Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Sep 12, 2020

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West Virginia Statistics Summary
West Virginia Statistics SummaryDetails
Road Miles38,760
Vehicles Registered1,495,914
Population1,805,832
Most Popular VehicleSilverado 1500
Uninsured % / Underinsured %10.10%
Driving Related DeathsSpeed Fatalities: 84
DUI Fatalities: 72
Average RatesLiability: $491.83
Collision: $329.67
Comprehensive: $204.28
Combined: $1,025.78
Cheapest CompaniesState Farm
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If you live in West Virginia, you know that your state nickname is the “Mountain State”. Located in the Appalachian mountain range, it is also known as a state that is “Wild and Wonderful”, and is home to several scenic trails, parks, and wildlife refuges.

In a state that is so wild and wonderful, the topic of auto insurance may not seem wonderful… it may only seem wild.

To guide you through the wilderness of auto insurance, we have put together this guide, full of every piece of auto insurance information you can think of: what is auto insurance, coverage and rates, auto insurance providers, state laws, and lots, lots more.

Travel home on those country roads and let’s head to the land of West Virginia auto insurance. Are you looking for Erie insurance in Charles Town, West Virginia, or Nationwide in Bluefield?

Want to start comparing rates on the best auto insurance companies in WV and saving money? Start today with just your ZIP code.

Table of Contents

West Virginia Auto Insurance Coverage and Rates

John Denver painted a picture of West Virginia: Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River.

Let us paint you a picture of auto insurance in West Virginia, especially when it comes to rates and insurance coverage.

Average Monthly Auto Insurance Rates in WV (Liability, Collision, Comprehensive)

Core Car Insurance Coverage Costs in West Virginia
Core Auto Insurance Coverage Costs in West VirginiaAverage Annual Rates
Liability$491.83
Collision$329.67
Comprehensive$204.28
Combined$1,025.78
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The above table illustrates the most recent data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as of the year 2015. Rates in 2019 will be a bit higher.

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West Virginia auto insurance laws, like every other state, have minimum requirements for liability coverage. However, experts suggest purchasing more than the minimum coverage in at-fault states.

Additional Liability Auto Insurance

The data from the table below is from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and spans the course of three years (from 2012-2014).

Additional Liability Coverage in West Virginia
Additional Liability Coverage in West Virginia201220132014
Medical Payments (Med Pay)73%66%67%
Uninsured/Underinsured58%57%54%
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A loss ratio means that a company is paying out a certain number, or percentage of claims. If a company’s loss ratio is over 100 percent, the company is losing money. If the loss ratio is too low, the company is not paying claims.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and Medical Pay (Med Pay) is optional in West Virginia.

About 10 percent of the state does not carry auto insurance, despite the many West Virginia auto insurance options.

Remember: it is important to be insured. If you can afford more insurance, carrying more than the mandatory minimum requirement is recommended.

Auto Insurance Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders

Getting complete coverage at an affordable price is your main goal when it comes to West Virginia auto insurance policies, right?

Good news: there are lots of powerful but cheap extras you can add to your West Virginia auto insurance policy.

Here’s a list of useful coverage available to you in West Virginia

  • Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
  • Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
  • Non-Owner Auto Insurance
  • Modified Auto Insurance Coverage
  • Classic Auto Insurance
  • Pay-as-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance

West Virginia Automobile Insurance Plan

The West Virginia Auto Insurance Plan helps provide insurance to high-risk drivers who cannot get auto insurance through the usual channels or have a hard time finding it on their own.

While the WVAIP helps you if you are having trouble finding auto insurance, what you might consider more of trouble is the unfair prices for auto insurance.

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Average Auto Insurance Rates by Age & Gender in WV

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This table shows a more detailed breakdown:

Males vs Female Car Insurance Rates in West Virginia
CompanyMarried 35-year old female Annual RatesMarried 35-year old male Annual RatesMarried 60-year old female Annual RatesMarried 60-year old male Annual RatesSingle 17-year old female Annual RatesSingle 17-year old male Annual RatesSingle 25-year old female Annual RatesSingle 25-year old male Annual Rates
Allstate P&C$2,933.38$2,724.76$2,620.92$2,627.69$10,480.93$10,920.44$3,247.28$3,253.31
Geico General$2,789.69$2,751.21$2,655.37$2,573.55$6,862.60$8,279.02$2,682.48$2,796.00
Safeco Ins Co of America$3,850.36$4,184.55$3,092.94$3,766.95$14,459.89$16,320.56$3,981.38$4,388.29
Nationwide Mutual$2,101.13$2,135.83$1,908.82$2,004.02$5,477.19$6,941.22$2,371.35$2,541.49
Progressive Max$2,269.67$2,185.59$2,090.92$2,088.98$9,871.04$11,125.46$2,731.41$2,821.68
State Farm Mutual Auto$1,734.04$1,734.04$1,557.19$1,557.19$3,855.91$4,979.67$2,049.92$1,620.39
USAA$1,760.92$1,736.48$1,635.09$1,649.46$5,831.46$6,456.12$2,277.84$2,448.74
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If you are married, State Farm keeps your rates the same. A single 17-year-old male will be paying more than a female; a single 25-year-old will be paying less than a female. With Geico, males are paying less in some cases.

