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, according to the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 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.
When you head out to shop for cheap car insurance in West Virginia, look for:
- Insurers licensed in West Virginia
- Insurance companies with sound AM Best financial ratings
- Insurance providers with good Better Business Bureau ratings
- Insurance companies that offer discounts to reduce your rate
- The best combination of coverage and price
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 rating system, 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 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, the top insurance companies in the Mid-Atlantic region included:
|J.D. Power Overall Satisfaction Rating||A.M. Best Rating||BBB Rating|
|Erie Insurance||5 out of 5 stars||A+ (Superior)||A+|
|USAA*||5 out of 5 stars||A++ (Superior)||N/A|
|Geico||4 out of 5 stars||A++ (Superior)||A+|
|The Hartford||4 out of 5 stars||A-||A+|
|State Farm||3 out of 5 stars||A++ (Superior)||A+|
Erie Insurance earned five-star ratings in almost all categories, including claims handling, customer interaction, policy offerings and price. Erie offers loads of 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.
Geico earned top scores in billing process, policy information, policy offerings and price. 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.
The Hartford scored five-star ratings for its policy offerings, as well as four-star ratings for billing process, policy information and price. We particularly like The Hartford’s senior discounts. AARP members can save up to $449 per year on The Hartford car insurance and enjoy rate protection, first accident forgiveness and disappearing deductible benefits.
State Farm earned three-star ratings in all categories. 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 completely 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 five-star ratings in all categories, 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. We give USAA a thumbs up for its broad portfolio of financial products, including checking accounts, credit cards and home mortgages.
Finding the right cheap car insurance in West Virginia for you
Auto insurance companies set rates based on numerous factors, including your age, credit score, driving history and the type of car you drive. It’s important to know which factors directly impact your insurance rates. When shopping for car insurance, ask friends and family members for referrals and get lots of quotes to compare rates. Among our top picks, we found a couple of insurance companies that offer great rates for several types of drivers.
Best car insurance for good drivers: Geico
According to The Zebra, a company that researches the insurance industry, Geico offers the best rates for good drivers, with annual premiums averaging $1,418. Geico customers who maintain an accident-free driving record for up to five years, can save up to 26% on their car insurance.
Best car insurance for teen drivers: Geico
Based on The Zebra estimates, teen drivers pay an average of around $1,975 per year when they purchase Geico car insurance. Compared with State Farm, which charges teenage drivers an average of around $6,000 per year, Geico offers significant savings.
Best car insurance for military members: USAA
On average, USAA customers serving in the military pay around $1,425 per year for car insurance. USAA offers a wide range of financial products for military members and their families, including home insurance, investment products, life insurance and retirement plans.
Best car insurance for people with bad credit: Geico and USAA
West Virginia drivers who’ve had financial problems can pay nearly 60% higher premiums than people with good credit, so it pays to shop around for the lowest rates. On average, Geico customers with bad credit pay around $3,110 per year for car insurance, while USAA policyholders pay just under $2,850.
Average cost of car insurance in West Virginia
Based on a 2019 study by The Zebra, West Virginia drivers pay an average annual car insurance premium of $1,378, slightly less than the national average.
|Liability Only||Liability and Comprehensive – $1,000 deductible|
On average, male West Virginians pay around $1,381 per year, while females pay $1,363. That’s not unusual, because male drivers pay a bit more in most states.
Besides gender, your marital status can also affect your car insurance rate. In West Virginia, drivers pay:
|Marital Status||Average Annual Premium|
Maintaining a good driving record can lead to spectacular savings on car insurance. But maintaining a good credit rating can go even further in getting cheap auto insurance in West Virginia. Look at the savings you may be able to enjoy:
|% of Savings|
|No traffic tickets||17%|
Racking up traffic violations typically leads to premium increases. In West Virginia, some offenses lead to higher increases than others do.
|Traffic Offense||% of Increase|
Most states, including West Virginia, allow insurance companies to set rates based on your credit score. If you’ve had credit problems, you can expect to pay higher rates. But don’t worry, because as your credit score improves, your rates likely will drop.
|Credit Rating||Average Annual Premium in West Virginia|
|Very Poor (300-579)||$2,430|
|Good (670-739)||$1,724||Very Good (740-799)||$1,441|
It’s common for insurance companies to charge exorbitant rates to cover teenage drivers. In most states, parents can get a better car insurance rate for their teenagers if they add them to their existing policies, rather than purchasing a standalone policy. However, in West Virginia, teenagers can often get better rates on a standalone policy after they turn 18.
|Age||Annual Premium Parent’s Policy||Annual Premium Standalone Policy|
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
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.
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.
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.