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’re strapping on your seatbelt to go to work or loading up the SUV for a weekend camping trip, you can’t hit the road unless you have car insurance.
In 2018, more than 1.3 million licensed drivers occupied West Virginia’s streets and highways. The same year, 34,633 crashes occurred in West Virginia, down from 37,077 in 2017. Serious injuries also fell, from 1,264 in 2017 to 1,063 in 2018. But while driving in West Virginia is getting safer, you still need car insurance to protect your assets and comply with state law.
Best car insurance companies in West Virginia
Every year marketing research company J.D. Power produces a study of car insurance companies. Using a five-star 1,000 points rating system, J.D. Power ranks insurance companies based on how they perform in numerous categories, including billing process, claims handling, customer interaction, policy information, policy offerings and price. In the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, the top insurance companies in the Mid-Atlantic region included the following.
|J.D. Power customer satisfaction rating||AM Best financial stability rating||Average annual premium for full coverage|
|Erie Insurance||850/1000||A+ (Superior)||$1,216|
|State Farm||855/1000||A++ (Superior)||$1,184|
Erie earned five-star ratings in almost all categories, including claims handling, customer interaction, policy offerings and price. Erie offers many benefits that we like, 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 an auto accident.
Besides low rates, we like Geico because it offers a wide range of insurance products to protect your home, recreational vehicles and small business. And since Geico operates throughout the United States, you won’t need to switch insurers if you move to another state.
We chose State Farm for its long history of excellent customer service. State Farm continues to staff local agencies, giving you a dedicated person to help with claims or additional coverage. But State Farm isn’t 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, if you qualify, USAA might offer the best car insurance for you and your family. It has a broad portfolio of financial products, including checking accounts, credit cards and home mortgages.
Average car insurance cost in West Virginia
The average annual cost of car insurance in West Virginia is $1,642, which is slightly less than the average national driver. The national average cost of car insurance for full coverage premium is $1,738.
|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 require you to carry comprehensive and collision insurance until you make all payments.
Drivers caught driving without insurance, can face suspension of their vehicle’s registration and their driver’s license.
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’ll notice there are so many different car insurance companies in Virginia. Everyone wants to get the best car insurance and get the most for their dollar. Unfortunately, there isn’t 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, you’ll have to take some time to identify what you really want and need in a car insurance premium in terms of coverage, add-ons, customer service/ claims management processes and costs. You’ll then have to research the best car insurance companies in your ZIP code and compare the various auto insurance options in West Virginia. To help you get started, check out Bankrate’s list of Best Car Insurance Companies of 2021.
While you may be thinking that the minimum state requirements for insurance will be sufficient, you’ll want to consider obtaining full coverage as you could potentially end up paying more than double if you are involved in a no-fault accident.
Evaluate your needs
Various factors will need to be considered before you begin your research. One of the most important things you can do to help you find the best car insurance is to evaluate your individual needs. As mentioned above, one car insurance may be good for someone else but it may not be the best fit for you. A few things to evaluate are the climate of your state, your driving history and your personal life such as if you have kids who will start driving soon or if you have pets.
Pets are a big part of people’s lives and many auto insurance companies like Allstate, Geico, and Progressive to name a few, offer pet health policies as add-ons to your coverage.
Consider state factors
One of the biggest factors to consider when researching different car insurance companies, is your location. You’ll want to specify by state and even zip code as car insurance premiums differ based on ZIP code. Most insurance companies offer local agents because these agents will understand the needs of drivers in specific areas.
According to the III, 10.1% of drivers in West Virginia are uninsured. Although West Virginia doesn’t rank at the top with the number of uninsured drivers, it is still a smart idea to invest in uninsured motorist coverage to protect you from no-fault accidents.
Car insurance discounts in West Virginia
Always ask agents about discounts when shopping for auto insurance in West Virginia. Car insurance companies offer all types of discounts, for automobile safety features, multiple policies, safe driving and completing driving courses.
Erie Insurance offers programs to reduce your insurance rate and prevent it from increasing, including:
- Diminishing deductible option, which can reduce your rate by up to $100 annually if you do not file a claim
- Erie rate lock, which freezes your current premium rate, even if you need to file a claim.
- Vehicle storage discount, which allows you to pay a reduced rate when you store your vehicle for 90 days or longer. This program can offer substantial savings for military members on deployment.
With Geico, you can save big when you purchase a vehicle with certain safety features, including:
- 25%-40% discount for vehicles equipped with airbags
- 5% discount for autos with antilock brakes
- 25% discount for cars equipped with an anti-theft system
State Farm offers several driver education discounts that can help you reduce your annual premium, including:
- Defensive driving course discounts, for drivers 55 years of age and older when they complete a Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course
- Driver training discounts, for drivers under 21 years of age when they complete a qualified driver education course
- Steer Clear Safe Driver discount, for drivers under 25 years of age who have no traffic violations for three years and complete State Farm’s Steer Clear driving program
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 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.
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 16-17 years old often get better insurance rates when added to a parent’s policy. However, teens 18 and 19 years old can sometimes get a better insurance rate with as standalone policy.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 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 cleaning 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 sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.