Like most states, West Virginia has laws mandating a certain level of auto insurance liability coverage. Registered drivers in the state must have at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability; $25,000 per accident for property damage liability; $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for uninsured motorist medical coverage; and $25,000 per accident for uninsured motorist property damage coverage.
Review the factors that influence your rates for car insurance in West Virginia and explore average costs for different types of drivers.
Average West Virginia Auto Insurance Cost
Because West Virginia has few uninsured drivers and many rural areas with low population density, drivers who live here pay well below the national average for auto insurance. Drivers across the U.S. pay about $600 per year for minimum policies and $1500 per year for full auto insurance coverage.
In West Virginia, policies average $504 annually for minimum coverage and $1438 annually for full coverage, according to Wallet Hub. These averages rank West Virginia as the eighth cheapest state for car insurance in the U.S., with a monthly cost of about $42 for a minimum coverage policy and $120 for a full coverage policy.
West Virginia Auto Insurance Discounts
Many West Virginia auto insurance companies offer discounts based on driving behavior, customer loyalty, and other attributes. You may save based on your homeownership status, marital status, or employment with a specific company. Other common discounts include savings for:
- Signing up for paperless billing
- Bundling both home and car insurance coverage
- Having a clean driving record
- Buying a vehicle with anti-theft and safety features, such as daytime running lights, antilock brakes, multiple airbags, steering wheel locks, and car alarms
- Remaining with the same auto insurance company
- Taking a qualifying driver education course
- Maintaining insurance coverage continuously for at least six months
- Paying for your policy in full rather than in monthly installments
- Maintaining at least a B average in high school or college
- Signing up for a driving behavior monitoring program (telematics)
Average West Virginia Auto Insurance Cost by Age
The higher accident risk for teen, young adult, and senior drivers results in a higher auto insurance premium for those in these age groups. Wallet Hub reports that the average annual cost for car insurance is $6073 for a 16-year-old West Virginia driver, $1588 for a 25-year-old driver, and $1309 for drivers ages 65 and older.
Expensive West Virginia Auto Insurance Cities
According to Wallet Hub data, West Virginia drivers who live in Wayne, Logan, and Williamson tend to pay the highest rates in the state for auto insurance. If you reside or frequently drive in population-dense or high-crime areas, you can expect to have higher premium costs.
Average Cost Based on Credit and Financial History
Wallet Hub reports that if you have no credit history or poor credit, you will pay about 52 percent higher auto insurance rates than premiums available to customers who have outstanding credit scores. You will also pay more for coverage if you allow your policy to lapse, about 11 percent on average.
Average Cost Based on Driving Record
West Virginia drivers will pay an average of 17 percent more for car insurance after a speeding ticket. An at-fault accident carries about a 34 percent premium increase while rates increase about 37 percent on average after an arrest for driving under the influence, according to auto insurance website The Zebra.
Conversely, if you have a clean driving record, you will likely qualify for a safe driver discount. Most companies decrease rates by up to 10 percent for drivers without a history of claims and tickets. While U.S. drivers save about 32 percent on auto insurance premiums for a clean driving record, safe West Virginia drivers pay about 34 percent less for coverage than their counterparts.
Wallet Hub reports that filing small claims can add up to costly auto insurance rates. The website found that the average premium increase after a claim was about $2573 spread out over three years. You should add the cost of your deductible and the average premium increase and compare it to the estimated cost of an out-of-pocket repair to see if it makes financial sense to file a claim with your auto policy.
If you cannot purchase traditional auto insurance in West Virginia because of your high risk for accidents and claims, you may have to purchase coverage through the state’s Automobile Insurance Plan. Nerd Wallet notes that while you’ll pay higher rates for this type of policy, you will also access the insurance you need to drive legally in West Virginia.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in West Virginia
If you have an appropriate policy but do not have your insurance card with you when stopped by law enforcement, you will receive a minor ticket called an administrative violation. In this case, you have a week to visit the court in the area of West Virginia where you got the ticket to show proof of valid insurance for the date on which you received the ticket.
If you do not have enough legal auto insurance in West Virginia, you may receive fines, license suspension, or even jail time. In lieu of auto insurance, the state allows you to meet financial responsibility requirements to show you can cover the cost of a catastrophic accident.
Wallet Hub reports that if you receive a citation for driving without insurance, your premium rates will go up about $89 for an annual policy when you obtain coverage again.
If you cause an accident while driving without insurance, you must shoulder all the costs of property damage and bodily injury resulting from the crash. You will also receive penalties from the state as described above. The total can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket, or even more for an accident involving catastrophic injuries. If the other driver causes the accident, you may not be able to recover legal damages if you do not have your own auto insurance policy.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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