West Virginia has some of the most spectacular cultural and natural attractions in North America. From the historic Greenbrier resort to the mountain trails of Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia has a lifetime of sights to enjoy. But whether you are strapping on your seatbelt to go to work or loading up the SUV for a weekend camping trip, you will need car insurance to drive legally.
West Virginians pay an average of $1,499 annually for full coverage car insurance, which goes a long way in helping keep drivers financially protected on roads. In 2020, more than 1.2 million licensed drivers occupied West Virginia’s streets and highways. The same year, 34,056 accidents occurred in West Virginia, down from 35,616 in 2018. And while accidents and related injuries are down from previous years, car insurance provides multiple benefits, including financial protection for potential bodily injury or property damage, as well as options like coverage for roadside assistance.
But to get the most out of your policy, you will want to be insured by a great company. Bankrate stays up-to-date on the insurance market across the nation and evaluated some of the best auto insurance companies in West Virginia, based on 2021 quoted premiums, consumer ratings and coverage options.
Best car insurance companies in West Virginia
To find the best car insurance companies in West Virginia, we looked at the top insurers in the state by market share. Based on trusted third-party ratings in the industry and average quoted premiums, we then assigned a Bankrate Score (out of five total points) to each company to provide a qualitative analysis. Many of the providers we highlight earn a Bankrate Score of more than four points.
The table below showcases some of the best companies in West Virginia, accompanied by each one’s Bankrate Score, average rate and J.D. Power score, based on the 2020 Auto Claims Study.
|Provider||Bankrate Score||Average annual full coverage premium||J.D. Power customer satisfaction score|
*Due to membership eligibility restrictions, USAA is considered rank-ineligible by J.D. Power.
Allstate earns one of the highest claims satisfaction scores by J.D. Power, which is a large testament to its ability to manage and payout claims. Should you ever have questions regarding your policy, there are agents located in 28 West Virginia cities for drivers to contact. Although its premiums are higher on average, you are likely to find everything you need with an Allstate auto policy, as well as some optional extras like rental reimbursement or car insurance for your trip to Mexico. Discounts are plentiful and include savings for purchasing a policy in advance and being a part of its safe driving club.
Erie is the second-largest insurer in West Virginia, with 15% of the market share. And for good reason, as indicated by its high J.D. Power claims satisfaction score of 880 out of 1,000 points, and Bankrate Score of 4.4 out of 5 points. Erie offers many benefits that West Virginians are likely to be drawn to, such as no-deductible glass repair with comprehensive coverage and personal item coverage, which pays for damage to items such as luggage and clothing. Erie even helps pay your veterinarian bills if your pet sustains an injury in a covered auto accident.
The first thing you are likely to notice about Nationwide — aside from its trusted household name — is its cheap average annual premium. West Virginia drivers are most likely to find an affordable full coverage policy through Nationwide, which offers additional benefits like its repair network. With it, you can receive a guarantee for any repair or replacement work provided by one of Nationwide’s On Your Side repair centers. Policyholders can also add accident forgiveness and opt for an annual vanishing deductible.
State Farm has a long history of excellent customer service and has our second-highest Bankrate Score (tied with Erie). However, this does not come with a price tradeoff because its policies are still well below the average state rate. State Farm continues to staff local agencies, giving you a dedicated person to help with claims or additional coverage. But State Farm is not old-fashioned. You can manage your account online or with State Farm’s convenient mobile app, which enables you to access your policy information, file a claim or request roadside assistance from your smartphone.
USAA earned high scores, but it does not qualify for J.D. Power ranking because it only offers products for military members and their families. However, it does qualify for a Bankrate Score based on our criteria, and actually earns the highest out of the providers highlighted. iIf you qualify, USAA might offer the best car insurance for you and your family. There is dedicated coverage for active military members, including those on deployment. And USAA continues to improve its offerings. Just this year, it added a new safe driving program called SafePilot, which allows West Virginia drivers to earn a premium discount up to 30%.
Average car insurance cost in West Virginia
The average annual cost of car insurance in West Virginia is $1,499 for full coverage car insurance, which is slightly less than the average national driver. The national average cost of car insurance for full coverage premium is $1,654 per year. West Virginia’s annual cost for minimum coverage is also lower on average, at $458 versus the national rate of $565.
