Credit scores are often used by auto insurers to determine how risky a person is to cover. Poor credit history is believed to be a strong indicator of a person’s likelihood to file a claim. West Virginia, like most other states, allows insurance carriers to use this information. But, State law prohibits an insurer from declining to issue an auto policy solely on the basis of a person’s adverse credit report or insurance scoring.
Being a good driver can save you money on your car insurance. Generally, to qualify for a good-driver discount, you must remain free of accidents and moving violations for 3 years. However, your insurance carrier may have different requirements, so inquire about this discount when taking out your policy. Other common discounts you can ask about include:
- Anti-Lock Brake
- Anti-Theft Device
- Full Pay
- Good Student
- Home Ownership
- Multiple Car
- Multiple Policy
- New Car
- Passive Restraint
- Resident Student
- Utility Discount
- Vehicle Safety
Yes, showing digital proof of insurance is allowed in West Virginia. Law enforcement has the right to request proof of insurance whenever they want, which means you always need to have a paper or plastic ID ready or be able to show the details of your auto insurance policy on your phone or other mobile devices.
Like in most other states, drivers in West Virginia are legally required to maintain minimum coverage on their vehicles in order to legally drive. If your coverage lapses for any reason, you can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and face potential fines, license revocation, and even jail time.
It’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle in West Virginia at the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old
West Virginia considers BAC levels of 0.15% to be aggravated DUI. This conviction carries harsher penalties than driving with a lower BAC.
Refusing to take a breathalyzer or other chemical test can result in the revocation of your driver’s license in West Virginia. If a law enforcement officer suspects you’re driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’re required to submit to a screening to show your BAC levels. You’ve agreed to this testing by signing for your driver’s license.
DUI laws in West Virginia have undergone changes in recent years and will continue to do so. Currently, the law states that drivers with a BAC of 0.08% to 0.149% face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $100 to $500. Jail time is not mandatory and is up to the sentencing court. Additionally, an administrative license suspension will be in effect for 90 days and until the mandatory DUI classes and reinstatement fees have been taken care of.
Aggravated DUI (0.15% or greater) carries a minimum sentence of 48 hours and up to 6 months in jail, plus a fine of $200 to $1,000. License suspension is for 45 days with mandatory participation in the state’s ignition interlock program. Being under 21, a conviction of a second or subsequent DUI charge, and injuring or killing someone while driving under the influence will result in greater penalties.
Driver improvement courses are typically taken to dismiss traffic tickets or remove points, but some insurance companies offer premium discounts to those who take a course voluntarily. Check with your insurer to see what discounts they offer and to determine what courses are eligible.
There are many ways to cut the cost of your West Virginia auto insurance, but if you don’t speak with your carrier about discounts and you don’t plan ahead, you can miss out on significant savings.
Some ways to save include choosing a vehicle with automatic seat belts, airbags, and anti-theft devices, and by using your vehicle only for pleasure and not for work commutes. Keeping an eye on your credit and avoiding accidents and moving violations are other things to focus on, and choosing a higher deductible will also lower your monthly payments. And, of course, shop around and compare rates every time you renew your policy.
West Virginia motorists are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage in the minimum amounts of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage and $25,000 in property damage coverage This type of insurance protects against incurred costs resulting from a hit-and-run accident or one caused by an uninsured driver.