Auto Insurance Laws in West Virginia
Driving is a normal part of everyday life, so you don’t always think about the logistics of maintaining a car on the road. However, it is important to follow and understand the insurance laws in your state. In West Virginia, drivers must maintain mandatory insurance limits to operate a vehicle.
West Virginia’s mandatory insurance limits are designed to protect others in the event of an accident. However, you may need to get additional coverage to protect yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle. Accidents are not uncommon in West Virginia according to these 2019 statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):
- West Virginia recorded 247 fatalities in 2019
- More than half of crash-related deaths in West Virginia have been in single-vehicle crashes.
- 120 drivers have been killed in alcohol-related crashes.
- Meeting auto insurance requirements can help protect your finances.
Auto Insurance Laws in West Virginia
Auto insurance laws vary from state to state, but most states require a minimum amount of insurance coverage for drivers. the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles requires the following mandatory coverage limits:
- $ 25,000 bodily injury liability per person / $ 50,000 per accident liability (two or more injuries)
- $ 25,000 liability for property damage
- $ 25,000 uninsured bodily injury by motorist / $ 50,000 per accident
- $ 25,000 in property damage to uninsured motorists
Drivers in West Virginia are also required to keep proof of insurance in their vehicle and keep their address up to date with the DMV. If your vehicle is only used seasonally or part-time, you should still carry the minimum insurance limits during the time the vehicle is not in storage.
Liability Insurance in West Virginia
Liability insurance coverage is the most common coverage among insurance policies and is generally required in all states. In West Virginia, drivers are required to have a minimum of $ 25,000 personal injury liability per person and up to $ 50,000 personal injury liability per accident. This breakdown means that if you cause an accident where another person is injured, they can recover up to $ 25,000 for damage related to the accident. If more than one person is injured, your insurance policy will cap the payment at $ 50,000 per accident.
Coverage for uninsured motorists of the same limits is also required which pays in the event of an accident when another driver is uninsured. Additionally, coverage for underinsured motorists of the same $ 25,000 / $ 50,000 limits may provide protection if there is not enough coverage available, but such coverage may be formally rejected in writing.
However, just because these limits represent the minimum amount of coverage required does not mean that you have purchased sufficient insurance coverage.
If you cause an accident and the damage exceeds your insurance limits, you can be sued for the remaining funds and be held responsible for payment. Although your premium will increase, you can always increase your limits on these coverages to provide additional protection against any claims arising from an accident.
You will also need to purchase additional coverage if you want to protect your vehicle by adding a collision, which could pay for damage to the vehicle after an accident, or comprehensive coverage that may pay for costs unrelated to an accident caused by fire. , theft, vandalism, objects and animals. If you are unsure of the amount of insurance coverage you need, you may want to discuss your specific situation with your insurance agent.
Is West Virginia a Flawless State?
You may have heard the phrase “no-fault condition” when you refer to insurance-related damages. In no-fault states, drivers use their own insurance coverage for repairs, regardless of who is responsible for the accident.
West Virginia is not a no-fault state, but rather a “tort” state, which means that if you are involved in an accident in West Virginia, one (or more) of the drivers will be at fault. This fault determination is what the insurance company will use to determine who is responsible for covering the accident. If it is found that you are less than 50% responsible for the accident, you may be able to recoup your losses from the other parties involved.
Penalties for driving without insurance in West Virginia
Because auto insurance is designed to protect everyone on the road, driving without insurance can result in hefty penalties. In fact, the West Virginia DMV defines specific consequences for drivers who choose to drive without insurance or who fail to provide proof of insurance when asked to verify:
- License and suspension of registration
- $ 100 fee to reinstate vehicle registration
- Penalty of $ 50 if a secure order appears on the license plate
- $ 50 driver’s license reinstatement fee
The length of the suspension may be extended if you face a repeated infraction.
If you provide fraudulent insurance information to the WV DMV, your license will be suspended for 90 days. In addition, you risk having the vehicle revoked and you could even be prosecuted, risking a fine of up to $ 1,000 and up to one year in prison.
Additional Auto Insurance Coverage Options in West Virginia
In addition to the mandatory West Virginia Third Party Liability and Uninsured Motorist coverages, as well as optional Collision Coverage and Comprehensive Coverage that can protect your vehicle, there are additional insurance coverage options that you can purchase if you’re looking for peace of mind on the road.
Additional insurance coverage can increase your premium, but the cost is generally viewed as a worthwhile investment that could save you hassle and money in the long run. Some additional coverages you may want to consider include:
- Protection against injuriesPersonal Injury Protection, or PIP, is coverage available to injured people to help cover medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, or even essential services required after a serious injury.
- Roadside assistance / towing: Some insurance companies may offer roadside assistance coverage that can help you if you run out of gas, get stuck out of your car, need to be towed, need a tire change or need a tire change. other roadside assistance.
- Rental coverage: Insurance companies may offer rental car coverage for the daily cost of a rental car when your insured vehicle is being repaired due to a covered loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best auto insurance company in West Virginia?
There is no better insurance provider for everyone. When choosing an auto insurance company, consider factors such as the premium rate, available discounts, customer satisfaction, and the ease of the claims process. To get started, check out our list of the best options in West Virginia.
What is the cheapest auto insurance in West Virginia?
Each auto insurance company uses a different algorithm to determine premium rates, and each individual’s insurance premium will be different depending on their particular situation. To find the cheapest auto insurance in West Virginia, get quotes from several companies.
How do I pay the reinstatement fee after my license was suspended for driving without insurance in West Virginia?
To have your license reinstated after a suspension for driving without insurance or failing to provide proof of insurance, you will need to complete your period of suspension, provide proof of insurance and pay the reinstatement fee. Fees can be paid online via the West Virginia DMV.