Car insurance in West Virginia is required for all vehicle owners. Driving without insurance in West Virginia can result in stiff penalties. This includes possible suspension of your license and removal of vehicle registration. You can make informed decisions about your coverage by understanding the Mountain State’s car insurance requirements and the possible penalties for not meeting them.
West Virginia requires minimum insurance
Car insurance is a legal requirement for West Virginia drivers. To register your car and drive legally in West Virginia, you will need at least the following minimum car insurance coverages and limits:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50k bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 Property Damage to Others
- $25,000 bodily injury to a motorist who is not covered by insurance
- $50,000 bodily injury to an uninsured motorist per accident
- $25,000 property damage by an uninsured motorist
These are the minimum requirements, but most insurance professionals recommend you buy higher limits if possible. Your liability coverage protects your finances if you cause an accident, and your uninsured motorist coverage provides coverage for your damage and injuries if you are hit by someone who does not have insurance. Higher limits will give you greater financial protection.
Also, minimum coverage doesn’t provide coverage for any damage to your car. You will need to have full coverage. This includes collision and comprehensive. Financial institutions generally require full coverage, even though it is not required by law. If you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, you will likely need full coverage.
Driving without insurance in West Virginia can result in severe penalties
Driving without insurance in West Virginia could result in a stiff penalty. To verify your insurance coverage, the state uses the West Virginia Online Verification system (WVOLV). The West Virginia DMV will notify you if you are pulled over for driving without insurance. Car insurance companies that are licensed in West Virginia must also report to the DMV if drivers have allowed their car insurance to lapse.
You could be subject to the following penalties if the system flags your inability to verify coverage and flags you as not having car insurance:
Suspended driver’s license
In addition to a possible ticket for no insurance, you may have your driver’s license suspended for 30 days. License suspensions could be extended for up to 90 days for driving in West Virginia without insurance. A reinstatement fee may be required to have your driver’s licence reinstated. You may be eligible to have your driver’s license reinstated if you pay $200 and show proof of coverage.
Suspended vehicle registration
If you do not have proof of insurance, your vehicle registration could be suspended. Your vehicle registration may be suspended if you are convicted of driving without insurance for the second time. You may have to pay fees and provide proof of insurance in order to regain your vehicle registration.
Depending on the situation, penalties could be even more severe. A car insurance policy is the best way to avoid these penalties. If your budget is tight, getting quotes from several car insurance companies might help you find a policy that you can afford. An auto insurance policy can not only help you avoid the headache of dealing with these penalties but also protect your finances in case you are involved in an accident.
In an accident and not having insurance
You are responsible for any damages or injuries you cause by an accident that you caused without insurance. You will be responsible to pay these bills if you don’t have car insurance. You could be sued if you fail to pay. You will be unable to renew your license and will likely have it suspended. Your car insurance premiums are likely to be higher because of an accident and a lapse in coverage.
A good car insurance policy will protect your finances in the event of an accident. It also provides financial protection for any other people you may injure or damage.
Questions frequently asked
What happens if you give false information about your insurance?
False or fraudulent information is a crime in West Virginia. False or fraudulent proof of insurance can result in your license being suspended, your vehicle registration revoked and even jail time.
What is the cost of car insurance in West Virginia
The average cost of full coverage car insurance in West Virginia is $1,499 per year. Rates will vary depending on individual factors such as your driving record, age, and car type.
If I don’t use my car for part of the year, can I still get car insurance?
West Virginia permits you to store your vehicle temporarily without insurance. You will need to renew your car insurance if you intend on driving again. You will need to file a Seasonal Statement of Insurance (WV-4B) form with the DMV. You will need to fill out a part of the form, where you will be asked for effective dates and how long you plan on having insurance coverage. These periods will require you to purchase vehicle insurance. The DMV will electronically verify that you are covered. Your lender may require that you keep your vehicle insurance even if your vehicle is not being driven.