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Mandatory Car Insurance in West Virginia

Mandatory car insurance in West Virginia means that every driver and auto owner in the state has to be insured according to state law. West Virginia is one of 49 states that require some form of automobile insurance. It stipulates certain areas of coverage that very driver must include on their policies, and adds to that a requirement for insurance companies in the state to offer certain additional policies as part of the quote process.

Auto insurance is an important investment for every motorist. There are many different factors to think about and considerations to work through to help you decide on a policy that works for you. A good starting point is looking at all the requirements put forth by your home state. Getting in compliance with legal requirements is an absolute necessity. Anything beyond that is at the discretion of the individual driver.

WV Auto Insurance Requirements

Drivers in the state of West Virginia are expected to follow state laws for car insurance and to carry policies that comply with state standards for coverage. On top of these standards there are multiple areas of optional coverage that drivers could also choose to add to their policies. But two forms of coverage are required by the state, and drivers must meet minimum levels of coverage in each of these two areas to have legally adequate insurance policies.

Liability auto insurance is the first part that every driver in the state must deal with. Liability is an area that virtually all drivers across the country must include in their plans, so it is no surprise that this is also true here in West Virginia. Auto liability insurance protects covered policy holders from having to directly take on financial costs stemming from at fault car accidents. There are provisions included for bodily injury and property damage protection.

West Virginia uses the split limit policy form, which divides the financial coverage for liability into three areas. The first two are for bodily injury and the third is for property damage. The minimum levels of acceptable protection for bodily injury liability are $20,000 per victim and $40,000 per accident. For property damage the state mandates at least $10,000 in insurance coverage [1]. Anything beyond that is acceptable but not required by the state. Many drivers in the state do increase their coverage beyond these minimums and insurance industry experts recommend that they do. The average cost of medical and property damage claims tends to far exceed the minimum limits in West Virginia and elsewhere. Whether your choose liability versus full coverage, it's very important to make sure your needs are fully covered.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage in WV

Uninsured motorist coverage is also required for every driver in the state of West Virginia. Uninsured motorist protection pays out for losses to covered drivers in accidents where the other driver was negligent but carried no insurance at the time of the accident. It provides essentially the same insurance as a liability policy, only it covers the insured driver's own vehicle rather than the other one. It protects you as a driver in West Virginia from losing out on getting reimbursed for your financial costs after an accident where the other driver should have paid but was uninsured.

These policies do not signal that uninsured drivers get of scot free on these accidents. Insurance companies merely pay out the claims for their own drivers so they their clients do not have to wait for their money. Then they go after the negligent uninsured driver in the accident through litigation or other means to try to recover the funds. Uninsured motorist protection is also utilized in hit and run cases where the guilty driver is not located. The state of West Virginia requires its drivers to carry uninsured motorist policies in the same minimum levels as their liability policies [1], since they essentially provide duplicate coverage.

Mandatory Optional VW Coverage Offering

In addition to the requirements for drivers to buy liability and uninsured policies meeting state guidelines at minimum, the state also has an additional requirement for its insurance companies. They are compelled to offer optional additional coverage to all prospective policy holders during the quote and purchase process. Insurance providers are forced to offer higher optional limits of uninsured motorist protection in the amount of $50,000 in property damage and $100,000/$300,000 in bodily injury coverage. They also need to offer motorists optional underinsured motorist insurance in amounts equal to the minimum limits for uninsured and liability bodily injury and property damage coverage. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in excess of the minimums may be purchased up to the elected amount of liability coverage taken on by the policy holder, so keep this in mind when trying to buy cheap car insurance online.

Mandatory car insurance in West Virginia meas that drivers have additional coverage endorsements they could consider, and each driver should take a close look at all available insurance coverage options.

[1] http://www.wvinsurance.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=241 Retrieved 2010-07-14.

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