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Drivers Ticketed Despite Complying With Virginia’s Ill-Conceived Insurance Law

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Virginia is one of only a few states that allow certain drivers to operate a vehicle without having car insurance. Drivers with relatively clean driving records and enough experience may be able to forgo vehicle coverage and instead pay the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles a $500 fee.

This is an ill-conceived policy that does more harm than good. Far too many drivers who opt for the $500 fee wind up causing serious car accidents and leave victims responsible for paying most of the bills that would normally be covered by the at-fault driver's insurance company. This is why most Virginia car insurance policies have something called uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage. This is utilized when a driver causes an accident and has no coverage, or very little insurance coverage.

The problem is that many drivers who make the responsible decision to purchase auto insurance opt for minimal coverage. Some drivers only have $75,000 or $100,000 in bodily injury coverage. That may sound like a lot of money, but if you are in a serious car wreck that leaves you in the hospital for months, that amount of money can get expended quickly.

Despite Virginia’s unusual law, the Associated Press reported that some Virginia drivers are getting ticketed for failing to show proof of insurance. For example, a driver in Sussex County, VA, was fined $110. This driver could probably fight the ticket in court, but that can be a major hassle since the person would have to take time off work to drive to the courthouse and make an argument in front of a judge.

The best strategy to avoid both unwarranted tickets, and big problems if you’re involved in an accident, is to purchase a car insurance policy. Drivers who make the poor decision to simply pay the $500 fee and go without insurance are essentially paying for the “privilege” of not being held liable for the damages they cause in a car accident. Conversely, drivers with relatively clean records can pay around $500 and get an insurance policy that will provide the much-needed protection if they are the victim in a car wreck.

To learn about what type of coverage is best for an auto insurance policy, take a look at this article written by an experienced car accident injury lawyer in Virginia.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.