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Candidates for governor in some states have discovered a campaign issue which is non-partisan, benefits just about every citizen in their state and is something everyone can agree upon: road improvement. It’s a much more tangible and personal topic at the state level compared to the federal behemoth known as infrastructure. Who doesn’t want great roads and a safe highway system to use daily? Improved roads lead to a safer driving environment for residents and could lead to better pricing on car insurance.

Michigan’s governor Gretchen Whitmer campaigned to victory on a platform of road improvement in 2018 taking a page from the playbook of West Virginia’s Gov. Jim Justice. Justice not only ran successfully on road improvement in the Mountain State in 2016, but is delivering on his campaign promise, too. 

This is good news for the state’s 1.8 million residents, of whom 1.2 million are registered drivers logging an average of 10,300 miles per year.

In fact, the West Virginia Department of Transportation in August 2019 announced that the state’s highways rank 16th in a national survey of state highway systems, moving up a whopping 20 spots from the previous year.

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“We still have a way to go and one day we want to have the No. 1 roads in the entire nation,” Justice said in a press release. “But if you look at where we were, it’s leaps and bounds better today and this 20-spot improvement shows it.”

There are two categories in the study where West Virginia has moved into the top 10 nationally, according to the press release. These rankings are sure to get the attention of car insurance companies when setting rates in certain markets, because they look at population density as one factor. West Virginia now ranks No. 2 in the country for least urban area congestion and No. 10 for least urban non-interstate principal arteries in poor condition.

West Virginia car insurance laws are governed by a tort system, meaning if a driver is at fault in a car accident, the driver can be sued for actual damages (expenses for property damage and medical costs); economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity); and emotional and physical pain and suffering. 

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in West Virginia

The rates shown here are based on a study performed by Quadrant Information services on behalf of U.S. News. The study examined rates from nine largest car insurance companies in the United States, using certain driver profiles. Your rates will differ.

How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance in West Virginia

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our ranking in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Cheapest Car Insurance Rankings.

Our Study Rates

For this study, U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford-F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes. 

To get the state-wide study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers ages 25, 35 and 60 who drive 12,000 miles per year, have medium coverage, good credit and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in West Virginia

When weighing the aforementioned U.S. News driver profiles, representative car insurance rates in West Virginia among the six national carriers operating in the state average out at just under $1,300, or about $25 below the national average.

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USAA, whose core market is active military service members and their families, plus veterans, is the only carrier to come in under $1,000, followed by State Farm, a few dollars shy of $1,100. The highest study rate for our driver profiles is from Allstate, topping $1,800, nearly $400 more than the second-most expensive insurer, Nationwide.

When reading this study, it’s important to remember that the pricing from the national insurance carriers reflects representative averages based on aggregate driver profiles across a range of demographics and should not be used as rate quotes for annual premiums from the companies.

West Virginia Car Insurance Rates by Age

As drivers get older (and wiser!) their car insurance annual premiums decline. In the U.S. News study, we examined representative driver profiles across a demographic landscape to compare men and women at age 25, 35, and 60. These driver profiles contained good credit, medium-level insurance coverage, a clean driving record, and 12,000 miles driven annually. The vehicles used in the study profile are 2015 model year Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4, and the Ford F-150, all representative of mass market vehicle sales in the United States. 

Among our six companies profiled in West Virginia, 25-year-old male driver profiles would pay about $20 more a year, at $1,488, than their female counterparts of the same age. At age 35, the male profiles have the lower representative premium, at $1,248 compared to the female profiles' study rate of $1,272. Average representative rates slightly swing back to the female profiles at age 60, as they would pay about $10 less on average annually than the male profiles. Male profiles aged 60 pay about $330 less a year than the male profiles aged 25. In that same comparison for women, the profile of a 60-year-old would pay about $320 below her 25-year-old counterpart.

Company

25-year-old male

25-year-old female

35-year-old male

35-year-old female

60-year-old male

60-year-old female

Allstate

$2,025.88

$2,022.06

$1,713.11

$1,831.24

$1,651.21

$1,646.55

Geico

$1,304.45

$1,204.11

$1,161.86

$1,153.01

$1,012.23

$1,064.57

Nationwide

$1,733.08

$1,594.96

$1,384.42

$1,356.22

$1,279.57

$1,189.71

Progressive

$1,634.12

$1,581.96

$1,229.26

$1,278.88

$1,151.76

$1,145.14

State Farm

$1,031.36

$1,293.83

$1,108.77

$1,108.77

$1,014.69

$1,014.69

USAA

$1,202.76

$1,122.65

$891.92

$903.14

$836.57

$829.41

West Virginia Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score

When considering credit score or credit history, maintaining a good rating is as important for the cost of car insurance as it is for mortgages, consumer loans, and other types of retail credit. The cost benefit of good credit ratings over bad, even just good over fair, is obvious from our study of driver profiles of men and women at age 25, 35, and 60. These driver profiles contained good credit, medium-level insurance coverage, a clean driving record, and 12,000 miles driven annually. The vehicles used in the study profile are 2015 model year Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4, and the Ford F-150.

