Car insurance quotes for residents of West Virginia should have at least the following insurance coverage or financial responsibility to meet the legally required state limits:
20/40/10 – This is shorthand for the liability policy limits required which means you need a minimum coverage of:
- $20,000 for death or injury to one person;
- $40,000 for death or injury to two or more people; and
- $10,000 for property damage to others
The same amounts, 20/40/10 have to be purchased in uninsured motorists insurance.
For occasional visits to other states: Nearly all car insurance policies have a provision that will adjust your coverage from the minimums required in your state to the minimum insurance or proof of financial responsibility in another U.S. state. So you do not need to get a new insurance policy for each state you are driving through. However, if you are commuting to another state you may have to adjust your policy to meet the requirements of all states involved. Visits, travel or shopping trips are typically not considered commuting, but you should check details with your agent if in doubt.
Secondly, if you buy for some reason a policy in a low limits state (like West Virginia or Washington D.C.) but live in a higher limits state (like Virginia), insurers will only write a policy where your car is principally garaged. So if your home is in Virginia, you should buy the minimum limits for Virginia.
As for all other US states, West Virginia’s required insurance limits are low, even if compared only to the average cost of repair and damages likely to occur in an accident. If you are in a serious collision and the damages you caused are greater than the coverage limits you purchased, you may be personally liable to pay for those damages that exceed your insurance coverage. For most drivers it will be actually a quite affordable strategy to enhance their financial protection by purchasing additional coverage.
Car Insurance Laws and Requirements for West Virginia
West Virginia is a modified comparative fault state with a 50% rule. This is a legal defense that means that a plaintiff can recover for an injury, reducing the amount that the plaintiff can recover based on the percentage of which the plaintiff is at fault if it is determined that his or her fault in causing the injury is less than 50%. If the plaintiff’s fault level reaches 50% or more, he or she cannot recover any damages resulting from the accident.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
In West Virginia, a first time offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is treated as a misdemeanor offense. If you are 21 years or older, if you have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of .08% or higher while driving, West Virginia law presumes you are driving while intoxicated. If you are under 21, a lower BAC may apply to you.
If convicted, you may be sentenced for a minimum of 2 days up to 1 year in jail, depending on aggravating factors and if your BAC is .15% or greater. A court fine of at least $100 and up to $1,000 may be imposed. You will also be responsible for other court fees. Your license will be suspended for at least 15 days up to 45 days. An ignition interlock device may required if you are permitted to have a restricted license. SR-22 or FR-44 forms may be required for DUIs in West Virginia if not other form of acceptable insurance documentation is available.
If convicted, you may be sentenced for a minimum of 180 days to 1 year in jail. Fines may be imposed of at least $1,000 and up to $3,000. Your license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year. You will be required to install an ignition interlock device if you are permitted a restricted license. SR-22 or FR-44 forms may be required for DUIs in West Virginia if not other form of acceptable insurance documentation is available.
Top Ten Car Insurance Companies in West Virginia
Though there are different ways of rating auto insurance companies, here are the top ten car insurance carriers as rated by 2010 market share in the state:
- State Farm Mutual
- Nationwide Mutual
- Erie Insurance
- Allstate Insurance
- Westfield Insurance
- Progressive Casualty Insurance
- Allstate Property and Casualty
- State Auto
- Horace Mann Property and Casualty Insurance