Young drivers have the highest rates with Allstate, Safeco, and Progressive. They might want to stick with USAA, State Farm, or Nationwide insurance.

So are males paying more? The short answer is yes, depending on the company.

Cheapest Rates by ZIP Code

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25 ZIP Codes With the Cheapest Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates in West Virginia
WV ZIP CodesAverage Annual Rates
25401$3,519.10
26753$3,553.33
26719$3,553.71
25443$3,557.91
26763$3,559.56
25405$3,560.50
25442$3,561.19
26726$3,562.86
25419$3,563.40
25420$3,564.15
25438$3,568.96
25404$3,572.62
25446$3,580.46
25414$3,581.03
25413$3,583.73
26767$3,583.90
26750$3,584.55
25403$3,584.93
25428$3,588.15
25430$3,593.99
26711$3,595.37
25434$3,603.04
26808$3,605.04
25411$3,607.19
26714$3,607.24
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Search for your exact ZIP code in the table above to find out if you live in an affordable ZIP code.

25 ZIP Codes With the Most Expensive Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates in West Virginia
WV ZIP codeAverage Annual Rates
25621$5,111.14
25674$5,100.15
25676$5,070.93
25661$5,061.69
25608$5,055.41
25678$5,049.64
25651$5,043.28
25671$5,038.17
25666$5,031.81
25650$5,031.00
25670$5,029.67
25638$4,906.37
25635$4,904.28
24851$4,891.82
25685$4,890.40
25690$4,890.40
25607$4,878.44
24862$4,867.02
24839$4,855.96
25686$4,846.38
25667$4,841.76
25691$4,837.65
25692$4,834.18
25672$4,833.34
25688$4,833.34
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Compare these rates in the most expensive ZIP codes with the cheapest cities below.

Cheapest Rates by City

If you’re moving to West Virginia, you might want to consider these cities if you want to keep your insurance rates at a minimum.

Top 25 West Virginia Cities With the Cheapest Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates
WV CitiesAverage Annual Rates
MARTINSBURG$3,519.10
RIDGELEY$3,553.33
FORT ASHBY$3,553.71
SHEPHERDSTOWN$3,557.91
SPRINGFIELD$3,559.56
MARTINSBURG$3,560.50
SHENANDOAH JUNCTION$3,561.19
KEYSER$3,562.86
FALLING WATERS$3,563.40
GERRARDSTOWN$3,564.15
RANSON$3,568.96
MARTINSBURG$3,572.62
SUMMIT POINT$3,580.46
CHARLES TOWN$3,581.03
BUNKER HILL$3,583.73
WILEY FORD$3,583.90
PIEDMONT$3,584.55
MARTINSBURG$3,584.93
INWOOD$3,588.15
KEARNEYSVILLE$3,593.99
CAPON BRIDGE$3,595.37
PAW PAW$3,603.04
HIGH VIEW$3,605.04
BERKELEY SPRINGS$3,607.19
DELRAY$3,607.24
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Use the search feature in the table to search for your city.

Top 25 West Virginia Cities With the Most Expensive Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates
CityAverage Annual Rates
GILBERT$5,111.14
KERMIT$5,100.15
LENORE$5,070.93
WILLIAMSON$5,061.69
BAISDEN$5,055.41
MATEWAN$5,049.64
WHARNCLIFFE$5,043.28
DINGESS$5,038.17
BREEDEN$5,031.81
VERNER$5,031.00
DELBARTON$5,029.67
OMAR$4,906.37
MAN$4,904.28
JUSTICE$4,891.82
NAUGATUCK$4,890.40
RAGLAND$4,890.40
AMHERSTDALE$4,878.44
MOHAWK$4,867.02
HANOVER$4,855.96
NEWTOWN$4,846.38
CHATTAROY$4,841.76
RAWL$4,837.65
RED JACKET$4,834.18
EDGARTON$4,833.34
NORTH MATEWAN$4,833.34
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If you must live in one of these expensive cities, keep reading to find the best auto insurance company in the area.

