Beginning on the first of the year, auto insurance companies will be required to issue policies that provide minimum bodily injury coverage of at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per occurrence. Considering that a majority of drivers purchase the minimum limits, this is a major victory for consumers. As we all know, the cost of health care continues to rise, so it only makes sense that more auto insurance will be required to provide fair compensation to people who have been injured in car wrecks.
The last time the General Assembly increased the minimum bodily injury insurance limits, was 46 years ago in 1975. At that time the minimum limits were increased from $20,000 per person and $40,000 per occurrence to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence. This came only been a few years after the minimum bodily injury limits went up from $15,000 per person and $30,000 per occurrence in 1968.
Unfortunately, for the next 46 years, the minimum bodily injury insurance limits remained at a standstill, regardless of inflation and increasing medical costs. Finally, in 2021 the General Assembly agreed to increase the minimum bodily insurance limits incrementally so that by 2025 motor vehicle insurance policies will be required to provide minimum bodily injury limits of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per occurrence, as well as $25,000 for property damage. This means that the coverage available through most auto insurance policies will double within the next five years.
The General Assembly amended Va. Code § 46.2-472 to create a two-step escalation of the required minimum insurance limits. First, for policies effective on or after January 1, 2022, but before January 1, 2025, the minimum bodily injury limits will be $30,000 per person and $60,000 per occurrence. The minimum required property damage limits will remain at $20,000. For policies effective on or after January 1, 2025, the minimum bodily injury limits will be $50,000 per person and $60,000 per occurrence. The minimum limits for property damage will also increase to $25,000.
There is one exception to these new minimum limits requirements. The taxicab industry was not excited about the possibility of having to provide its passengers with higher coverage. It was able to negotiate a carve-out so that self-insured taxicab companies will still only be required to provide $25,000 per person or $50,000 per occurrence in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Higher insurance limits mean more protection for drivers on the road. If you or someone you know has been injured in a crash, call Allen & Allen today at 866-388-1307.