annual premium for full coverage before a DUI||Virginia average annual premium for full coverage after a DUI||% increase|
|Electric Insurance Company||$3,308||$7,550||128%|
|Virginia Farm Bureau||$984||$1,192||21%|
Rate for teen drivers
Teen driving accounted for 5,736 injuries and 54 fatalities in Virginia in 2018 alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drivers aged 16 – 19 are more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash than any other age group. Because of these facts, insurance providers charge higher rates for teen drivers due to their inexperience. As time goes on, these rates will decrease — especially if the driver is able to illustrate a favorable record. For the time being, parents adding a 16-year-old driver to their auto insurance policy can expect to pay around the following for annual full coverage:
|Car insurance company||Average annual premium for full coverage|
|Electric Insurance Company||$4,768|
|Virginia Farm Bureau||$1,284|
Who is a high-risk driver?
When researching rates for this article, Bankrate defined a high-risk driver as someone who has at least one of the following violations:
- DUI conviction
- Speeding ticket
- At-fault accident
- Lapse in coverage
This definition does not reflect the standard criteria used by insurance providers to determine whether or not a driver is high-risk. According to this standard definition, a high-risk driver is simply one that has a higher likelihood of filing a claim with their insurance carrier than what’s considered average. As such, a high-risk driver could be anyone who:
- Is caught driving without a license
- Drives recklessly
- Has a poor driving record
- Is a new driver
- Owns a high-risk vehicle, such as an exotic car, sports car, supercar, or collectible car
- Is aged 70 or older
To find out if you meet your insurance provider’s definition of a “high-risk driver,” consult with your agent and learn what steps you can take to improve your standing.
How to lower your rate if you are a high-risk driver
While high-risk drivers will naturally pay higher premiums for coverage, there are steps they can take to reduce their financial obligation, including:
- Shop around: Not all insurance providers determine risk the same way, and therefore some carriers may enforce a smaller penalty for the same offense. If you feel your rates have increased beyond what you think is fair, try shopping around to see what other providers would charge for the same record.
- Available discounts: From installing safe driving monitors for continued savings to being a smart student, auto insurance providers offer a broad range of discounts to their policyholders. Be sure you understand all the different discounts that your provider offers to ensure you’re taking advantage of all the savings for which you are eligible.
- Wait it out: As time passes, the premium increase from an incident will likely clear and you may be able to get rates as the average driver once more. In most cases, insurance carriers only evaluate the past five years (or eleven years in the case of a DUI) of driving history to determine your premium, so you may be able to find more affordable coverage after this period.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best insurance company for high-risk drivers in Virginia?
The best car insurance company for high-risk drivers depends on the specific type of traffic violation you committed as well as what the provider charges after receiving such an infraction on your record. Shop around to find the best insurance company as not all providers penalize drivers in the same way for the same violation.
What is the cheapest car insurance in Virginia?
The cheapest car insurance provider in Virginia will depend on your driving record, personal details, location and discounts you are eligible for. The best way to find out the cheapest option for you is to get and compare several quotes.
How much car insurance do Virginia drivers need?
According to Virginia law, drivers must hold the following policy limits to drive legally in the state:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $20,000 property damage liability per accident
Virginia also allows drivers to pay an annual $500 uninsured motorist fee instead of having auto insurance. However, drivers who choose this option will still be financially responsible for damages if they cause an accident.
If, however, the driver is convicted of a DUI and is forced to file an FR-44 Financial Responsibility Certification, they must hold the following coverage limits:
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $40,000 property damage liability per accident
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually. These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.