West Virginia Minimum Required Auto Insurance Coverage

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Does West Virginia require car insurance? Like most states, it does have a set minimum amount of coverage that you need.

An organization known as the Insurance Information Institute says that West Virginia ranks 32nd in the nation for people who are not insured. This puts it between the states of Montana and Oklahoma. About 10 percent of the entire state of West Virginia is driving without auto insurance.

And because most people have to rely on their cars to get between the state’s 3,100 towns, auto insurance is a must-have!

The state minimum requirement for car insurance in West Virginia is simple liability insurance. Liability insurance covers you in the event you are in an accident and there are bodily injuries or property damage. It pays all the individuals involved.

West Virginia is an at-fault state. This means that the person who was at fault in the accident is the one who has to pay for any damage or injuries sustained. Check to find out how auto insurance companies determine fault.

In West Virginia, you have to carry at least the minimum amount of insurance:

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

This minimum liability coverage is known as 25/50/25.

If stopped by a police officer, he or she will also accept an electronic copy of your insurance card.

If you’re not techno-savvy, that is okay, but the WV DOT requires that proof of insurance is required to be in your car at ALL times in the state of West Virginia, by law.

Required Forms of Financial Responsibility in West Virginia

In West Virginia, your insurance also doubles as your proof of financial responsibility.

How’s that for convenience?

Premiums as Percentage of Income in West Virginia

First off, you will want to know what the term disposable personal income means.

That is the amount you have left to spend after you have taken care of your necessary expenses and after taxes have been paid.

Over the course of three years, from 2012 to 2014, West Virginians, in terms of disposable income, has stayed steadily in the range of $31,000 to $32,000. This is $10,000 less than its sister state, Virginia.

American Consumer Credit Counseling suggests saving 20 percent of every paycheck. Use the calculator, Calculator Pro, above to find out how much DPI you would have each month, and then times that amount by 20 percent to know how much you would need to save each month.

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Best West Virginia Auto Insurance Companies

There are a lot of auto insurance companies in West Virginia, but how do you know which West Virginia auto insurance company is the best? What is the cheapest car insurance company in West Virginia?

We can help!

Find out what is the best auto insurance company in West Virginia.

The Largest Auto Insurance Companies’ Financial Ratings

To best measure how a West Virginia auto insurance company is doing financially and what their financial strength is, there is something called the A.M. Best Financial Rating.

The Largest Companies' Financial Ratings in West Virginia
CompanyA.M. Best Rating
State FarmA
Erie InsuranceA+
NationwideA+
GeicoA++
AllstateA+
ProgressiveA+
Liberty MutualA
USAAA++
Hartford Fire & CasualtyA+
Westfield GroupA
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If looking at customer reviews is more your thing, then read on to find out more about what customers had to say about the best insurance companies…

Auto Insurance Companies with Best Customer Ratings

J.D. Power and Associates gave a study to auto insurance customers in multiple U.S. Regions in 2018 asking them: how would you rank auto insurance companies?

When it comes to the Mid-Atlantic Region states, Erie Insurance has a rank of 854 on a 1,000 point scale, which means customers consider Erie Insurance “among the best.”

J.D. Power 2018 Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking – Mid-Atlantic Region
CompaniesRankingJ.D. Power Circle Rating™
USAA8965
NJM Insurance8645
Erie Insurance8545
Geico8484
The Hartford8393
Mid-Atlantic Region8383
Allstate8373
Plymouth Rock Assurance8353
Progressive8353
State Farm8262
Nationwide8232
Travelers8202
CSAA Insurance8162
Farmers8142
Liberty Mutual8012
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Auto Insurance Companies with Most Complaints in West Virginia

A bad review happens every once in a while. You can’t please everyone all the time.

But if a West Virginia auto insurance agency has multiple bad reviews, know that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Here is the most recent data, as found on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website, one of the leading data authorities. The order on this list goes from most complaints to the least amount of complaints:

Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies in West Virginia

Cheapest Companies in West Virginia
CompanyAverage Annual Rates
Allstate P&C$4,851.09
Geico General$3,923.74
Safeco Ins Co of America$6,755.62
Nationwide Mutual$3,185.13
Progressive Max$4,398.09
State Farm Mutual Auto$2,386.04
USAA$2,974.52
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If you’re looking for a good deal annually, State Farm seems to offer the best annual rates, with $2,386.04.
Take a look below at how the top companies’ rates compare to the state average.

