Q: What is the minimum amount of liability insurance that Virginia compels juvenile drivers to carry?

A: In Virginia, it's illegal for anyone—whether a juvenile under the age of 21 or an adult—to operate a motor vehicle without carrying a minimal amount of liability insurance. And, in this state, “minimal” means exactly that: all Virginia requires is $50,000 worth of coverage for up to two people injured or killed in a car accident, along with $20,000 for any property damage. The state doesn't compel you to carry any collision insurance; the concern here is for damage to people and property, not to the vehicles themselves.

One thing you should be aware of, though, is that $70,000 can be a mere drop in the bucket where serious car accidents are involved. Whenever cases involving serious injuries or fatalities are heard by sympathetic juries, the resulting judgments often amount to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, and you (or your parents) will have to cough up the extra cash yourself once your insurance is exhausted. Since juvenile drivers are less experienced and more likely to wind up in accidents, it's a good idea to carry as much liability insurance as you can; if you can't afford the premiums yourself, your parents may be able to help.