West Virginia Home Insurance

Fran
Fran Majidi
November 3, 2020

Homeowners Insurance in West Virginia: Complete Consumer Guide

If you own a home in West Virginia or are thinking of doing so, we’ve got some great information for you. First, here are some fun facts about the state. During the Civil War, West Virginia was born of sectional differences between North and South. It was originally supposed to be called Kanawha. West Virginia is very mountainous and is nicknamed the Mountain State because it’s the only state completely within the Appalachian. It is the most forested state, with the Monongahela National Forest covering nearly a million acres across 10 counties. The oldest sycamore tree lived here and fell in 2010, when it was estimated to be more than 500 years old. If you love apples, the Golden Delicious Apple originated here. West Virginia was also home to a secret bunker for Congress to use if there was a nuclear war. It is now decommissioned and open to the public.

Types of Homeowners Insurance Policies in West Virginia

Homeowners insurance usually covers fire, windstorm or other types of physical damage, which will be listed in your declarations page. Also note that some perils are excluded, including flooding and earthquakes, which both are sold as separate stand-alone insurance policies. Home insurance also covers theft of personal property as well as legal liability for injury or damages caused by you, any household members and pets.

There are a few types of homeowners insurance policies, so choose which one fits your needs.

The Basic Form (HO-1) protects your home and personal property, which includes appliances, furniture, clothing, etcetera. You are insured against fire or lightning; removal of property endangered by peril; windstorm or hail; vandalism or malicious mischief; theft; damage from vehicles and aircraft; explosion; riot or civil commotion; glass breakage and personal liability.

The Broad Form (HO-2) protects you from all that’s listed above as well as building collapse, freezing of or accidental discharge of water or steam from within plumbing, heating or air conditioning systems or appliances. It also covers falling objects; weight of ice, snow or sleet; rupture or bursting of steam or hot water heating systems; comprehensive personal liability.

The Special Form (HO-3) covers your home for “all risks” except those specifically excluded, which include earthquake and flood (which must be bought separately) for losses to the home or other structures like garage and shed, and all perils covered in Form 2. It also covers damage or loss of personal property and comprehensive personal liability.

The Comprehensive Form (HO-5) insures the dwelling and personal property except for certain perils as stated in the policy, including earthquake and flood, which are standalone policies that need to be bought separately. This is the most expensive homeowners policy you can buy.

Special Condominium Form (HO-6) covers condo unit owners. It is not sold by all insurers. It only covers personal property for all perils listed in The Broad Form 2.

What factors affect rates on homeowners insurance in West Virginia?

West Virginia is prone to flooding, which can only be insured with a flood insurance policy. It is not covered by a standard home insurance policy, not even a comprehensive form. Other threats factor into homeowners insurance rates here: hail storms, thunderstorms with high winds and heavy snow. The value of your home affects your rate greatly and so does the crime rate in your neighborhood.

But the most important factor that affects your homeowners insurance rate is the type of construction. There are 5 main ones, and the most flame retardant or flame resistant materials are factored in for cheaper rates:

  1. Frame: Homes with exterior walls, floors and roof of combustible construction, such as wood.
  2. Ordinary, Joisted or Brick Joisted (also called Joisted Masonry): Homes with exterior walls of brick, concrete, concrete block or stone. The roof, floors, and supporting joists, beams and columns are combustible wood construction.
  3. All Steel or Pre-engineered: In these homes, both the roof and walls are made of steel or aluminum sheet metal.
  4. Masonry Noncombustible: Homes that have walls made of masonry materials like brick, hollow concrete block or concrete. Floors and roof, including supports are entirely non-combustible.
  5. Fire Resistive: Homes designed to withstand the damaging effects of fire, typically about 2 hours.

Top 5 disasters in the State of West Virginia

There have been 30 counts of federally declared flood disasters in West Virginia since 1953, making flood the top peril in the state, followed by severe storms, hurricane, Snow, and fire disasters. Here's are the top 5 disasters in this state:

Rank Declaration Title Disaster Number
1Flood30
2Severe Storms25
3Hurricane5
4Snow4
5Fire3

Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

How much is homeowners insurance in West Virginia?

The average homeowners insurance rate in West Virginia is $1,101. Natural disasters make buying home insurance both necessary and expensive.

Source: The average cost of homeowners insurance by state, Business Insider.

Crime Rate: Is West Virginia a safe state?

Violent crime in West Virginia is four points below the national average of 12%. On average property crime rate is 14.9, which is quite a bit below the nationwide rate of 22 incidents per 1,000.

2019 Crime in West Virginia Crime Number Crime Rate*
Property Crime9,0931,571.1
Burglary1,396241.2
Larceny-Theft6,9841,206.7

*Rate per 100,000 inhabitants

Safest Cities in West Virginia by Property Crime*

  • Weirton, WV has a population of 18,296 with a Property Crime rate of 4.8 per 1k. The city average home value is approximately $91,304.
  • Morgantown, WV has a population of 31,281 with a Property Crime rate of 15.6 per 1k. The average home value there is about $201,661.
  • Huntington, WV came in third as the safest city in the state of West Virginia and has a population of 45,675 with a Property Crime rate of 39.2 per 1k. Its home value averaged at about $87,413.

*Based on FBI Uniform Crime Reporting 2019, some cities have been eliminated because of changes in the state/local agency's reporting practices and cities with populations under 10,000. Zillow’s State/Cities average home value for a single family home or a condo as of Sept. 2020.

Compare Home Insurance Rates in West Virginia

Top homeowners insurance companies in West Virginia

Allstate has an A+ rating from AM Best for financial strength and 3/5 rating by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction. They offer online claims tools for self service but some areas have coverage limits.

USAA is rated A++ for financial strength by AM Best and got 5/5 by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction. This coverage is only available to active military members and their families as well as veterans.

Erie Insurance got an A+ from AM Best and 5/5 by J.D.. Power for customer satisfaction. With Erie, you can customize your policy according to your budget and needs. Multi-policy discounts average around 20%.

West Virginia Home Insurance FAQs

Does state farm offer home insurance in West Virginia?

Yes, State Farm got an A++ from AM Best for financial strength and 4/5 from J.D. Power for customer satisfaction for homeowners insurance. You’ll find comprehensive coverage for homeowners and unique add-ons like identity theft and inflation protection. Ask about discounts because there are several.

Is the home covered by homeowners insurance?

Home and belongings are generally covered by home insurance. Dwelling coverage is the portion that covers the home and any other structures like sheds and garages.

Do homeowners in West Virginia require home insurance?

Homeowners insurance is optional if you’ve already paid off your mortgage, but it’s required by your lender if you’re still making payments. Even when you don’t have to have home insurance, it’s a good idea to protect your asset in case you need expensive repairs or replacing of belongings. Also, if anyone is ever injured on your property, you will have coverage to pay for medical expenses and legal fees.

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