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Commute Rates by Auto Insurance Companies

Commute Rates by Companies in West Virginia
Company10 Miles Commute25 Miles Commute
Allstate$4,851.09$4,851.09
Geico$3,881.27$3,966.21
Liberty Mutual$6,755.62$6,755.62
Nationwide$3,185.13$3,185.13
Progressive$4,398.09$4,398.09
State Farm$2,323.16$2,448.93
USAA$2,939.80$3,009.23
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Whether you have a 10-mile commute or a 25-mile commute, State Farm offers the best annual rates, once again.

Of all the factors that can affect your rates, commute times have a pretty minimal effect.

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Coverage Level Rates by Auto Insurance Companies

Coverage Level Rates by Companies in West Virginia
CompanyAnnual Rates with Low CoverageAnnual Rates with Medium CoverageAnnual Rates with High Coverage
Allstate$4,677.67$4,842.82$5,032.78
Geico$3,702.07$3,933.44$4,135.71
Liberty Mutual$6,416.80$6,739.44$7,110.61
Nationwide$3,125.26$3,170.62$3,259.52
Progressive$4,221.37$4,351.48$4,621.43
State Farm$2,249.30$2,379.66$2,529.17
USAA$2,870.21$2,969.49$3,083.84
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State Farm, once again, seems to be coming out on top. It offers the best annual rates on coverage, no matter what type you have.

Credit History Rates by Auto Insurance Companies

Credit history helps or hurts when it comes to insurance.

Credit History Rates by Companies in West Virginia
CompaniesAnnual Rates with Good CreditAnnual Rates with Fair CreditAnnual Rates with Poor Credit
Allstate$3,991.23$4,672.88$5,889.16
Geico$3,192.68$3,847.51$4,731.03
Liberty Mutual$4,658.77$5,929.53$9,678.55
Nationwide$2,861.73$3,063.65$3,630.02
Progressive$3,981.11$4,286.12$4,927.05
State Farm$1,638.11$2,088.16$3,431.87
USAA$2,015.24$2,520.35$4,387.96
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People with good credit will find the best annual rates at State Farm. State Farm also has the best annual rates when it comes to having fair or poor credit.

Driving Record Rates by Auto Insurance Companies

Liberty Mutual makes you pay more if you have a DUI. In fact, they are the most expensive annually overall, even if you have a clean driving record.

Driving Record Rates by Companies in West Virginia
CompaniesDriving Record Rates with a Clean RecordDriving Record Rates with 1 AccidentDriving Record Rates with 1 DUIDriving Record Rates with 1 Speeding Violation
Allstate$4,102.62$4,857.47$5,790.00$4,654.26
Geico$2,424.33$3,903.47$6,765.51$2,601.64
Liberty Mutual$5,535.75$6,985.26$7,743.03$6,758.42
Nationwide$2,539.67$3,395.88$3,969.85$2,835.12
Progressive$3,732.27$5,004.45$4,467.89$4,387.77
State Farm$2,192.53$2,579.56$2,386.05$2,386.05
USAA$2,337.82$2,764.77$3,944.88$2,850.58
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Some companies understand accidents happen, and do not charge you astronomical rates. State Farm offers the best rates all the way around and is the cheapest when it comes to having a clean driving record.

Largest Auto Insurance Companies in West Virginia

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Largest Car Insurance Companies in West Virginia
CompanyPremiums WrittenMarket Share
State Farm$329,65126.62%
Erie Insurance$182,12014.71%
Nationwide$145,85811.78%
Geico$124,70910.07%
Allstate$92,0077.43%
Progressive$84,3326.81%
Liberty Mutual$54,3564.39%
USAA$48,4343.91%
Hartford Fire & Casualty$38,0993.08%
Westfield$30,1632.44%
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Number of Auto Insurers by State

What is the difference between a domestic insurer and a foreign insurer?

Domestic means that the insurer is a company only available in West Virginia.

Foreign means out of state, or a company like Liberty Mutual that is available in multiple states.

There are 19 domestic insurers and 793 foreign insurers in West Virginia.

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West Virginia Laws

You do not have to be a lawyer to know the basics of the laws in your state.

Take a gander at the important auto insurance laws for you to know.

West Virginia Auto Insurance Laws

Know the laws for West Virginia, read up on the laws, and read on to get the laws in further detail.

