About Virginia Insurance Laws, Health Insurance and Regulations…
The Virginia insurance industry has weathered numerous challenges over the years, with many of the companies therein managing to find growth and success. The industry offers a wide range of services to consumers throughout the state, as well as the businesses that call Virginia home. The Virginia insurance industry is governed by the state’s Bureau of Insurance, as well as federal regulations. The agency is responsible for upholding both state and federal standards and enforcing regulations to ensure consumer protection.
Auto insurance coverage is mandatory in Virginia, as it is in other states throughout the country. Because many factors can contribute to the overall cost of insurance coverage, making policies expensive, the Bureau of Insurance has determined that drivers may carry a minimum level of coverage for their vehicles in order to be considered insured.
Minimum coverage must include: $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury or death of one person; $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people; and $20,000 for property damage.
Additional types of coverage are available to help protect other incidents that may result in loss.
Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is not required by the state. According to the Bureau of Insurance, the average cost of auto insurance coverage in the state is $1,539.
Homeowners insurance is not mandatory in Virginia. The Virginia insurance industry does offer a wide variety of insurance policies that are designed to protect homes and businesses, however, and the Bureau of Insurance strongly recommends that consumers and businesses purchase and maintain protection against the natural disasters that frequent the state. The Bureau of Insurance works to ensure that property insurance rates remain at a balanced level and do not become exploitative of consumers.
Health insurance is not currently mandatory in Virginia, but this will change in 2014. The Affordable Care Act requires that all U.S. citizens purchase and maintain some form of health insurance coverage. This provision is currently scheduled to take effect in 2014. By this time, the state is required to host a health insurance exchange program that will offer affordable, yet comprehensive insurance coverage to consumers. Virginia currently has plans to build and operate its own exchange system, but the state’s plans are currently on hold until Virginia received more aid from the federal government through the Department of Health and Human Services.
Virginia is home to approximately 7.6 million people. Roughly 13% of the state’s population does not currently have health insurance coverage. A health insurance exchange is expected to help reduce the level of uninsured people in Virginia, but whether the policies provided by the exchange will be truly affordable is not yet know. The exchange will be populated with policies that are offered by the Virginia insurance industry.
Virginia Insurance Resources:
Virginia Insurance Commissioner: Jacqueline K. Cunningham
Virginia Department of Insurance Website: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/
Virginia Insurance Licensing Info: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/pro/index.aspx
File Insurance Complaint:http://www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/complaint.aspx