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If you’re trying to find cheap auto insurance in West Virginia, you may have noticed that there’s an overwhelming number of companies vying for your business. Comparing all the options can seem like an endless struggle. To reduce the hassle and save you time, our Geeks compared car insurance quotes from several leading carriers to find the lowest rates.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in West Virginia
Make sure you aren’t overpaying for car insurance in West Virginia by comparing coverage options from multiple providers. The table below outlines our suggestions for different driver categories:
|Drivers in the Military
|Drivers Who Pay Their Premiums Upfront
|Drivers with a DUI
Best Car Insurance Companies in West Virginia
Our Geeks considered consumer reviews and complaint data to find the best providers in West Virginia. The table below outlines the results of our analysis:
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in West Virginia
All drivers in West Virginia must purchase car insurance that meets these minimum coverage limits:
- $25,000 For Bodily Injury To One Person In One Crash
- $50,000 For Total Bodily Injuries In One Accident
- $25,000 For Property Damage
- $25,000 Per Person And $50,000 Per Collision in Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) Coverage
- $25,000 Per Collision In Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance in West Virginia
When John Denver sang of West Virginia’s old country roads, he never mentioned the state’s strict auto insurance laws. But if you’re caught cruising without coverage you’ll soon discover that these country roads won’t take you home, but straight to jail.
Police officers and troopers across the state are authorized to request that you provide proof of insurance any time you are pulled over for a traffic violation, stopped at a checkpoint, or investigated after a car accident. Failure to do so can result in fines of up to $5,000, a 30 to 90-day license suspension, SR-22 filing requirements for three years, and up to one year behind bars.
Even worse, driving with no insurance is classed as a misdemeanor in West Virginia. As a result, this offense will be etched into your criminal record for life (or at least until you are able to have it expunged).
After you are convicted for driving without insurance, you will have to fulfill SR-22 filing requirements with the state Department of Motor Vehicles or state Department of Transport before your driving privileges are reinstated. The SR-22 form is a document from your provider proving you are insured up the state’s mandated minimum liability limits. Not only does this type of insurance cost more, but you will also be required to maintain this policy for up to three years with no breaks in your coverage.
If your insurance lapses for any reason – for example, you missed a payment – your license, registration, and vehicle’s plates will be suspended and you will have to start the SR-22 filing process from scratch. Keep in mind that it can cost as much as $100 to reinstate your license after it has been revoked or suspended.
West Virginia Car Insurance FAQs
What Terms Should Drivers Know Before Buying Insurance?
The auto insurance world has developed its own lexicon of often confusing buzzwords. However, most terms won’t apply to a basic policy. We’ve trimmed the fat to provide you with a glossary of the most important auto insurance terms:
Fault: You’ve heard insurers throw around the words “at fault”, but what does it mean? In tort or fault states, this label lies at the heart of any insurance investigation. An at-fault driver is the motorist responsible for causing an accident. However, blame is not a black and white concept in the auto insurance world. In most cases, insurers will reduce fault down to a percentage point to show how responsible you or other parties were for causing the crash.
Claim: A request made by you, the policyholder, for the insurance company to recover losses covered under your plan.
Collision coverage: Repairing your vehicle after a crash, especially if you drive a more expensive model, can take a big bite out of your budget. Collision coverage will protect you from financial loss by covering the cost of damage to your car caused by crashes with other vehicles and objects. It will also pay for repair costs related to pothole damage and ice and slide damage. While adding this feature to your policy can cause your premium to skyrocket, this monthly expense pales in comparison to the average cost of replacing or repairing your vehicle.
Comprehensive coverage: When that dent isn’t the work of a reckless driver, but a random ‘act of God’, your typical policy features won’t kick in to cover the costs. Comprehensive coverage is an add-on designed to soak up the expense of repairing any damage caused by Mother Nature, protests, or theft. It’s an expensive extra most motorists can forgo. However, if you live an area prone to natural disasters, it might make sense shelling out for peace of mind that a wildfire won’t see you burning through your budget. You should also consider purchasing comprehensive coverage if the cost of maintaining this feature for a few years is less than 10% of the value of your vehicle.
Deductible: This is the portion of your medical expenses or repair costs you will have to pay before your insurance reimburses you for the remainder. A low deductible will increase your insurance premiums but save you a small fortune in the event of a crash. A high deductible will reduce your rate but will result in you paying more out of pocket when you’re involved in a collision.
Loss: Insurance companies pay out when there is evidence of loss. Typically, loss is damage sustained by your vehicle in an accident. But this term could also be used to refer to injuries sustained in a crash or even wages lost a result of those same injuries.
