West Virginia Auto Insurance: Driving In The State
The state song "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver is a fitting tribute to the experience of driving through West Virginia. In fact, the WV state slogan "Almost Heaven" comes directly from the opening line of that famous song. But before you hit the road to experience for yourself the "Wild and Wonderful" Mountain State, you need to have the proper West Virginia auto insurance. It's quick and easy to get your car insurance quote online.
It's very important to ensure that your brakes are in good working condition when driving in West Virginia. You'll encounter steep grades when descending highways and byways that may require you to ride your brakes for long periods, which will cause them to become hot and less effective. One tip is to downshift to a lower gear on steep hills and let the engine slow you down, which can help take the strain off the brakes.
Fog is also a common hazard, as it frequently covers mountain peaks and settles in the valleys. Drive with caution during fog, use your headlights so others can see you and leave enough distance between you and the car in front of you to avoid a collision. Many mountain roads are narrow and do not have posted speed limits, so watch for large, wide trucks and be mindful of your speed when handling sharp curves.
West Virginia Auto Insurance Requirements
West Virginia drivers are required to carry at least the following car insurance coverages and limits:
Bodily Injury Liability: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident
Property Damage Liability: $10,000 per accident
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: $10,000 per accident
Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident*
*Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage can be rejected in writing.
West Virginia Graduated Driver's License Program For Teen Drivers
The first phase of the West Virginia Graduated Driver's License program is the Level 1 Learner's Permit, or Instruction Permit. To be eligible for a Level 1 Permit, a teen must be at least 15 years old and pass a vision screening and a written knowledge test. Applicants must also submit a school driver eligibility certificate and a permission form signed by a parent or legal guardian. Permit holders may only drive between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. They must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older, and they may not have more than two additional passengers who are not family members.
The second phase is the Level 2 License, or Intermediate License. Applicants must be at least 16 years old. They must have held the Level 1 Permit for at least 180 days without any convictions. Applicants must also have either completed a state-approved driver’s education course or logged 50 hours or more behind the wheel, 10 of which must be nighttime driving. Applicants will be required to pass a road skills test within three attempts. Level 2 drivers are allowed to drive unaccompanied between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.; however, outside of those hours, they must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older. During the first six month period, Level 2 licensees are not allowed any passengers under age 20 who are not family members. During the second six month period, Level 2 licensees are allowed only one passenger under age 20 who is not a family member.
The third phase is the Level 3 License. Drivers are eligible to apply for a Level 3 License if they are age 17 or older and have held a Level 2 License for at least 12 months without conviction. There are no additional driving restrictions on this license, but it will be color-coded to reflect the driver's age: red if the driver is under 18, blue if they are between ages 18-20. At age 21, drivers are eligible to receive a regular Class E license.