|West Virginia is regarded as the northernmost southern state and the southernmost northern state.
The only way for motorists in West Virginia to establish financial responsibility is to purchase automobile insurance that equals at least the minimum statewide insurance requirements. Insurance must be purchased from an insurance carrier authorized to sell insurance in West Virginia. West Virginia's minimum auto insurance requirementsare as follows:
For property damage: $25,000
For injury or death to one person in one accident: $20,000
For two injuries or deaths in one accident: $40,000
Motorists must carry proof of insurance in their vehicles at all times. Failure to provide proof of insurance may result in registration suspension and license suspension for 30 days or more. Drivers will be required to pay a $100 registration reinstatement fee to the DMV, a fee of $50 to the state police and a $50 fee for license reinstatement.
Auto Insurance Fraud in West Virginia
According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, insurance crimes are a billion dollar problem. Nationally, losses from insurance fraud amount to more than $80 billion per year. Insurance fraud robs West Virginia's economy of millions of dollars every year. Here are examples of the types of insurance fraud that people in the state of West Virginia must battle with:
- Exaggerating about accident injuries on a claim form in order to recover the insurance deductible.
- Hiding a car in a storage unit and then reporting to the insurance company that it was "stolen."
- "Paper" accidents. No accident actually occurs. It is an accident on paper only.
- Issuing fraudulent insurance policies.
- Altering the insurance card for an expired policy to make it reflect that the insurance is still in effect.
- Referring accident victims to attorneys, doctors and repair shops for a fee.
- Staged accidents.
West Virginia's Alcohol-Related Accidents
Every year in the state of West Virginia, there are approximately 350 fatal automobile accidents. Roughly 115 or 32 percent of these accidents are alcohol related. Nearly 30 percent of all high school students, nationally, ride with an underage driver at least once a year who is legally drunk. This is almost one-third of all the high school students in America.
The blood alcohol level (BAC) in West Virginia is 0.08 for adults 21 and over. For drivers under the age of 21, the BAC requirement is 0.02 percent.
Unusual West Virginia Laws
West Virginia has some unique, antiquated laws still on the books. A few of them follow:
- It is illegal in West Virginia to nap on a train.
- It is against West Virginia law to take road kill home for supper.
- It is illegal in West Virginia to whistle under water.
Driving in West Virginia
Anyone who enjoys the quaint countryside will enjoy taking a motor tour through West Virginia. The central part of the state has roadways meandering through small college towns and passing wildlife centers, covered bridges and unspoiled wooded hills. Heading to the north, motorists will pass mineral springs, baths and shops in the historic town of Berkeley Springs.