West Virginia Car Insurance Requirements

The West Virginia car insurance requirements include 25/50/25 in liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

UPDATED: May 18, 2022

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The Rundown

  • West Virginia auto insurance minimums include 25/50/25 in liability coverage
  • WV car insurance laws also include 25/50/25 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages
  • If you don’t carry the WV auto insurance minimums, you face a license suspension and at least a $200 fine

West Virginia auto insurance laws require at least 25/50/25 in liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. However, this minimum requirement doesn’t protect your vehicle and may leave you paying high out-of-pocket costs. Like most states, West Virginia requires drivers to carry car insurance. However, West Virginia car insurance requirements are minimal and may not offer enough coverage to meet your needs.

When comparing West Virginia auto insurance quotes, consider increasing limits and adding more coverage to better protect yourself and your vehicle. For example, full coverage auto insurance meets the West Virginia minimums and offers protection for you and your vehicle.

Failing to meet the minimum requirements leads to a driver’s license suspension, registration suspension, fines, and possible jail time.

Read on to learn more about the requirements for car insurance in West Virginia car insurance and determine what coverages you need.

What are the West Virginia car insurance requirements?

Most states require at least a minimum amount of car insurance. However, each state sets its own minimums and laws about car insurance, so a requirement in one state may not be a requirement in another.

West Virginia is an at-fault state. Therefore, the driver who causes the accident is responsible for property damage and bodily injuries. West Virginia’s minimum requirements are meager, and they may not offer you the coverage you need.

West Virginia car insurance requirements are:

  • Property damage liability. $25,000 per accident
  • Bodily injury liability. $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Uninsured motorist property damage. $25,000 per accident
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury. $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury. $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

Liability coverage pays for property damage and bodily injuries to others if you cause an accident. However, it doesn’t offer you or your vehicle any protection.

Although West Virginia requires underinsured motorist coverage, drivers can opt out. However, according to the Insurance Information Institute, around 10% of West Virginia drivers don’t have the proper amount of car insurance.

As you can see, the minimums required by WV car insurance laws don’t offer much protection. Causing damage to an expensive vehicle or injuries to others can exhaust these limits quickly, meaning you may have to pay the remaining costs out of pocket.

For example, if you cause an accident and the other driver goes to the hospital, your car insurance only pays $25,000. Therefore, you reach your limit easily with a hospital trip, especially if surgeries are involved.

While sticking to the minimum requirements offers cheap insurance in West Virginia, it can cost you more money in the long run if you have to pay out of pocket for damages.

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What happens if you don’t have the required insurance?

When you’re in an accident or stopped by the police, you must show proof of car insurance. If you are caught breaking the West Virginia car insurance laws, you could face steep penalties.

First, you’ll face a driver’s license suspension. Your license is suspended for 30 days for the first offense and 90 days for subsequent violations within five years. In addition, you must pay a $50 reinstatement fee and show proof of insurance.

Next, your vehicle registration gets suspended, meaning no one can drive your car. You also get charged a $100 fine. If the state picks up your license plates, there is an additional $50 fine.

If you have car insurance but don’t have proof with you, don’t worry. If you can prove you had insurance at the time, the court may waive penalties. However, it’s up to the court if you still must pay a fine or face license suspension.

If you fail to appear in court for a ticket, the state may suspend your driver’s license.

In addition, if you lie about your insurance or file a false claim, your driver’s license gets suspended for 90 days. You’ll also face registration suspension, a fine of up to $1,000, and possible jail time.

Another side effect of driving without insurance is that your car insurance rates significantly increase once you reinstate coverage. A coverage lapse indicates you’re a risky driver and may cost the insurance company money.

Failing to carry the minimum amount of auto insurance costs time and money. Therefore, you save more over time by having the proper insurance on your vehicle.

What car insurance coverages are available in West Virginia?

As in any state, many car insurance coverages are available. In addition to the required liability coverage, drivers can add coverages that fit their needs.

How much insurance coverage do I need? The amount of auto insurance you need depends on many factors, including your vehicle, financial situation, and how you use your car.

Standard car insurance coverages include:

  • Liability. This mandated coverage pays for property damage and bodily injuries to others. However, it does not cover your or your vehicle.
  • Collision. Collision covers damages to your vehicle from hitting another car or an object like a fence or tree.
  • Comprehensive. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages to your vehicle unrelated to an accident, including damages from fire, theft, vandalism, and acts of nature like hail.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist. This coverage pays for damages caused by another driver with little or no insurance.
  • Medical payments. Medical payment — or MedPay — coverage is just like it sounds. It helps pay for medical expenses for you and your passengers.
  • Personal injury protection. This coverage is similar to MedPay, but you can also use it for other costs such as lost wages or child care.
  • Rental car. If your vehicle is in the shop for a covered claim repair, rental car coverage covers the cost of a rental car for you.
  • Roadside assistance. While coverages vary by company, roadside assistance usually includes fuel delivery, tire changing, jump starts, and towing.

If your vehicle is older or you can afford to pay for repairs or a replacement vehicle yourself, you can skip collision and comprehensive coverages. However, you’ll be responsible for damages to your car.

Rental car coverage and roadside assistance also depend on your vehicle and how you drive. For example, if you only use your car occasionally or borrow another car, you can skip these coverages.

West Virginia Car Insurance Requirements: The Bottom Line

Like most states, West Virginia requires that drivers have at least a minimum amount of car insurance. However, drivers only have to carry 25/50/25 in liability and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

These limits are low and exhaust quickly after a serious accident. In the face of costly damages, drivers may have to pay out of pocket for uncovered expenses.

West Virginia drivers who don’t carry the proper amount of insurance face a driver’s license suspension, vehicle registration suspension, fines, and possible jail time.

In addition, a coverage lapse means higher auto insurance rates when you reinstate coverage. 

Drivers should consider increasing limits and adding coverages to be more protected. For example, adding collision and comprehensive coverages pays for damages to your vehicle, whether from an accident or another source.

West Virginia drivers must ensure they have at least the minimum coverage required by the date to avoid unnecessary costs. Shop around for West Virginia car insurance quotes from multiple companies to find the best deal.

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