A driver profile in our study with a good credit history in West Virginia will pay on average about $1,300 for car insurance. A fair credit rating will cost $225 more a year, while a poor credit rating is severely penalized with a representative premium that's about $850 more per year than a driver profile with a good credit rating, topping out at $2,155.

Company

Good

Fair

Poor

Allstate

$1,815.01

$2,099.06

$2,638.07

Geico

$1,150.04

$1,293.52

$1,791.21

Nationwide

$1,422.99

$1,524.85

$1,788.74

Progressive

$1,336.85

$1,650.12

$2,269.97

State Farm

$1,095.35

$1,388.45

$2,263.66

USAA

$964.41

$1,194.16

$2,181.88

West Virginia Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record

Much like a good credit history, maintaining a good driving record has its advantages for West Virginia drivers. Speeding violations, accidents, and DUIs all negatively impact driver profile insurance rates. When analyzing the impact that these bad marks on a driving record have on what drivers are paying out of pocket for car insurance coverage, our study profiles male and female drivers, ages 25, 35, and 60 with good credit, and a medium level of coverage posting 12,000 miles a year n a 2015 model year Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4, or Ford F-150.

First, the bad news: the difference in annual study rates between a profile with a clean driving record and one with a DUI is over $1,000. The profile with a spotless driving history has a representative premium of about $1,300, while the profile with a DUI has an average of around $2,340. The cost of a speeding violation bumps up the annual average $200 over the clean-record profile, while a driver profile with an accident on the driving record would pay an average of $600 more per year than a profile with a clean record.

Company

Clean record

With 1 speeding violation

With 1 accident

With 1 DUI

Allstate

$1,815.01

$2,018.48

$2,369.77

$2,437.33

Geico

$1,150.04

$1,230.22

$2,198.48

$4,133.79

Nationwide

$1,422.99

$1,663.84

$2,214.94

$2,703.97

Progressive

$1,336.85

$1,740.73

$2,209.79

$1,821.20

State Farm

$1,095.35

$1,184.86

$1,274.36

$1,184.86

USAA

$964.41

$1,115.71

$1,162.34

$1,749.78

West Virginia Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type

West Virginia compares favorably to national statistics in our study of driver profiles when drivers need to decide the cost of either low, medium, or high-level car insurance coverage. The U.S. News analysis aggregates male and female drivers, ages 25, 35, and 60 with good credit and medium coverage who drive 12,000 miles a year in a 2015 model year Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4, or Ford F-150.

When faced with a decision on coverage type, the average of the six national companies profiled in the U.S. News study indicates that for the highest-level of insurance, West Virginia driver profiles have an average annual price in our analysis that would be $128 more than the lowest-level coverage of $1,243. That’s a little over $10 more a month for the higher-level coverage. The study price is only around $54 higher for the medium level of coverage compared to low coverage, or $4.50 more a month. When you consider that you could be fully covered for only about $10 more a month on your premium, you may want to take the high road and head toward the highest level of coverage in the Mountain state.

Company

Low

Medium

High

Allstate

$1,759.81

$1,815.01

$1,878.22

Geico

$1,076.32

$1,150.04

$1,221.93

Nationwide

$1,379.28

$1,422.99

$1,509.58

Progressive

$1,301.25

$1,336.85

$1,410.73

State Farm

$1,021.40

$1,095.35

$1,192.80

USAA

$925.53

$964.41

$1,012.91

West Virginia Car Insurance Rates by Annual Mileage

The U.S. News study examines the difference in the cost of annual car insurance based on average miles driven per year in two distance categories: 6,000 miles per year and 12,000 miles per year. We used our baseline profiles of male and female drivers, ages 25, 35, and 60 with good credit, medium coverage, driving 12,000 miles a year, either in a 2015 model year Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4. or Ford F-150. 

