WV Insurance Requirements
West Virginia state law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, as well as uninsured motorist insurance on their vehicle. The minimum required insurance coverage is as follows:
- $20,000 for Bodily Injury Liability per person
- $40,000 for Bodily Injury Liability per accident
- $10,000 for Property Damage Liability for damage to property
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage of $20,000/$40,000
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage coverage of $10,000
These limits are the state minimum requirements but drivers may also choose higher limits and additional coverage, such as medical payments coverage, underinsured motorist coverage and physical damage coverage for their vehicle. Having additional coverage could protect you and your assets in the event of a serious accident.
The state of West Virginia follows a Tort system which means that in the case of an accident, someone must be at fault. The person who is at fault must pay for all the damages and this is usually handled by ones insurance company. Because West Virginia is a Tort state it is usually recommended by insurance companies that the driver carry higher insurance limits than the state minimums.
Drivers must carry proof of insurance and present it to any law enforcement officer if they stop you for a traffic violation, if you are involved in an accident or for any other reason. Also the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will verify your insurance information when you register your vehicle or when you renew the registration. The DMV might even request that you provide proof of insurance at random throughout the year. The most common form of proof is an insurance ID card or the actual insurance policy paperwork.
WV SR 22 Requirements
The state of West Virginia requires an SR22 filing, in conjunction with your liability insurance policy, for three (3) years following a drunk driving conviction. The state has drunk driving laws that makes it illegal for a driver to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. West Virginia has lower BAC limits for drivers of commercial vehicles (.04) and for drivers under the age of 21 (.02), or zero tolerance. The West Virginia DUI law also prohibits the operation of a vehicle by drivers under the influence of narcotics, inhalants and other intoxicants.
If you are convicted of drunk driving in West Virginia you will be sentenced to jail for at least 24 hours, fined at least $100, your driver’s license will be suspended for up to 6 months and you must complete a safety and treatment program. Penalties for a first DUI conviction in West Virginia are as follows:
- Jail up to 6 months
- Jail from 2 days to 6 months if the BAC is .15 or higher
- Jail from 2 days to 12 months if a minor under the age of 16 is in the vehicle
- A fine from $100 to $500
- A fine from $100 to $1,000 if the BAC is .15 or higher
- A fine from $200 to $1,000 if a minor under the age of 16 is in the vehicle
- Suspension of your license for 15 days
- Suspension of your license for 45 days if the BAC is .15 or higher
- Installation of an ignition interlock device is possible
- Successfully complete a Safety and Treatment Program before license reinstated
Subsequent DUI convictions cause the penalties to increase.
West Virginia has an implied consent law which means that you have given your consent to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine if stopped by an officer and he suspects that you are driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Refusal to submit to the test will result in your driver’s license being suspended for a period of 1 year.
The information contained in the above article is intended as informational and does not constitute legal or insurance advice. Insurance requirements in the state of West Virginia are subject to change. Visit the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner at http://www.wvinsurance.gov/
or the West Virginia Department of Transportation at http://www.transportation.wv.gov/dmv/Pages/default.aspx
for current information.
Have you had a DUI or other driving offense that required form SR-22 insurance filing or are you getting car insurance for the first time? Serenity Insurance can help – we offer car insurance in 47 states for both preferred and high risk drivers. Call us toll free today at 1-800-774-0520 or use our car insurance quote