Auto insurance is a highly regulated industry. The laws and rules governing this industry vary from state to state. Some apply uniquely to West Virginia. A lack of knowledge of these rules by insurers and their insured can lead to coverage disputes. The points set out below highlight some of the insurance coverage disputes in West Virginia and highlight the need to use a dedicated insurance defense attorney well versed in state requirements.
- Every insurance policy has its limits — Despite minimum mandatory requirements for all automobile insurance policies issued in West Virginia, a policy will always have exclusions. Standard policy coverage may be insufficient and umbrella policies may be necessary.
- Diminished value cannot be claimed in every state — West Virginia is one of the states where insurers are obligated to consider diminished value. Diminished value is, for example, the difference between the value of a car immediately before an accident and its value following repairs. With valuation being an inexact science, insurance companies will apply a range of factors in assessing replacement values often leading to disputes with the insured.
- Who pays the sales tax is a state by state issue — West Virginia is one of a number of states where insurers are obligated to pay the sales tax on a new or used car purchased as a replacement vehicle. In other states, the sales tax is the customer’s responsibility.
The Kentucky insurance coverage dispute team at Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe acts for insurers and their clients across West Virginia and Ohio as well as Kentucky, and are used to interpreting clauses in insurance policies to identify coverage issues. If you have an insurance dispute, contact our offices today.