We discovered with three of the six national companies in the West Virginia study, there is virtually no price break in representative rates if you drive 6,000 miles a year or even double that amount. Allstate, Nationwide, and Progressive all charge the same amount in our study for both profiles. Allstate's study rate of $1,815 a year is nearly double USAA’s $921 annual representative rate in the 6,000-mile category. West Virginia’s 1.3 million drivers average about 10,200 driving miles per year.

Company

6,000 miles annually

12,000 miles annually

Allstate

$1,815.01

$1,815.01

Geico

$1,072.19

$1,150.04

Nationwide

$1,423.00

$1,422.99

Progressive

$1,336.86

$1,336.85

State Farm

$994.82

$1,095.35

USAA

$921.64

$964.41

West Virginia Car Insurance Rates by City

West Virginia has approximately 1.8 million residents, making it the 38th most populated state in the nation. None of West Virginia’s cities have more than 50,000 residents, with Charleston, the state capital, topping out at just under 50,000, followed by Huntington, with about 48,600 residents.

We examined aggregate profiles of male and female drivers, ages 25, 35, and 60 with good credit, medium coverage, and 12,000 miles of driving a year in a 2015 model year Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4, or Ford F-150. Our study indicates that average annual representative rates range from $1,125 in Martinsburg to just under $1,300 in Huntington and Beckley.

City

Average Rate

Charleston

$1,262.90

Huntington

$1,297.57

Morgantown

$1,184.44

Fairmont

$1,213.11

Weirton

$1,186.76

Martinsburg

$1,125.68

Beckley

$1,297.44

Clarksburg

$1,215.02

Vienna

$1,229.07

St. Albans

$1,270.24

West Virginia Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements

West Virginia state law requires all registered motor vehicle owners to maintain certain minimum coverage levels, but most drivers purchase more than the minimum requirements for added protection from lawsuits, medical expenses, and repair bills, according to the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner. The minimum requirements are:

  • Bodily Injury Liability Insurance: pays for bodily injuries to other people on your behalf. The minimum requirements are $25,000 coverage per person and $50,000 per accident for all persons.

  • Property Damage Liability Insurance: protects the driver by paying for damages to the property of other persons. The minimum requirement is $25,000. 

  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: covers the insured driver who is in an accident with a driver who has no coverage. Additionally, it would protect the insured driver who is the victim of a hit-and-run driver whose identity cannot be determined at the conclusion of an investigation. The minimum requirements are $25,000 bodily injury per person; $50,000 bodily injury per accident (all persons); and $25,000 property damage.

The state insurance commission points out that minimum requirement amounts may not be sufficient enough to cover damages that a driver is legally responsible for as the result of an auto accident. The state points out that higher limits of coverage are available to West Virginia drivers through their insurance carrier or other carriers. 

Cheapest Car Insurance in West Virginia

Note: Due to USAA's limited membership, we excluded them from this segment evaluation.

Category

Cheapest Company

Drivers with a Military Affiliation

USAA

Single Male Young Adult Drivers

State Farm

Single Female Young Adult Drivers

Geico

Married Adult Drivers

State Farm

Male Senior Drivers

Geico

Female Senior Drivers

State Farm

Drivers with Good Credit

State Farm

Drivers with Poor Credit

Nationwide

Drivers with a Clean Record

State Farm

Drivers with One Speeding Violation

State Farm

Drivers with One Accident

State Farm

Drivers with One DUI

State Farm

Low-mileage Drivers

State Farm

High-mileage Drivers

State Farm

Drivers with Low Coverage

State Farm

Drivers with High Coverage

State Farm

Drivers with Used Cars

State Farm

Drivers with New Cars

State Farm

In the U.S. News study, we examined representative West Virginia driver profiles across an aggregate comparison of men and women at age 25, 35 and 60. These driver profiles contained good credit, medium-level insurance coverage, a clean driving record and 12,000 miles driven annually. The vehicles used in the study profile are 2015 model year Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4 and the Ford F-150.This study included the six top national brand car insurance companies doing business in the state. The state insurance commission notes that there are more than 100 licensed auto insurance companies doing business in the state. 

State Farm is the cheapest insurance company in our study (aside from USAA which has limited membership) nearly across the board. A few other companies pop in as cheapest for a couple of our driver profiles, however. Nationwide is the most affordable option in our analysis for the profile with poor credit, while Geico offers the lowest representative rates for the young female driver profile and the senior male driver profile.

Why Car Insurance Rates Vary in West Virginia

Car insurance companies weigh many factors when considering and setting individual rates. The West Virginia Insurance Commissioner’s office points out that factors like your current coverage, driving record, age, sex, marital status, home address, work history, and credit history along with the make, model, and year of your vehicle are among the many variables that go into the equation. 