Windshield & Glass Repair Laws

Having a chip or a crack in your windshield is pretty annoying.

But are insurance companies required to pay for it?

According to Car Windshields, in West Virginia, “For cars less than 3 years old, insurers must use OEM replacement parts unless the consumer agrees in writing.”

High-Risk Auto Insurance

Remember that the high-risk auto insurance program in West Virginia is called the West Virginia Automobile Insurance Plan.

Click on the link above to go to that section for more information.

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Low-Cost Auto Insurance

The state does not have a mandated low-cost auto insurance program, but ask your insurance provider if they provide any kind of discounts. Also ask about the West Virginia auto insurance minimums when you get West Virginia auto insurance quotes.

Automobile Insurance Fraud in West Virginia

At one point nationally, insurance fraud had a high level of acceptance by the public, according to an IRC survey cited by lawyers Jenkins and Fenstermaker. In 2003, 33 percent of Americans believed padding claims was all right, which dropped to 24 percent in 2013.

Each state has different definitions of insurance fraud.

In West Virginia, insurance fraud is defined as “knowingly and willfully providing a false material statement for an insurance claim or payment with the intent of defrauding the insurance company.”

There are penalties if you are found guilty of insurance fraud.

  • If the benefits sought are $1,000 or less, you can spend up to one year in prison and pay up to $2,500 in fines.
  • If the benefits sought are $1,000 or more, you can spend up to 10 years in prison and pay up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Insurance agents, brokers, or companies who commit insurance fraud pay up to $10,000 in fines per instance of insurance fraud!

West Virginia will help if you feel you are the victim of insurance fraud. Find out more here at the WV Insurance Commissioners site.

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The Statute of Limitations in West Virginia

The statute of limitations is the set amount of time that either you or the other party have to file charges.

It protects both you and the other party by giving each of you a set amount of time. Beyond that time limit, no one can file charges.

In West Virginia, the statute of limitations is two years for a personal injury case and a property damage case.

West Virginia’s Vehicle Licensing Laws

To drive a car in West Virginia, you will need a license.

Keep on reading to find out more about this and about the rules of the road.

West Virginia REAL ID

Starting October 1, 2020, federal agencies will endorse what is known as the REAL ID Act, which requires you to have a REAL ID U.S. Passport or another federally approved ID to board flights or enter federal buildings.

West Virginia does not require a REAL ID to drive, but it is recommended if you fly domestically, or if you work in federal buildings.

West Virginia

How do you get a REAL ID?

The West Virginia DMV makes it easy.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

You might want to think twice before driving without insurance in West Virginia.

According to West Virginia Code section 17D-2A-7, if you are caught driving without insurance, you can face the following penalties:

  • First offense: $200 penalty. License/registration suspended for 30 days
  • Second offense: No known penalties.
  • Third and subsequent offenses: No known penalties.

If you cause an accident and do not have insurance, you could face civil penalties.

Remember that you must have the required insurance and/or forms of financial responsibility in your vehicle at all times.

Teen Driver Laws

When it comes to teens and driving in West Virginia, you have to be 15 and a half years of age.

To even get a license, you have to be 16, have a holding period of six months, and have had a supervised driving time of 50 hours, 10 of which has to be at night.

You cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. It is secondarily enforced, meaning that a cop has to stop you for something else other than your age, but don’t risk it.

Also, no passengers in the car younger than 20 except for immediate family. Again, this is secondarily enforced.

The restriction lift one year after you have had your license.

Important to know: if you are younger than 18, you are banned from using a cellphone to talk or text. A handheld ban and texting ban is implemented for ALL drivers, no matter your age.

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Older Driver License Renewal Procedures

The rules for older drivers in West Virginia?

Pretty straightforward, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

  • Older Population License Renewal: you can renew every five years.
  • Proof of vision required: every renewal if 70 years or older.
  • Mail or online renewal permitted: Yes, but not if you are 70 or older.

New Residents

To make things easier, if you have just moved to West Virginia and your out-of-state license is valid and not expired, you can transfer your license. If your out-of-state license has expired, you must take all examination tests, vision, written, and road skills tests before applying for a driver’s license.

You are required to pass a vision screening, complete a brief alcohol awareness course, and surrender your out-of-state license before a West Virginia license will be given to you.

This must be done within 30 days of moving to the state.

License Renewal Procedures

The West Virginia DMV will notify you 90 days before your license, and you are required to fill out a renewal application form to renew your license.

But what’s all this about a REAL ID?

Read on…

Rules of the Road

If you know the rules of the road, you will be a safer driver.

