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Legally Speaking

West Virginia Car Insurance Coverage

Feb 14, 2018 12:00:00 PM / by Stealey Law & Mediation

When dealing with car insurance, there are so many types of insurance that motorists may not know which one is the best for them.

That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on what a motorist should be looking for and what each type of insurance means.

Read on to learn more about West Virginia car insurance coverage.

 

CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR WEST VIRGINIA

In West Virginia, there are mandatory auto insurance requirements that a motorist must follow when searching for car insurance, such as having liability and uninsured motorist coverage.

west virginia car insurance coverage

Liability Coverage

If a motorist is in a car accident, and causes an accident, liability coverage will cover the cost of injuries and property damage that occurs to the other motorist’s car, driver and passengers.

Liability insurance must have the following minimums:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury, per person.
  • $50,000 for bodily injury, per accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

At Stealey Law and Mediation, we hope everyone is covered under some type of insurance; however, if a motorist is in a car accident caused by the other motorist, and he or she doesn’t have insurance--your insurance needs to be able to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage.

Uninsured motorist coverage must have the following minimums:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury, per person.
  • $50,000 for bodily injury, per accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage.

Car insurance companies are required to offer motorists uninsured motorist coverage with limits of:

  • $100,000 for bodily injury, per person.
  • $300,000 for bodily injury, per accident.
  • $50,000 for property damage, or,
  • The same limits of coverage that were purchased under the policy for liability insurance

Liability and uninsured motorist coverage are two insurance coverages that are required in the State of West Virginia.

There are other types of insurance that a motorist could get to help protect them financially.

Commons types of other car insurance include underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments, comprehensive, collision and towing and labor.

  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage will help protect you, the occupants of your car and your car, itself, in case you are involved in an accident caused by someone else who has some insurance, but not enough to cover all your damages. This is extremely important coverage, and it must be offered to an insured by the insurance company. If it is not properly offered, this violates the law, and underinsured motorist coverage could exist under the policy, even if it wasn’t purchased. Because this is very complicated, please see a lawyer for more details.
  • Medical Payments will help pay for medical and funeral expenses that are a result of car accidents, for whomever is driving the insured car at the time, as well as any passengers.
  • Comprehensive will help pay for damages to a motorist’s car that are not a result of a car accident such as vandalism, fire, hail, etc.
  • Collision will help pay for damages to a motorist’s car from a traffic accident, which was the fault of the owner.
  • Towing and Labor will help pay for roadside assistance in the event that a motorist’s car breaks down on the road or is involved in a wreck.

 

AUTO INSURANCE VIOLATIONS IN WEST VIRGINIA

As we stated above, we hope everyone is covered by some type of auto insurance; however, if a motorist is found to be driving without it, there are consequences:

Car Registration Suspension

To have a registration reinstated, the motorist must provide proof of insurance and pay $100. If the motorist was ordered to hand over his or her plates, he or she must pay an extra $50. 

Driver’s License Suspension

Once the motorist’s driver’s license suspension is over, he or she must pay a $50 reinstatement fee, and if he or she has multiple offenses, the suspension period is longer.

Providing False Insurance Information

If a motorist provides false insurance information, he or she could:

  • Face up to a year of jail time
  • Receive a fine of $1,000
  • Have his or her car taken
  • Have his or her license suspended for 90 days

 

WHY DID YOUR CAR INSURANCE GET CANCELED?

There are many reasons a motorist’s car insurance policy could have gotten canceled:

  • Failing to pay car insurance premium
  • Obtaining an insurance policy with fraudulent information
  • Violating policy terms and conditions

A motorist’s car insurance policy could also be canceled if:

  • The motorist has driven with a suspended license
  • The motorist suffers from medical conditions such as epilepsy and/or heart attacks
  • The motorist has been convicted of a felony or assault that involved a car including negligent homicide, DUI, hit and runs, auto theft or receiving three traffic violations or more within a year of each other.

 

WHAT DETERMINES A MOTORIST’S CAR INSURANCE PREMIUM?

When researching which type of insurance a motorist should have in West Virginia, remember that insurance companies can base car insurance premiums on many factors:

  • Previous driving records
  • Expected annual mileage
  • The primary use of the car
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • The make, model and year of the car
  • Credit history
  • Geography of where the motorist lives

 

CAN A MOTORIST DECREASE THE COST OF CAR INSURANCE?

Many car insurance companies offer discounts to:

  • Good drivers
  • Homeowners
  • Good students (above the legal age of driving)
  • Multi-car owners

You may also decrease car premiums by raising deductibles or cutting unnecessary coverages. For example, it you are driving a car worth $1,500.00, it makes little sense to buy collision or comprehensive coverage. The cost of these coverages can be excessive in relation to the value of the vehicle.

You should strongly consider some of the cost savings to purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to protect you and the occupants of your vehicle, rather than the car. Both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are relatively cheap.


CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER IN WEST VIRGINIA | STEALEY LAW & MEDIATION

At Stealey Law and Mediation, we are dedicated to helping motorists receive the education and guidance they may need before and after a car accident. If you are unsure if you have an auto accident case, download our guide:

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If you need auto accident lawyer, call us today: 304-485-3127

Topics: Auto Accidents

Welcome to "Legally Speaking" where we cover topics ranging from medical malpractice to distracted driving in personal injury cases. Jim was the co-host of a television program called "Legally Speaking" on Network West Virginia as well as a legal analyst for the local TV station and several radio stations. With 38+ years of experience, Jim Stealey provides client representation in a compassionate and dedicated manner. 

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