West Virginia Auto Insurance Requirements
West Virginia has very strict auto insurance laws for both private and commercial vehicle owners, and penalties for not carrying car insurance can be significant. Minimum auto insurance coverage requirements in West Virginia are mandated by state law and the West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner. The following minimum coverage is required on every registered vehicle, except as noted below:
(Source: WV Office of the Insurance Commissioner)
Driving without the mandatory liability insurance in West Virginia can result in a $5,000 fine 30 day suspension of driving privileges, and registration revocation. Subsequent offenses are subject to higher fines, reinstatement fees, and jail time.
The West Virginia Automobile Insurance Plan is available to drivers who are unable to obtain required coverage through the voluntary market. More information is available on the AIPSO website.
Factors Influencing Car Insurance Premiums in West Virginia
Getting a quote for cheap car insurance in West Virginia requires some research and rate comparisons between different insurance companies, even though West Virginia ranks below national averages for car insurance costs. Some factors that impact insurance rates in West Virginia include:
– West Virginia is not a “no-fault” state, and does not require PIP insurance
– West Virginia does required UM / UIM coverage for all insured drivers
– Vehicle repair costs are generally less expensive in West Virginia than elsewhere
– Overall accident fatality rates are much higher than the national averages
– A lower percentage of uninsured drivers compared to national averages
– Auto insurance fraud
– Vehicle theft rates near national averages
The average auto insurance premium for residents in West Virginia is $1,633 in 2011; the national average is $1,790.
Tips for Obtaining Cheap Car Insurance in West Virginia
– If you’re over 55, take a state-approved defensive driving course for a policy discount
– Several insurance companies offer “pay as you drive” car insurance for low mileage drivers in West Virginia
– Maintain a good driving record
– Bind multiple policies (homeowners, life, auto) with the same provider
– Maintain a good credit score
– Create a personal “emergency fund” of up to $1500 and increase deductibles accordingly
– Discuss affinity discounts with your insurance provider
– Drop comprehensive and collision insurance on older vehicles
West Virginia Statistics
– Auto Theft: West Virginia has a vehicle theft rate that is in line with national averages, and it has been decreasing (as is the case in most states) consistently over the past several years. This can be attributed primarily to anti-theft devices being standard on recent model cars, as well as public awareness of the issue:
(Source: Auto Thiefs)
– Automobile Accidents: The total vehicle miles traveled in West Virginia has remained relatively unchanged in recent years, as have vehicle accident fatality rates. West Virginia is well above the national average in numbers of deaths in car crashes, despite having a fairly low population concentration.
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