Premiums: This is the cost, monthly or annual, of maintaining a car insurance policy. Many providers will refer to this expense as your rate. You can pay the amount manually or, in most cases, simplify your life by setting up automatic billing with your provider.
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage: While you may be following the rules of the road, many other drivers are taking unnecessary risks. Around 12 percent of America’s drivers are uninsured. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage protects you in the event of a crash involving one of these errant motorists, covering repair costs even when the at-fault uninsured motorist doesn’t have the means to do so.
What Are Some Important West Virginia Traffic Laws?
In West Virginia, authorities take a zero-tolerance stance against motorists caught breaking the law. But the state’s traffic code can often be difficult to understand, leaving you at risk of crossing the line unwittingly. Use this list of important West Virginia traffic laws to make sure you’re always on the right side of the law:
West Virginia Drunk Driving Laws
Drunk driving in the state is a serious offense that can result in prison time, fines, and license suspensions. The legal blood alcohol limit in West Virginia is 0.08% (the equivalent of a glass of wine, shot of hard liquor, or a pint of commercial lager). If you’re tested and found to be over the limit, a conviction can lead to up to 5 years behind bars, fines of up to $5,000, and a possible lifetime revocation of your license based on the nature of your offense. First time offenders are treated more leniently than serial rulebreakers.
While you can refuse to take a breath, urine, or blood test in West Virginia, this will result in an automatic revocation of your license. Take note: Drivers under 21 years old must adhere to an even stricter 0.02% blood alcohol limit.
West Virginia Seatbelt Laws
Crash tests have shown that a seatbelt can be the difference between minor injuries and a preventable fatality. However, countless drivers still risk these life-threatening consequences every day. In West Virginia, drivers, passengers riding shotgun, or younger passengers under age 18 must be buckled in at all times while the vehicle is in motion. Violators of West Virginia’s seatbelt safety laws may have to pay a fine of $25 if caught.
West Virginia Unattended Vehicle Laws
Leaving your car running with no one behind the wheel is illegal in West Virginia. According to the traffic code, a driver must first switch off their car, lock the ignition, and then remove the key before exiting their vehicle. An unattended motor vehicle charge is classed a misdemeanor in the state, and convictions can result in thousands of dollars in fines and potential prison time.
West Virginia Child Safety Seat Laws
Child car seats and booster seats are designed to protect your little ones in the event of a crash. That’s why West Virginia requires all children to be restrained in seats appropriate to their age, weight, and height.
Kids younger than 8 and shorter than 5 ft must be seated in a child safety seat while your car is moving. This seat should be fixed to the rear seats of your car where you child will be protected from the most common points of impact in an accident.
While your kid can switch to using your car’s stock seats and belts once he or she is 8 years old and at least 5 ft tall, experts recommend restraining your child in a safety seat or booster until he or she has outgrown the largest models available.
In some parts of world, children continue using safety seats and booster seats until the age of 18 years old. This practice will lower your child’s risk of death or serious injury in a crash significantly.
You can browse through our list of the top-rated child safety seats here.
West Virginia Texting and Driving Laws
Using your smartphone while driving in West Virginia is never a smart move. Authorities are clamping down on motorists shooting off text messages behind the wheel. Bottom line: It’s illegal to use a hand-held cell phone at any time while driving. While drivers who are 18 years old or older can still enjoy the benefits of communication on the go with a hands-free kit, younger drivers are barred from using their phones at all unless they are attempting to contact authorities or emergency services.
West Virginia Points System
To keep track of violations committed behind the wheel, West Virginia uses a points system. This helps the state (and insurance companies) determine and penalize the drivers that pose the most risk. The amount of points you get depends on the severity of the infraction. The highest you can get, eight, is for fleeing from an officer. The lowest you can get, two, is for moving violations like improper signaling, backing, and turning.
Any points you acquire will remain on your record for two years. Racking up 12 points in that timeframe will lead to a license suspension. Note that points will be assigned even if the traffic conviction happens in another state.
West Virginia does offer a bit of forgiveness, however. If a motorist completes an eight-hour defensive driving class, he or she will get a three-point deduction. Drivers are eligible for the deduction once a year.
What Happens If I Drive with a Revoked License in West Virginia?
Revocations are not optional in the state of West Virginia; they are issued for a reason. Getting caught driving with a revoked license for reasons unrelated to DUI may lead to an additional 90-day revocation. Getting caught driving with a revoked license because of DUI will lead to jail time of between 30 days and six months.