A new Virginia law that took effect on Jan. 1, 2022, will soon double the minimum liability coverage drivers who are licensed in the state must carry. A small increase has been introduced for this year, and the full impact of the law will be felt in 2025. Liability coverage applies when driver injures or kills another person in a crash.
The higher minimums were mandated because health care costs grew rapidly since the previous rules regarding auto insurance liability coverage were set in 1975. Coverage for property damage will also go up starting in 2025. Property damage claims primary involve vehicle repairs and replacement, though other forms of property like buildings, fences and yards are also covered.
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Auto insurance policies issued in Virginia during 2022 and until the start of 2025 must now provide at least $30,000 in liability coverage for one person who suffers injuries or dies in a wreck caused by another driver. The old minimum was $25,000. Starting in 2025, each Virginia driver will need to carry at least $50,000 in liability coverage.
The changes, as well as the rules regarding minimum coverage for injuring or killing more than one person, are summarized in this table.
|Liability Insurance Coverage Requirements|
|Injury or death of one person||Injury or death of two or more people||Property damage|
|Policies effective Jan. 1, 2022 through Dec. 31, 2024||$30,000||$60,000||$20,000|
|Policies effective on or after Jan. 1, 2025||$50,000||$100,000||$25,000|
State laws requiring auto insurance policies to include uninsured and underinsured coverage provisions will not change. Personal injury and wrongful death claims can be filed under these provisions when the driver who causes a crash lacks enough coverage to fully compensate victims or drove with no insurance at all. Succeeding with such claims still requires showing another driver was at fault and that injuries or deaths resulted directly from the crash.
As Virginia plaintiffs’ attorneys, we often assist clients with pursuing uninsured and underinsured claims. Even $50,000 is unlikely to pay for all necessary emergency and follow-up medical care after a serious crash. And simply paying doctor and hospital bills rarely suffices to make a car or truck crash victim whole. Insurance claim settlements and civil trial jury awards are meant to compensate injured individuals or the families of deceased victims for financial losses and emotional distress.