Virginia requires that EVERY driver have auto insurance (OR, pay the $500.00 uninsured motorist fee). It is certainly not advisable to choose the uninsured motorist fee. If you cause an accident, you can still be sued. If your vehicle is damaged, you're out of luck. However, before drivers blindly throw their money into a policy, they should certainly understand their coverage.
The standard auto policy must have the minimum "liability coverage" to satisfy Virginia law. This coverage protects you against lawsuits by your passengers or other drivers who are injured in an accident that you caused. It also covers property damage to the other vehicle.
But, what about your own injuries and damages? Let's say you encounter snow and ice and slide into a guardrail. Believe it or not, this purely innocent accident, may not be covered. If you want coverage for your own injuries, you will want to talk to your insurance agent about medical payments coverage, often referred to as "medpay." This coverage will cover your medical expenses even if you were at fault for an accident. Collision coverage is the option to choose for damages to your vehicle. This coverage applies to accidents involving other vehicles, objects and animals, such as deer. Comprehensive coverage applies to damage caused by events such as a flood, fire, or theft.
So, know your coverage and drive safe!