Minimum requirements and how to get cheap auto insurance in West Virginia
Compare car insurance providers
Enter your ZIP code and click Compare to see the best insurance rates in your area.
Before getting auto insurance in West Virginia
If you’ve never insured a car outside your home state, you might not know that each state has its own laws and regulations for auto insurance coverage. This means that West Virginia has a unique set of standards and rules to follow before you can hit the road.
Read on to learn more about what you’ll need to get insured in West Virginia, plus details on the average cost of car insurance in the Mountain State, DUI laws and penalties, who’s at fault in a car accident and more.
Answer 3 quick questions to see the best insurance providers for you.
Are you a new driver?
4 years driving or less
More than 4 years driving
Compare West Virginia car insurance providers
Average car insurance costs in West Virginia
West Virginia came in slightly above the $1,300 national average for auto insurance costs compared to other states in 2017, with most drivers paying about $1,350 annually. Drivers in the most expensive state in the country — Michigan — tend to pay more than $2,300 a year for the same level of coverage.
While a state average is a good guideline for what you’ll pay, your costs also depend on where you live, your age and driving record, among other things. The more risk you present to the insurer, the higher you’ll pay for your premium.
How can I save money on car insurance?
No matter what state you’re in, use our general tips to lower your premiums and get a better value out of your coverage with our comprehensive guide to car insurance. We explore the different types of insurance coverage out there, tricks for saving on your rates, what to look for when comparing insurers and more.
State minimum requirements in West Virginia
To legally drive in West Virginia, you’ll need insurance that includes at least:
In West Virginia, you can get the same policy extras you would expect in most states. However, it’s worth noting that not all insurers offer all coverage options in every part of the country.
Comprehensive.Covers damage to your car caused by something other than a collision, like weather or vandalism.
Collision.Helps pay for repairs if your car is damaged in an accident.
Medical and funeral services.Helps cover medical bills or funeral services as a result of an accident.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.Protects you if you get into an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance.
Rental car.Assists in paying for any car you rent if your vehicle is damaged in an accident.
Towing and labor. This provides reimbursement for towing or labor costs you may have incurred as a result of an accident.
Uninsured drivers in West Virginia
About 10% of all drivers in this state were uninsured in 2015, according to estimates from the Insurance Research Council. That’s slightly lower than the 13% national average, and way lower than Florida’s whopping estimate of 26.7%.
What can I do if I don’t want to buy car insurance in West Virginia?
Unlike many states, West Virginia doesn’t offer any alternative to carrying auto insurance — not even depositing large sums of money with the state treasury. To get behind the wheel in this state, you’ll have to find some kind of insurance policy that meets the minimum requirements.
Can I buy temporary car insurance in West Virginia?
Yes, you can get temporary insurance in West Virginia. You might need this type of coverage if you plan on renting a car on and off for a few months and don’t want to pay the high insurance costs that rental companies offer, or if you bought a car and plan on reselling it in a few months. Not all providers offer temporary car insurance policies, so you’ll likely have to do some digging to find an insurer that will meet your needs.
What happens if I’m driving in West Virginia and I don’t have insurance?
If you’re caught driving without proper coverage in this state, you can face fines and penalties that include suspending your car’s registration, confiscation of your license plate and driver’s license. you can pay up to $200 to get all of that reinstated. Each offense will result in a longer suspension period.
What laws do I need to follow when I’m driving in West Virginia?
Most states adhere to a fairly common set of traffic laws, but West Virginia has a few that are unique to this state.
Anyone in the front passenger seats must wear seat belts. Passengers sitting in the back seat that are older than 18 aren’t legally required to wear seat belts.
Texting behind the wheel is prohibited, and you can only use your cellphone for calls if you have a hands-free device. Anyone under 18 years old cannot use a cellphone at all — even if they have a hands-free device.
Every vehicle must have at least two headlights on between sunset and sunrise, or when there’s poor visibility. Having a headlight out is sufficient reason for a police officer to pull a driver over.
Leaving a running vehicle unattended is considered a misdemeanor, with a fine as high as $100.
What are the penalties for getting a DUI in West Virginia?
Like all states in the US, West Virginia enforces a blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08% and a 0.04% limit for commercial drivers. Additionally, drivers younger than 21 are held to the stricter BAC limit of 0.02%. If you’re pulled over and convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in West Virginia, you’ll likely face penalties similar to the ones listed below.
Up to 6 months
Fines and penalties
Can I get SR-22 insurance in West Virginia?
Yes, you might need to file an SR-22 insurance with the DMV if you’ve gotten a DUI or if you’ve been caught driving without car insurance. An SR-22 is a document your insurance company files with the state that proves you have the minimum car insurance coverage required to legally drive.
What happens after an accident in West Virginia?
When you’re involved in a car accident, the steps you take at the scene can help you settle any claims quickly and efficiently.
Get to safety. Make sure you and everybody involved in the accident are OK. If you need assistance, call 911 immediately.
Notify your insurance company. After you’ve confirmed that all parties are safe, call your agent to report the accident. They’ll walk you through the information they need for your claim.
Document the accident. Protect your claim by taking down the names of any police officers at the scene. Take pictures of each car involved from different angles, and talk to any witnesses you can contact for more information later.
Exchange information. Get the full name, contact info and insurance policy details from other drivers. Note the drivers’ car type, color, model and license plate number, as well as the exact location of the accident.
When you discuss the accident with anyone involved, don’t admit to guilt. If you suggest to anybody that you caused the crash, your car insurance provider could refuse to pay your claim.
Who’s at fault after an accident?
West Virginia is a tort or at-fault state, meaning the driver who caused the crash — and their insurer — will be held responsible to pay for damages and injuries, up to the driver’s policy limits. In a no-fault state, each driver in a crash would be covered by their own insurance policy.
When should I report an accident in West Virginia?
You must report a car accident in this state if anyone was injured or killed, or if it resulted in property damages over $500. Failure to report a serious accident could result in having your license suspended.
When should I contact a lawyer?
Many car accidents might not even require a lawyer. But if you’re facing any of these situations after a crash, it may be a good idea to seek professional legal advice:
You’re facing criminal charges after the accident, such as negligence.
Your auto insurance fails to cover a significant portion of the costs resulting from the crash.
The other driver plans to file a civil suit against you.
You plan to file a civil suit against another driver involved in the crash.
You plan to appeal a court decision following the accident.
The right car insurance policy can help protect you, your vehicle and other motorists on the road. And in the state of West Virginia, you’re legally required to maintain coverage if you want to drive.
Enter your ZIP code and click Compare to see the best rates in West Virginia.
Your information is secure.
Frequently asked questions about West Virginia car insurance
No, there isn’t. Most states allow drivers to place large sums of money or cash bonds in a deposit with the state treasury, which allows qualified drivers to get a certificate of financial responsibility. But in West Virginia, it’s car insurance or bust.
You can get a copy by visiting a local DMV office and filling out forms to request it. You can also request a copy of your record online by visiting the state government website and filling out the forms provided there.
Yes, up to the coverage limits of your policy. However, any damages awarded beyond your coverage limits will not be covered by your insurance provider.
Yes, you must keep the DMV up to date about where you live so they can send you necessary notifications — for example, if you’re overdue to renew your license plates or if your license is on the verge of suspension.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, we may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.