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Minimum car insurance in West Virginia
West Virginia requires drivers to buy two types of auto insurance: Liability and uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. But the minimum required auto insurance may not be enough if you're in an accident. Let's look at what's available in West Virginia so you can choose insurance that's right for you.
Minimum liability insurance
Liability insurance is the foundation of auto insurance policies. It pays others for damage and injuries you cause. The coverage amounts required by West Virginia are low. You can be sued if you cause more damage than your liability insurance covers. In West Virginia you must have liability limits of at least:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person.
- $40,000 bodily injury per accident.
- $10,000 property damage per accident.
This is often written as 20/40/10.
Minimum uninsured motorist (UM) coverage
If a driver who doesn't have liability insurance crashes into you, you make make a claim on UM coverage. UM choices can be confusing in West Virginia. Here's what's available:
- West Virginia requires UM coverage of at least $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident, for injuries.
- Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is also available but not required. If you're hit by a driver who has some insurance but not enough, UIM pays the remainder of your medical bills, up to your UIM limits.
- Car insurance companies must offer you uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage in West Virginia but you can reject it. It's like UM but covers property damage, like a car dent, rather than medical bills. If you buy UMPD, the minimum is $10,000 in coverage.
Medical payments (MedPay) coverage: West Virginia does not require MedPay but it is available. It will pay for medical and funeral expenses for anyone driving or riding in your car, no matter who caused the accident.
Collision and comprehensive coverage: These are not required by the state, but you probably have to have them if you have a car lease or loan. They cover the theft of your vehicle or damage caused by hitting a car or animal, hail, flood, fire, vandalism, falling objects and explosions.
Rental reimbursement: This is optional coverage. It pays for a rental car if your vehicle is being repaired for car accident damage. It usually has a daily maximum and total maximum, so if you rent a more expensive car you'll have to pay the difference.
You must show an insurance ID card (or other proof of financial responsibility) in West Virginia when:
- Law enforcement requests it.
- You renew vehicle registration.
- Your vehicle is involved in a car accident.
Penalties for not having auto insurance in West Virginia
- Suspension of your driver's license for 30 days and revocation of vehicle registration until you provide proof of security.
- First offense: $200 to $5,000 fine.
- Subsequent offense: $200 to $5,000 and/or 15 days to one year in jail.
- Providing false information, false proof of security, or false statement of insurance is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
Source: Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
Auto insurance company complaints
All states have a department of insurance that handles complaints against insurers. A "complaint ratio" number uses states' complaint data to show the level of complaints relative to an insurer's size of business. Here are complaint ratios for the biggest auto insurance companies in West Virginia.
Updated Aug. 15, 2018
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