More importantly, the insurance commissioner points out, once a driver’s level of risk is determined, the company will group the driver with other policyholders who share the same risk characteristics. Individual pricing will reflect the company’s experience with that particular risk group.

How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in West Virginia

West Virginia has more than 100 licensed auto insurance companies doing business in the state. That gives auto insurance shoppers the opportunity to shop and compare rates and coverages. But before you begin this important shopping trip on your laptop, the state insurance commissioner’s office has some practical tips for getting the best price on the best protection, which makes sense anywhere in the country. 

First, know the coverages required and what best fits your needs. Then, get quotes from different companies in order to make comparisons. Ask about optional deductibles and available discounts. Additionally, ask friends and extended family members what their experience has been with coverages offered by certain companies. 

hjalmeida / Getty Images

You should also check for any discounts available from the companies you consider. You could get a bundling discount for having multiple drivers or vehicles insured through the same company. Having the same company for your auto insurance as well as your homeowner's, renter's, or life insurance can also score you a rate cut. Membership in some organizations like alumni associations, credit unions, or even some employers may qualify you for an affiliate discount. Another option is letting your company track your driving habits using a device that reports back on your driving habits.

Following these steps should help all West Virginia drivers get the proper insurance protection at the best price.

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Important Laws Around Auto Insurance in West Virginia 

West Virginia is not a no-fault state for car insurance. It uses the tort system where a driver will be found to be “at-fault” for causing an accident. The at-fault party and their insurance company will be required to pay damages to the victims of the car accident.

All drivers in the state must carry liability coverage as well as uninsured motorist coverage. If you are found to be driving without insurance in West Virginia, your license will be suspended for 30 days for the first offense. On subsequent offenses in a five-year time span, the license suspension is increased to 90 days.

West Virginia Driving Laws and Punishments

Like most states, West Virginia has strict laws regarding drinking and driving. A blood alcohol content (BAC) of greater than .08 is legally drunk in West Virginia. But a BAC above .05 may result in revocation of a driver’s license. Even refusing to take a breathalyzer test will result in revocation of a driver’s license.

The DMV, with support from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP), spells out the criminal penalties and administrative sanctions. For example, the first offense would carry penalties of up to six months jail time, fines ranging from $100 to $1,000, and a six-month license suspension. The third offense for a DUI in five years, will result in between one and three years in jail, fines of $3,000 to $5,000, and one year of license suspension. The administrative sanctions for a third offense for DUI may add on 12 months of an interlock device on the vehicle, depending on the type of offense.

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It is against the law in West Virginia to text while driving and to use hand-held cell phones. Additionally, drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any wireless device. Handheld device use is a primary offense, meaning a driver can be stopped by an officer for using a cell phone without committing any other moving violation. The first offense is a $100 fine; second offense is a $200 fine; and the third offense is a $300 fine. On the third and any additional convictions, three points are added to the driver’s license. 

In West Virginia, a driver may not operate a vehicle unless the driver and passengers are restrained by a seat belt meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards. Failure to do so is a primary offense and can be cited for violation of the seat belt law.

West Virginia Car Insurance FAQs

Is car insurance required in West Virginia?

Yes, automobile liability insurance, bodily injury liability insurance, and uninsured motorist insurance coverage are all required in West Virginia.

Which cars are required to be insured in West Virginia?

West Virginia law requires that all registered vehicles in the state be insured. 

When should I get car insurance in West Virginia?

Drivers must present proof of liability insurance when they register their vehicles in West Virginia, so you must have insurance before you can complete the registration process.

What happens if my car is not properly insured in West Virginia?

You can lose your license for as long as 90 days if you fail to maintain the minimum level of car insurance required in West Virginia.

Is West Virginia a no-fault state?

No, West Virginia is an at-fault state. It follows the tort system, meaning a driver will be found at fault for causing an accident. The at-fault driver and his insurance company are required to pay damages to the victim of the accident.

Do I need uninsured motorist coverage in West Virginia?

Yes, drivers in West Virginia need uninsured motorist coverage in the amounts of $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident (all persons), and $25,000 property damage. 

Is liability insurance required in West Virginia?

Yes, liability insurance is required in West Virginia. All drivers must carry bodily injury coverage at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident (all persons), along with property damage coverage at a minimum requirement of $25,000.

Does West Virginia accept digital insurance cards?

Yes, West Virginia accepts digital insurance cards.