Accidents can happen to any driver. In West Virginia, bad weather can cause fender benders and serious car accidents. If you are involved in a collision, it's important to have a solid car insurance policy that includes liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage.
Some types of auto insurance are optional in West Virginia, so it's a good idea to work with an independent insurance agent in Charleston to decide which types and amounts of coverage are right for you. Your agent can help you get multiple quotes from different insurance companies so you can find a policy that's right for you.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Charleston, WV?
West Virginia's average car insurance premiums are about the same as the national average. When you choose car insurance, it's important to shop around so you know you are getting the best possible rates.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- West Virginia average annual car insurance cost: $1,378
Your insurance premium quotes may vary from the averages stated, here. Each insurance company uses its own calculations to figure out your premiums. Your quotes may be based on some or all of the following:
- The make, model, and year of every vehicle you are insuring
- Your age, gender, occupation, and marital status
- Your driving record and credit score
- Information about other licensed drivers in your household
- Whether you own or rent your home
- The amount of your deductible
- The amount of liability insurance you are purchasing
- The coverage options you are including in your policy
Bundling your car insurance with renters insurance or home insurance could earn you significant discounts on all of your policies. You may also get discounts on your auto insurance rates if you are a safe driver or if you are a student with good grades.
What Does Charleston Car Insurance Cover?
Each auto insurance policy is a combination of required and optional coverage designed to meet your needs. As a Charleston resident, your auto insurance policy must meet the state's legal requirements.
If you have a lease or loan on your car, your bank or dealership may require you to carry even more auto insurance to help protect their investment.
Your insurance provider may offer these auto insurance policies:
- Liability insurance: (Required) This coverage handles damage you cause to someone else's property or medical bills associated with injuries sustained in an accident you cause. In West Virginia, you must carry these minimum amounts of liability insurance:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: At least $25,000 per person and $40,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: At least $10,000 per accident
- Personal injury protection (PIP): (Optional) This policy pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident, no matter who is at fault.
- Uninsured motorist insurance: (Required) This coverage pays for property damage and medical costs if you are in an accident with someone who doesn't have insurance.
- Collision insurance: (Partially optional) This coverage repairs or replaces your vehicle after a covered accident if you hit another vehicle or an object with your car.
- Comprehensive insurance: (Partially optional) This coverage handles incidents that don't fall under your collision policy, such as flood damage, fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Roadside assistance and towing: (Optional) This coverage helps you get back on the road if you run out of gas, lock your keys in the car, or get a flat tire.
- Rental reimbursement coverage: (Optional) This coverage pays for the cost of renting a car while your vehicle is being repaired after a covered accident or incident.
Your agent can help you understand which of these policies are required and how much insurance you may need under each category. They'll help you put together a policy that protects your investment and also fits into your budget.
What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Charleston?
Driving a car without the right types and amounts of insurance in West Virginia could get you into trouble. You must have proof that you have liability insurance when you register your car. If you get caught driving without insurance, you'll face steep fines. Uninsured drivers face the following penalties in West Virginia:
- Fines of $200 to $5,000
- Imprisonment of 15 days to 1 year
- Suspension of licensure
Across the country, 13% of drivers are uninsured. In West Virginia, that number drops to 10.1% which is still a high number of uninsured drivers. The state requires you to carry uninsured motorist coverage. With this type of insurance policy, if you are in an accident with someone who is uninsured, you'll still have coverage for property damage and medical care.
How High Is the Auto Theft Rate in Charleston?
In West Virginia, the auto theft rate is much lower than the national average. Even so, there's still a risk that your car could be stolen or vandalized.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.37%
- West Virginia auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 1.37%
You can only be reimbursed for auto theft if you have comprehensive coverage on your car. This coverage also pays for repairs if your car is vandalized. It covers you if your car is in a fire, flood, or severe weather like a hail storm. If you have a lease or loan on your car, you probably have this type of insurance. Check with your agent to learn about your current coverages and make sure that you have enough insurance to replace or repair your vehicle if it's stolen.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Charleston, WV?
An independent insurance agent in Charleston understands West Virginia's laws, local crime trends, and bank requirements. They can help you get the policy you need at the lowest possible price with a trustworthy insurance company.
Discover the benefits of having a local insurance agent on your side by contacting an independent agent in Charleston today. Independent agents can be extremely helpful when you are looking for the best car insurance policy. These insurance professionals can explain your many coverage options, answer your insurance-related questions, and help you review offerings from multiple providers.
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