West Virginia has a high accident rate, making it all the more important to buy proper insurance coverage. To help, you need to get West Virginia car insurance quotes. Getting quotes is fast, easy and free. You can begin instantly just by using the form above.
You may also be interested in reading more about your obligations as a driver in the state. West Virginia, like all other states in the US, has its own unique system of auto insurance. You need to know about your legally mandated minimums, rules and laws about coverage, ways you can save money in the state and more. Keep reading to find out some of the more important pieces of information about West Virgina auto insurance.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements In West Virginia
Like an increasing number of states, West Virgina requires two broad types of insurance. These are liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage. These are legally mandated by the State of West Virgina, so you must purchase them or face severe consequences.
However, you can’t just buy whatever amount of each insurance you want. You must buy at least the mandatory minimum required coverage for each type. To make it a little easier the minimums and requirements for both liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage are the same. You will need to buy at least the following amounts for both:
- $20,000 for bodily injury and/or death for one person in an accident;
- $40,000 for bodily injury and/or death for two or more people per accident;
- $10,000 for property damage per accident.
Now remember these are minimums only. Still, you need to make sure both the liability and uninsured motorist coverage portion of your insurance policy, include at last these amounts. West Virginia law requires all insurers licensed in the state to offer higher liability and uninsured motorist coverage limits on their policies. You would do well to seriously consider buying a higher limit policy, as the minimum amounts may not be enough in an accident.
Be sure to ask your insurance agent and/or company about how liability and uninsured motorist coverage works in West Virginia. Moreover, be sure to ask them about how other types of insurance coverage can provide you with the protection you want and need.
West Virginia State Auto Insurance Laws
There are a few important things to know about West Virginia’s auto insurance laws. One of the more important is the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Law (Chapter 17D of The West Virginia Code), especially Article 4 – Proof of Financial Responsibility For The Future. It lays out the mandatory insurance minimums listed above, along with the requirement to have proof of financial responsibility.
The law states that West Virginia drivers must carry proof of insurance when operating their vehicles at all times. Therefore, you need to make sure you always have form WV-1, Certificate of Insurance with you whenever you’re in your car. The DMV says you should keep it in your glove box.
You are required by law, to be able to present proof of insurance to a law enforcement officer, in any traffic stop or accident. Failing to have proof of insurance, or worse yet not having insurance or having fraudulent insurance; carries severe penalties. They can range from having your driver’s license suspended to your vehicle’s registration being revoked to fines of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail. Do yourself a favor and make sure you buy, maintain, and have proof of proper insurance at all times.
Beyond these important laws, there is one more important thing to know about West Virginia’s car insurance laws. The state operates under the tort system of comparative negligence. This means in an accident, you can collect damages from the at fault driver’s insurance company, up to the amount you are found to be responsible.
So if you are 25% responsible for an accident, you can collect up to 75% of your damages from the other driver’s insurance company. However, if you are found to be 50% or more at fault in an accident, you will not be able to collect damages. To learn more about West Virginia’s insurance laws read Chapter 33 of the West Virginia Code.
Finally, you may also wish to read the following pages to get a more complete idea of the insurance landscape in West Virginia. Find out more about Electronic Insurance Verification, Cancellation and Non-Renewal of your policy and the Auto Insurance FAQ from the Insurance Commissioner.
As always, if you have questions about insurance law in the state, or just how your policy works, you need to get in contact with your West Virginia licensed insurance agent or licensed company. They are the only ones who can legally give you advice about your insurance needs and requirements.
West Virginia Car Insurance Companies
According to the West Virginia Insurance Commission, there are 2,400 insurance related entities that are licensed or eligible to sell insurance policies in the state. So, there is a lot of choice out there for you. To help you narrow down the field a little, you can always start with an instant auto insurance quote, which you can get at the top or bottom of this page.
The following companies are members of the Insurance Information Institute and are some of the largest insurance companies operating in West Virginia.
If you ever have a problem with your insurer you need to get in contact with The Office of the Consumer Advocate Division. Their goal is to help consumer’s resolve their insurance issues for a satisfactory end.
Average West Virginia Auto Insurance Rates
Different drivers will pay different rates no matter where they are, West Virginia included. The 2008 West Virginia Annual Automobile Survey should give you a good idea of the ballpark amount you should be paying for insurance given your age, driving history, car, etc. It can also help point you in the direction of companies likely to give you a good rate, given your circumstances.
In terms of the average premiums West Virginia drivers pay for their auto insurance, it varies depending on the source used. Taking data from the Insurance Information Institute and CarInsurance.com the state is a little pricier than average. Average insurance rates are likely between $808 and $1,775 per year. Which means they are $19-$329 more per year than those for a typical US driver.
At the end of the day, the average rate paid means almost nothing. What really matters is how much you have to pay. The only way you’re sure to pay less is if you shop around. And the best way to shop around is to get several West Virginia car insurance quotes online.
West Virginia Car Accident Statistics
West Virginia is a relatively dangerous state to drive in. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the state had 356 traffic fatalities in 2009. And unlike many other states, West Virginia’s fatality rate has not fallen in recent years. It had 1.82 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled compared to a national average rate of 1.14.
This mean you have roughly a 60% greater chance of being involved in a fatal collision in West Virginia, than you do compared to drivers in the rest of the United States. Compared to drivers in the neighboring state of Virgina, your risk is almost double. The NHTSA reports that accidents are distributed across the state. The following 5 counties were the worst (at least 15 fatalities each): Kanawha County, Cabell County, Raleigh County, Monongalia County and Berkeley County.
Just remember no matter where you live, you want to take extra care on West Virginia’s roads. Stay safe, don’t speed and drive sober.
Online West Virginia Car Insurance Quotes
Auto insurance policy prices can be quite outrageous. But don’t worry, since there are ways where you can get cheap insurance rates. Once you figure out how to get them, you will find out that cutting the costs of your insurance is not as difficult as you might expect.
The first thing that you have to do is get a West Virginia auto insurance policy quote that is right for you. You have to get full control of it. Remove any coverage options you fell you don’t need and make sure you have all that you do. This is the only way to make sure you get full coverage at the lowest price possible for you.
Some insurance companies do offer discounts and incentives to long time customers. Yet, these may not offer the same degree of savings that getting a new policy would offer. However, if the company you have been with has good customer service and a problem-free claims process, paying slightly more can be worth it.
Last but not the least, the best way to save when it comes to your car insurance is by getting it all online. Not only do many companies give discounts when you get West Virginia insurance online, the process is also a lot easier. That’s because you can access a quote anytime of the day as long as your have an Internet connection. All you need is to fill out a form with basic information and you’re all set. That’s how easy it is to get a West Virginia car insurance quote.
See for yourself:
West Virginia City Guide to Insurance