What if your Virginia car insurance lapses? Of course, until you obtain other coverage or reinstate your policy, you should not drive. Any Virginia driver who is caught on the road without a valid license will be subject to severe fines and penalties. It simply isn’t worth it to take a chance, regardless of whether it was intentional or you simply had no idea your policy expired. To be considered "high risk" is critical to avoid, since your rate will substantially incraese, and an SR-22 Bond may be required.
Initially, you should contact the insurance company that last covered your vehicle. If the lapse is short (less than 2-4 days), the reinstatement process may be fairly simple. An immediate payment is likely to be required, and the policy anniversary date may change. However, if your lapse is more than 2-4 days, it’s possible that you will not be automatically reinstated. If that occurs, it is best to start the process of finding another carrier that offers low cost rates. But you may still have to pay a fine and reinstatement fee.
Although several carriers may offer a simplified reinstatement process, many others will require an entire new application, with probable loss of many of the best discounts. And there is always a chance that the cancellation was not your fault. In that type of scenario, there should be no penalty and no documented lapse in coverage either. If reinstated, it is important to verify that your effective dates showed no lapse. Although you may have to pay for days of coverage that were not used, you might retain a "preferred" status with the carrier.
We Can Help
And that’s where we can help. We certainly understand that the process of applying for coverage can be very time-consuming and frustrating. You have better things to do with your time. But we have carefully chosen the best Virginia car insurance companies that offer the most competitive rates in your area. When you request your free quote (by providing your zip code at the the top of the page), within minutes, you’ll be able to view the lowest down payment and rates needed to get insured again. You can customize a policy to meet your budget, but also include the coverage that you are required to have, and additional benefits including towing and substitute transportation.
If applying for new car insurance is the best option, it’s still possible that you may receive some discounts or reductions in your rate due to having prior coverage in the last 12 months. It is likely that you will need your prior policy number information and perhaps a copy of the last declarations page or billing statement. Additional driving record information may have to be ordered from the Department Of Motor Vehicles. Each company treats uninsured drivers differently, so it may take a few quotes to find the lowest rate.
It is important to understand that while you are comparing quotes (assuming your insurance is still in a lapsed status), you are not covered for state-required insurance and of course, you should avoid driving your vehicle. However, the advantage of viewing our quotes online is that you can secure coverage without leaving your home. After providing the necessary information (such as driver license number, VIN number etc…), you can obtain coverage almost immediately. Typically, you will not have to make a large initial payment. Monthly billing is generally available, along with several additional options.
A needed declaration page and ID card can be faxed, emailed, or downloaded. Proof of coverage is provided so you can immediately drive.
If you do drive without insurance, you will risk getting a fine, suspension of your license and/or registration, and perhaps substantially higher rates, since a major violation stays on your driving record for approximately 3-5 years. And if you have an accident, the financial burden could be immense as you pay back any vehicle damage or bodily injury out of your own pocketbook. If there is personal injury and medical treatment involved, it could take decades to pay off the debt. And you don't want to be put in that position.
While we believe it’s important to build and establish a relationship with your car insurance company, there are scenarios where it is clearly in your best interest to consider changing to another carrier. Lapsed coverage may present a situation where changing to a new company will reduce your prices. But each scenario is different, so it’s important to closely compare costs from your existing carrier and a potential new one. Underwriting guidelines will vary from one carrier to another, and available discounts will also be different.
Finally, if you find a lower rate with a new company, make certain that your coverage (especially liability limits) is equal to or greater than your previous coverage. Although you may lower your premium, reducing bodily injury and property damage limits could come back to haunt you. While it is naturally tempting to want to lower or eliminate benefits when you're faced with a large increase, perhaps instead, increase your collision and comprehensive deductibles instead of lowering liability limits.
Edward Harris is the owner and founder of this website. Since 1980, he has been helping individuals and families with their car insurance needs. During that time, he has handled more than 10,000 applications and continues to provide service for thousands of clients.
Ed is married with two children and enjoys tennis, golf, and international politics. Reluctantly, he bowls once every 10 years.