Read on to find out the rules of the road in West Virginia.

Fault vs. No-Fault

Remember, West Virginia is an at-fault state. This means the person who was at fault in the accident is the one who has to pay for any damage or injuries sustained.

Seat Belts and Car Seat Laws

Seat belt and child safety laws in West Virginia are primarily enforced. This means if a police officer sees you not wearing your seat belt or doesn’t see a child in a car seat, they will stop you.

According to the IIHS, if your child is “7 years and younger and less than 4’9″ tall”, they must be in some form of child restraint.

A $25 fine applies if you are not wearing your seat belt or if your child is not in a car seat.

Keep Right and Move Over Laws

In West Virginia, the laws are as follows according to AAA:

State law requires drivers approaching and traveling in the same direction as a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, including a tow truck, displaying flashing lights, to change to a non-adjacent lane if safe to do so, or to slow to no more than 15 mph on a non-divided highway or 25 mph on a divided highway.

The left lane is only allowed for passing or turning left. All other times, you must keep right.

Speed Limit Laws in WV

In West Virginia, the speed limit is 70 miles per hour on rural interstates, 55 miles per hour on urban interstates, 65 miles per hour on other limited-access roads, and 55 miles per hour on all other roads.

Ridesharing

There are no specific state ridesharing services, but companies such as Uber and Lyft are nationwide. Check into those services to find out more.

Automation on the Road

West Virginia has no laws on the books about automated vehicles.

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Safety Laws

DUI Laws

West Virginia does not let anyone drive while in an impaired state, whether you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you have a BAC of .08 percent or more, you are considered under the influence.

The amount of alcohol a person must drink to exceed the legal limit depends on many factors, including gender, body size, and number and strength of drinks.

The penalties for driving under the influence vary.

  • First offense: Up to six months in jail. $100 to $500 fine, and license revoked for up to six months.
  • Second offense: Six months to a year in jail. $1,000 to $3,000 fine, and license revoked for 10 years.
  • Third offense: Three to five years of jail time. $3,000 to $5,000 fine, and license revoked for the rest of your life.

Remember, if an officer stops you on suspicion of a DUI, you give implied consent for him or her to test you.

Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws

Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 386 into law in 2017. With this, West Virginia became the 29th state to decriminalize marijuana for medical purposes such as cancer, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS, sickle anemia, and multiple sclerosis.

While West Virginia legalized medical marijuana, the recreational use of marijuana is illegal in West Virginia.

If you are found to be driving under the influence of three nanograms of marijuana per se (which means that even if it looks like you are under the influence, the officer has a right to stop you), you will be penalized.

But what if you need marijuana for medical purposes?

The West Virginia Cannabis Commission, set up by Senator Richard Ojeda, will work on the regulatory framework. Marijuana ID cards will be released soon (on July 1, 2019). Until then, take care, as you still might be charged for driving under the influence.

Distracted Driving Laws

On a blog maintained by lawyers Tiano and O’Dell, West Virginia “has some of the strictest mobile device driving laws in the country.”

You cannot use a phone or text while driving, no matter your age.

Distracted Driving Laws in West Virginia come with consequences. The first offense is $100. The second offense is $200. The third and subsequent offense is $300, and each offense from the third on puts three demerit points on your license.

The laws in place seem to be working, according to the West Virginia DMV:

…in 2015 [the DMV stated] that the 2013 distracted driving laws had led to a significant 18 percent decrease in driver fatalities across West Virginia over the 2014 calendar year.

Road Dangers in West Virginia

The best way to stay out of danger is to be aware of common dangers in West Virginia.

Here we will uncover the kinds of dangers you might face as a driver.

Vehicle Theft in West Virginia

Driving Record Rates by Companies in West Virginia
CompaniesDriving Record Rates with a Clean RecordDriving Record Rates with 1 AccidentDriving Record Rates with 1 DUIDriving Record Rates with 1 Speeding Violation
Allstate$4,102.62$4,857.47$5,790.00$4,654.26
Geico$2,424.33$3,903.47$6,765.51$2,601.64
Liberty Mutual$5,535.75$6,985.26$7,743.03$6,758.42
Nationwide$2,539.67$3,395.88$3,969.85$2,835.12
Progressive$3,732.27$5,004.45$4,467.89$4,387.77
State Farm$2,192.53$2,579.56$2,386.05$2,386.05
USAA$2,337.82$2,764.77$3,944.88$2,850.58
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The year is the most popular model stolen, and the information is as of 2015 from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition

Weather and the time of day can contribute to not-so-easy driving conditions.

