In 2016, West Virginia enacted new mandatory auto insurance limits for drivers throughout the state. This change, the first since 1979, means that policies must cover at least $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident for bodily injuries liability, and $25,000 in liability for property damage in an accident. Motorists who purchased polices prior to 2016 can maintain their existing policies until renewal time.
You should be aware that these revisions only form one part of a comprehensive auto insurance review. Insurers and their policyholders need to understand how the relevant law relates to issues such as:
- Damages beyond policies — West Virginia is a fault-based insurance state. This means that an injured party can recover not just from their own policy, but also from the driver who is determined to be at fault. In today’s litigation environment, these calculations often go far beyond the amounts covered in polices.
- Uninsured motorist coverage — The new amounts also apply to uninsured motorist coverage, which is mandated by West Virginia law.
- Other types of optional coverage — State residents can add Med Pay to their auto insurance policy to cover a wide variety of their medical expenses. Personal Injury Protection is also available, though not required.
As in most jurisdictions, there can be detailed complications associated with the different types of auto and medical insurance. West Virginia’s reliance on a fault-based system can make things even more complex. An experienced insurance defense lawyer can explain how any type of situation will be handled under the new coverage standards.
Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe, PLLC has delivered comprehensive auto insurance defense representation to West Virginia and Ohio clients for more than 25 years. To schedule a consultation, call 304-344-0100 or contact us online.