West Virginia Car Insurance Laws
Automobile insurance in West Virginia is compulsory, meaning that residents must purchase a policy that meets predetermined limits if they wish to register an automobile or legally drive. Avoiding these requirements could be potentially hazardous for anyone in the Mountain State wishing to avoid a series of fines, or potentially worse consequences. If an individual is caught without sufficient coverage there is a chance of having one’s registration suspended. To reinstate any registration that has been lost, the motorist in question must pay a reinstatement fee of $100 and must provide proof of coverage to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. In the event that a driver’s license plates have been confiscated as a result of forgoing the necessary vehicle protection, there is an additional $50 reinstatement fee as well.
Ignoring West Virginia auto insurance laws may also result in having one’s license suspended for up to 30 days, or an even longer duration for repeat offenders. If a driver is caught without coverage for a second time, they will likely receive in an additional 90-day suspension. After this duration has passed the offending driver must pay a $50 fee in order to have the license reinstated. To avoid these consequences it is important for vehicle owners in the Mountain State to keep a WV-1 Certificate of Insurance within one’s car at all times as proof of having purchased an adequate amount of coverage.
To catch motorists who choose to forgo the required vehicle protection, the state of WV Division of Motor Vehicles goes through multiple steps to ensure motorists have met state requirements. Upon registering a vehicle the DMV verifies if a driver has the necessary coverage, and throughout the duration of registration they may choose to conduct an investigation to verify this information at any time. Additionally, state law enforcement officers may ask to see a driver’s proof of insurance during a traffic stop or after an accident. If for some reason a person chooses to file fraudulent policy information, the resulting consequences could be sever. If caught, the offending individual could face a mandatory 90-day driver’s license suspension, possible prosecution, a fine up to $1,000, and even a possible jail sentence for up to 1 year.
Remaining adequately insured in the Mountain State, however, can be simple if a motorist takes the time to shop around for the most affordable car insurance available. An absolute basic policy in West Virginia includes property damage liability with a minimum limit of $10,000 and, bodily injury liability with a limit of $20,000 for a single person and $40,000 per accident. Coverage providers are required by law to offer customers uninsured motorist protection with a minimum limit of $10,000 for property damage and $20,000/$40,000 limit for bodily injury, but residents may choose to opt out of this additional coverage.