Compared to the average cost of car insurance in Virginia — $441 per year for minimum coverage and $1,304 per year for full coverage — West Virginia drivers pay slightly higher premiums.
|Average annual premium for minimum coverage in West Virginia||Average annual premium for full coverage in West Virginia|
State minimum insurance requirements in West Virginia
All states require drivers to purchase minimum amounts of liability coverage. According to the West Virginia DMV, all drivers must purchase:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance to cover the injuries of one person in a single accident
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage to pay for the injuries of more than one person in a single accident
- $25,000 in property damage liability insurance to cover property damage in a single accident
If you finance a vehicle, your lender will also likely require you to carry comprehensive and collision insurance until you satisfy the loan. This helps ensure the vehicle is covered in case of an accident.
Driving without car insurance could open you to consequences such as suspension of your vehicle registration and driver’s license. However, car insurance does more than fulfill a legal requirement. If you own your vehicle, for example, full coverage car insurance can still be a worthwhile investment. Minimum limits do not cover damage to your vehicle and therefore, could leave you with a large out-of-pocket expense following a destructive collision.
Before purchasing auto insurance in West Virginia, make sure the company you choose has a valid state license. Use the handy lookup tool on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ website to find license information about your insurance company.
How to get the best car insurance
Shopping around for car insurance can get stressful quickly as you will notice there are so many different car insurance companies in West Virginia. Most people want to get the best car insurance policy and get the most for their dollar. Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all for the best auto insurance in West Virginia.
Each person will receive a different quote and auto insurance premium depending on various factors. Therefore, to get the best car insurance for you, consider taking some time to identify what you really want and need in a car insurance premium in terms of coverage, add-ons, customer service and claims management processes and costs. You can use your ZIP code to find insurers near you and begin comparing against your criteria.
Evaluate your needs
When shopping for car insurance, it might help to evaluate your personal and financial picture to narrow down a decision. For example, drivers with high credit scores or clean driving records may be more lenient about considering insurers with higher premiums. This could be due to their likelihood of earning a better rate because of their low risk. However, a parent with a child of driving age may choose an insurer with minimal premium increases for adding a teen to a policy.
Consider state factors
Because each state has varying road conditions, minimum requirements and likelihood of damaging events, such as hurricanes or flooding, car insurance rates will vary greatly based on your location and ZIP code. West Virginians pay a decently lower rate than the average U.S. driver, which may be due to its declining accident rate. However, flooding is relatively common in the state and could lead to increased likelihood of claims, making providers with cheap full coverage premiums stand out.
Car insurance discounts in West Virginia
Regardless of the company you choose, you can usually save a good amount by applying discounts so it does not hurt to ask agents about available savings when shopping around. Car insurance companies offer all types of discounts, including:
- Safe driving: When you have good driving habits, you can usually earn a discount by signing up for a safe driving program or installing the insurer’s app to track your driving.
- Good student: Discounts are usually awarded for students who maintain a good GPA or B-average.
- Early signing: Shopping in advance of your policy’s expiration could save you the hassle of finding a suitable insurer last minute and even earn you savings by purchasing a new one. Many insurers require that the new policy be purchased at least a week in advance.
- Automatic payments: When you enable your monthly premium to be withdrawn automatically, some car insurance companies will offer you a discount.
Frequently asked questions
What information is needed in order to get car insurance in West Virginia?
When you call a West Virginia car insurance company for a quote, the agent will typically need to know your age, the type of car you drive, your annual mileage and information about your driving record. The agent may also ask for your social security number to run a credit check.
What is the best car insurance in West Virginia?
The best car insurance in West Virginia will vary depending on your circumstances and your ZIP code. However, most people choose an insurer based on coverage options, local agent availability and ease of customer service.
Does West Virginia require car owners to purchase insurance?
Yes. West Virginia requires you to buy minimum levels of bodily injury and property damage liability coverages.
Should I add my teenager to my insurance policy or purchase a separate policy?
It depends. West Virginia drivers ages 16- to 17-years-old will need to be on a parent’s policy in order to be insured, because of their age. Fortunately, there are great insurance companies worth considering if you plan on adding a teen. However, teens 18 and 19 years old can sometimes get a better insurance rate with a standalone policy.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Bankrate scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody’s) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include the 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team’s extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer’s online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.