Soon, Virginia drivers may have an extra layer of protection on the roads.
The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill that would require all drivers to have car insurance. Currently, the Commonwealth and New Hampshire are the only two states that don’t require car insurance. Under current law, drivers can register and drive a vehicle without insurance if they pay the DMV a $500 fee.
Jill Hufford, the owner of Jill Hufford Insurance in Roanoke County, said Virginia has the third highest car insurance rates in the country because insurance companies charge their clients more in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver.
“We have young people that are paying $500 a month for insurance,” said Hufford. “If I hit you and I don’t have insurance and my car is uninsured, your insurance carrier has to pay for your damages.”
Hufford said the move could save Virginians money.
“If we get everybody covered, then the costs will start dropping because everybody will have what they’re supposed to have. Instead of insurance companies trying to go collect their money from people who already didn’t have the money to have insurance to begin with,” said Hufford.
However, Delegate Sam Rasoul fears it could hurt low-income families.
“The reality is, can everyone afford to have that car insurance? That’s the major question,” said Rasoul.
Hufford said insurance companies can work with clients to set up monthly payment plans that work with their budgets. She also said that independent insurance companies are more flexible in offering coverage to drivers who may not have the best record.
“I really think, in the long run, we will benefit,” said Hufford.
The bill heads to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk for a signature. If it becomes law, drivers will have until July 1, 2024 to secure insurance.
(Source: WSLS 10)