Fatalities by Weather and Light Condition in West Virginia
Weather ConditionDaylightDark, but LightedDarkDawn or DuskOther / UnknownTotal
Normal131127670226
Rain205154044
Snow/Sleet012003
Other004105
Unknown200002
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In West Virginia, most crashes tend to happen during the day under normal conditions.

Fatalities (All Crashes) by County

Fatalities by County in West Virginia
County201320142015201620017
Barbour67264
Berkeley2012101610
Boone513153
Braxton74753
Brooke10001
Cabell149151116
Calhoun01001
Clay24120
Doddridge31013
Fayette14510410
Gilmer02043
Grant32342
Greenbrier142766
Hampshire65863
Hancock16114
Hardy43523
Harrison181161012
Jackson1210648
Jefferson461176
Kanawha2920232131
Lewis103498
Lincoln54325
Logan793412
Marion34677
Marshall31615
Mason49553
Mcdowell44475
Mercer10117812
Mineral22335
Mingo48815
Monongalia141013127
Monroe33125
Morgan13041
Nicholas83198
Ohio53732
Pendleton74140
Pleasants10300
Pocahontas13113
Preston246104
Putnam494510
Raleigh139171411
Randolph93586
Ritchie23231
Roane20338
Summers22413
Taylor41012
Tucker51100
Tyler22044
Upshur21720
Wayne679613
Webster21332
Wetzel63302
Wirt00112
Wood9158810
Wyoming74333
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This shows the fatalities over the course of five years.

Traffic Fatalities: Rural vs. Urban

Traffic Fatalities: Rural vs. Urban in West Virginia
YearRuralUrban
2008263112
2009252105
201022887
201123999
201226178
201324191
201420567
201519078
201616999
201720298
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This shows the fatalities over the course of 10 years.

Interestingly, rural areas have a lot more traffic fatalities than in urban areas, though not surprising since West Virginia is mainly a rural state.

Fatalities by Person Type

Fatalities by Person Type in West Virginia
Person20132014201520162017
Passenger Car128999085104
Light Truck - Pickup7350454740
Light Truck - Utility4048503966
Light Truck - Van655147
Large Truck96469
Light Truck - Other00211
Total Motorcyclists2426322926
Pedestrian2819192426
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist02113
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This shows the fatalities over the course of five years.

Passenger cars and light pick-ups have a high rate of fatalities in this five-year time span.

Fatalities by Crash Type

Fatalities by Crash Type in West Virginia
Crash Type20132014201520162017
Single Vehicle214164160167189
Involving a Large Truck4630222752
Involving Speeding13066666084
Involving a Rollover10691888685
Involving a Roadway Departure242205191179214
Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)3731303341
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This shows the fatalities over the course of five years.

Five-Year Trend for the Top 10 Counties

5 Year Trend For The Top 10 Counties of 2017 in West Virginia
County20132014201520162017
Kanawha County2920232131
Cabell County149151116
Wayne County679613
Harrison County181161012
Logan County793412
Mercer County10117812
Raleigh County139171411
Berkeley County2012101610
Putnam County494510
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Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

Fatalities Involving Speeding by County in West Virginia
County20132014201520162017
Barbour20001
Berkeley64443
Boone33000
Braxton50210
Brooke00000
Cabell21611
Calhoun01001
Clay02120
Doddridge20002
Fayette80212
Gilmer00023
Grant01221
Greenbrier40011
Hampshire34111
Hancock13112
Hardy31001
Harrison72314
Jackson65212
Jefferson21232
Kanawha1378413
Lewis30340
Lincoln21100
Logan32213
Marion12351
Marshall10202
Mason01222
Mcdowell22011
Mercer52122
Mineral21012
Mingo11202
Monongalia50232
Monroe10010
Morgan11001
Nicholas20013
Ohio30121
Pendleton51110
Pleasants10000
Pocahontas10001
Preston02111
Putnam23114
Raleigh62401
Randolph41010
Ritchie01000
Roane20215
Summers00101
Taylor21010
Tucker10100
Tyler10011
Upshur00000
Wayne01021
Webster00012
Wetzel10001
Wirt00000
Wood45124
Wyoming11100
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Fatalities Involving Alcohol-Impaired Driving by County

