The Mountain State is home to countless mountain-traversing motorcycle riders, as the state falls entirely within the Appalachian Mountain range and has an average elevation of 1,500 feet above sea level. Before you take your bike on the road in West Virginia, talk to your insurance agent about getting sensible and money-saving motorcycle insurance quotes for your bike.
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You Must Carry Motorcycle Insurance in West Virginia
West Virginia's Compulsory Insurance Law requires registration of motorcycles in addition to registration of four-wheeled passenger vehicles; therefore, any Mountain State resident who wishes to register and operate a motorcycle must establish financial responsibility.
The only way to establish financial responsibility for your motorcycle is to purchase liability coverage from an insurance carrier licensed to do business in West Virginia.
Is Your Motorcycle Insurable?
Whether you drive dirt bikes, hogs, sport bikes, choppers, street cruisers, mopeds or scooters, chances are the perfect insurance policy exists for your particular tastes in motorcycles.
West Virginia defines two-wheeled vehicles as follows:
- Motorcycle: The state considers any two-wheeled, motor-driven cycle with an engine of 50 cc or more to be a motorcycle. If you have a motorcycle, you must register it and cover it with liability insurance.
- Scooter/Moped: Exact names for these two-wheeled vehicles vary, but if it has an engine of 49 cc or less, the state recognizes it as a scooter or moped. Generally, residents don’t have to register or insure these motor-driven cycles. However, if you use your moped to travel back and forth to work in an effort to save on gas, you may want to purchase liability insurance, even though WV doesn't require it. One accident could set you back financially if you are unable to pay for damage or injuries you cause another person.
The West Virginia DMV suggests checking your cycle for a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards sticker. If your cycle has this sticker, chances are you need to register and insure it.
What Are West Virginia's Minimum Requirements?
If you plan to operate your motorcycle on Mountain State roads, you must register it and purchase liability coverage for it. West Virginia laws stipulate that coverage must meet the following minimum requirements:
- $10,000 for property damage
- $20,000 for one accident, one injury/death
- $40,000 for one accident, two injuries/deaths
Purchasing the minimum liability insurance requirements puts you in the clear with the state, but keep in mind you may want – or need – additional types of coverage to make sure you’ve fully protected your cycle and met the requirements of any lienholder.
You Need To Show Proof of Insurance
As a motorcycle owner, there are several instances when you’ll need to show proof of your liability coverage:
- When you register your motorcycle and renew your registration with the state of West Virginia
- Whenever you’re involved in an accident or a law enforcement officer pulls you over
- Whenever the DMV randomly selects you and sends a letter requesting proof
You can provide acceptable proof of motorcycle insurance when you show the DMV or a law enforcement officer the valid insurance card your carrier issues you.
In some cases, you may be able to show your insurance policy’s declarations page or a certified letter from your carrier, but it’s best to verify this with your local DMV office before relying on either one as proof.
What Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover?
Most West Virginia insurance companies have a wide variety of coverage to choose from for your motorcycle insurance policy:
- Medical payments: This coverage typically covers reasonable and necessary medical expenses that are the result of any injury to you or your passengers.
- Personal injury protection: If you’re hurt in an accident or worse, expenses could add up faster than you imagine. That’s where this coverage can help with reimbursements for these expenses:
- Medical and hospital expenses
- Lost income
- Services you would normally do yourself
- Funeral expenses
- Child care expenses
- Collision: A collision usually means damage to your motorcycle. That's just what this coverage does. It typically covers damage to your motorcycle that results from a collision with another object, such as another vehicle, tree or building.
- Comprehensive: It doesn’t always take two vehicles to make an accident. Comprehensive Coverage typically covers your bike if it’s damaged by the following:
If you're in an accident, there's a good chance someone else was involved. And if you're at fault, you'll want high limits for liability on your motorcycle insurance.
How Much Will a Quote for Motorcycle Insurance Be?
Much like traditional car insurance, coverage for motorcycles varies depending on a number of factors. When you go through the underwriting process, the quotes you find will measure the following:
- Your driving record
- Your experience on a motorcycle
- The type of motorcycle you drive
- The type of coverage you choose
- Where you drive your motorcycle within West Virginia
You will often receive a discount on insurance if you insure your bike with the same carrier as your vehicle, but shop around.
Aside from saving on gas, riding your bike comes with another benefit: often, insurance for a cycle costs significantly less than for a car.
Save on Your Motorcycle Insurance Policy
Whether you use your motorcycle to take in the beauty of The Midland Trail near Charleston, West Virginia or you drive it to work and home in Parkersburg, insuring your bike against damage and injuries takes just minutes. Contact a knowledgeable Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent to find affordable motorcycle insurance quotes. Take pride in your bike. Protect it.