Uninsured Motorist Coverage in West Virginia: Do You Need It?

West Virginia drivers must have uninsured motorist coverage as part of their minimum insurance requirements. Learn more here.
Written by Rob Shapiro
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
West Virginia requires all drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage with minimum policy limits of $25,000 for uninsured property losses and $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for uninsured bodily injury damages.
West Virginia lawmakers mandate a basic level of insurance for every driver, which includes
liability insurance
and uninsured motorist coverage (UM). The latter coverage type is meant to negate losses incurred from accidents caused by uninsured drivers in West Virginia. 
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Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in West Virginia?

Uninsured motorist coverage
is legally required for all drivers in West Virginia. While some states don’t require it, all drivers should consider adding it to protect themselves. The reality is you never know who you’re sharing the road with, and an accident with an uninsured driver can quickly become a nightmare.
West Virginia has an uninsured driver rate of 9.2%. This is relatively low, but it doesn’t consider those with only the bare minimum coverage, which is often insufficient in covering damages after an accident. 
Even a
fender bender
can be costly. Vehicle repairs, medical costs, lost wages—the bills can pile up fast. Getting in an accident with an uninsured motorist makes a bad situation worse. You will be stuck paying for all of your own costs unless you want to go the expensive route of hiring a personal injury lawyer—which still wouldn’t guarantee recouping your losses. 
Don’t worry if you have to invest in UM coverage. It’s usually cheap and effectively fills in the gaps created by another driver’s lack of liability insurance. It also works to supplement your own
personal injury protection
(PIP) coverage (if you have it). 
UM coverage being mandatory isn’t a bad thing and you’ll be thankful that it’s required if you ever need it. West Virginia drivers may only have to fork over an additional $50 to $75 every year to protect themselves against uninsured drivers. 

How uninsured motorist insurance works in West Virginia

The policy of every West Virginia driver must include $25,000 for uninsured
property damage
and $25,000/$50,000 for uninsured bodily injury per person/per accident.
In West Virginia, the average
ER visit
costs around $1,127. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include other costs like medication, specialists, loss of income, or home care. If you only have the minimum amount of coverage, you could reach your policy’s limit before you even get admitted. 
We wouldn’t recommend settling for a basic policy, even though it’s often the cheapest. It offers a minimal amount of protection while leaving you vulnerable to a lot of risks. Saving up front on your policy can cost you more money down the road. 

Do you need underinsured motorist coverage?

There’s no question that it makes the most sense to include underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) in addition to UM coverage in your policy. Every provider offers underinsured motorist coverage, and some even include it for free for policyholders who invest in higher levels of uninsured motorist coverage.
It’s recommended that you get both
types of insurance
to ensure you have the best protection against drivers who lack adequate insurance. 

What’s the difference?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you against drivers with no car insurance policy. On the other hand, underinsured motorist coverage protects you against drivers who only have a basic policy or lack enough coverage to compensate for your policy
These two coverage types also differ in what they cover:
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage is for medical expenses sustained by your passengers from an accident with an uninsured driver.
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage is for medical expenses if the other driver involved in your accident has insufficient liability insurance to cover these costs. 

Why it’s important

For starters, UM coverage is required under
West Virginia car insurance law
. It’s important to have it so you don’t experience any legal ramifications
West Virginia drivers should still be prudent despite the state’s low rate of uninsured motorists. There’s always the chance of getting in an accident with an uninsured driver, an underinsured driver, or someone from a state that has no minimum insurance requirements

What it covers

Uninsured or underinsured motorist vehicle insurance usually covers the following:
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Long-term healthcare needs like specialists or physical therapy
  • Home renovations to accommodate any injuries or disabilities that resulted from the accident
  • Services your injuries are preventing you from doing like yard work or laundry 
  • Medical devices and equipment
You could also get reimbursed for pain and suffering but this isn’t a given
Investing in both UM and UIM coverage can soften the blow of just about any non-fatal car accident. It’s affordable and easy and you’ll feel better knowing you have it. Why add more stress to an already traumatic experience? 

How to make a claim 

after a car accident
, you need to take certain steps to make sure you won’t have an issue submitting a claim later on. Make sure you exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver or drivers. If you’re unsure if there’s something you’ll need (license plate number or photos of the damage, for instance) be diligent and get it. 
Once you get home, immediately file a UM/UIM claim with your provider. Delaying the process could lead to problems down the road. When you speak to your insurance company, make sure you give every detail and then submit all the requested documentation
These documents can include but are not limited to:
  • Police report
  • Accident report
  • Witness statements
  • Medical bills
 The more documents you submit, the more likely you will get a resolution that satisfies you.
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Why it’s always a good idea to have uninsured motorist insurance in West Virginia

West Virginia helps its drivers avoid a bad situation by mandating a relatively extensive basic level of insurance. If you’re worried about having a high rate before you even personalize your policy, turn to the
app to lower your car insurance costs. 
Jerry can help by comparing rates from over 50 providers in minutes and delivering the best deals straight to you.

West Virginia’s bodily injury liability insurance

West Virginia's
bodily injury liability coverage
protects you from having to pay expensive bills for people you harmed in a car accident.
While this protects drivers, it also eases the deluge experienced by providers trying to process complicated claims. Another benefit is healthcare workers won’t be in a position to turn patients away due to inadequate coverage. 
If you invest in UM/UIM coverage but are in a situation where it’s not enough, you can pay a personal injury lawyer to initiate a lawsuit against the other party. A personal injury lawsuit is very expensive, however, and can drag on for a long time.
A personal injury attorney in West Virginia will likely run you between $102 and $292 per hour—a lot more than paying for both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Hit-and-run accidents in West Virginia

Hit-and-run accidents
happen in every corner of the country, and they can be devastating. After an accident, you’ll have no recourse if a driver leaves the scene because their coverage goes with them. You will be responsible for all expenses and can not file a claim with the other party’s insurance provider.
This is the reason why uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage matters. Forget the fact that it’s compulsory and think about how much better you’ll feel knowing you won’t go into debt thanks to a careless driver without a conscience.

How to save on uninsured motorist coverage in West Virginia

Get the policy you want and then offset the cost by signing up for Jerry, a
trustworthy licensed broker app
that will lower your car insurance costs! 
works with many of the top-rated insurance companies in the country. We’ll find you lower rates in 45 seconds or less. All you have to do is browse real-time quotes collected just for you. You will experience top-of-the-line ease of shopping and exceptional customer service.
Are you wondering how much lower your rate will be by shopping with Jerry? Let’s put it this way, the savings can easily fund your UM/UIM coverage with money to spare! 
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