Fatalities Involving Alcohol-Impaired Driving by County
County20132014201520162017
Barbour01021
Berkeley54232
Boone26000
Braxton11300
Brooke00001
Cabell34337
Calhoun00000
Clay00100
Doddridge20000
Fayette70300
Gilmer00020
Grant01001
Greenbrier41211
Hampshire11131
Hancock10010
Mason01212
Mcdowell12241
Mercer34211
Mineral10111
Mingo04103
Monongalia14412
Monroe21001
Morgan01010
Nicholas23012
Ohio22321
Pendleton41110
Pleasants00000
Pocahontas01002
Preston02052
Putnam14014
Raleigh53342
Randolph31120
Ritchie02110
Roane10002
Summers10101
Taylor10002
Tucker11100
Tyler01030
Upshur10000
Wayne03131
Hardy20200
Harrison22526
Jackson50211
Jefferson12431
Kanawha66776
Lewis32211
Lincoln21002
Logan04213
Marion20031
Marshall10112
Mason01212
Mcdowell12241
Mercer34211
Mineral10111
Mingo04103
Monongalia14412
Monroe21001
Morgan01010
Nicholas23012
Ohio22321
Pendleton41110
Pleasants00000
Pocahontas01002
Preston02052
Putnam14014
Raleigh53342
Randolph31120
Ritchie02110
Roane10002
Summers10101
Taylor10002
Tucker11100
Tyler01030
Upshur10000
Wayne03131
Webster20010
Wetzel31200
Wirt00000
Wood25233
Wyoming30101
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Teen Drinking and Driving

The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), found some alarming statistics when it came to underage drinking.

  • Underage drinking cost West Virginians $0.3 billion dollars in terms of medical care, pain/suffering, and work lost.
  • Youth violence attributed to alcohol cost the state $187.8 million dollars.
  • In 2012, 54 youths aged 12-20 were admitted for alcohol treatment in West Virginia. This accounted for 5 percent of all treatment admissions in the state.

Also, when it came to teens in grades nine through twelve, the same study from PIRE found the following:

  • Approximately 64,000 underage customers drink each year in West Virginia.
  • 20.6 percent had their first drink of alcohol, other than a few sips, before age 13.
  • 37.1 percent had at least one drink of alcohol on one or more occasions in the past 30 days.
  • 24.4 percent had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row (binge drinking) in the past 30 days.

When it comes to other statistics due to underage drinking:

  • 1.1 deaths per 100,000 residents. This is under the national average of 1.2, but not by much.
  • 11 DWI arrests in the under 21 group, which makes West Virginia 44th in the nation when it comes to these types of arrests.

They may not seem as alarming, but just because the numbers are low does not mean that there’s not a problem.

Make sure you talk to your children about the dangers of drinking and driving.

EMS Response Time: Rural vs. Urban

EMS Response Times in West Virginia: Rural vs Urban
Region TypeTime of Crash to EMS
Notification
EMS Notification to
EMS Arrival
EMS Arrival at Scene
to Hospital Arrival
Time of Crash to Hospital
Arrival
Total Fatal Crashes
Rural 9 minutes16 minutes40 minutes55 minutes159
Urban5 minutes10 minutes29 minutes42 minutes90
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The response times in both rural and urban areas are good.

Both areas take under an hour from the time of the crash to hospital arrival.

Transportation

If you live in New Mexico, most likely you live in an overwhelmingly two-car household, drive alone to work, and spend very little time commuting!

The information that follows is from Data USA.

Car Ownership

Most people in West Virginia live in a two-car household.

Commute Time

With an average commute time of 24.4 minutes, West Virginia is a hair under the national average of 25.2 minutes.

3.3 percent of West Virginians report a super-commute, which is spending 90 minutes or more of your time commuting.

Commuter Transportation

81.6 percent of the workforce report driving in to work alone. 9.2 percent carpool, and 3.98 percent work at home.

Traffic Congestion in West Virginia

When it comes to the major lists: the INRIX traffic scorecard, the TomTom Index, and the Numbeo Index, no cities in West Virginia make the list.

So does that mean West Virginians don’t have to deal with traffic congestion?

Are these truly country roads?

West Virginia Car Culture

If you are not from West Virginia, the only way you may know about it is from John Denver and his singing about “country roads”.

West Virginians know that they have public transportation which services 32 of the 55 counties. But West Virginians mainly rely on their cars to get them from Point A to Point B. Their cars are their lifeline.

Fun fact: Antifreeze was invented in West Virginia’s “Chemical Valley” because of the cold driving conditions.

We hope this guide about auto insurance in West Virginia has helped you.

Don’t waste another minute and get cheap car insurance quotes if you live in WV. Start comparison shopping auto insurance rates today.