What is Mandatory Liability Insurance Coverage?

July 19, 2022

You probably already know that every vehicle is required to have insurance coverage in West Virginia. However, do you know what types of insurance are required?

If you are new to shopping around for insurance coverages for a vehicle, then you are going to see plenty of terms you may not quite understand. One of these terms is “mandatory liability insurance.”

Here, we want to discuss the types of liability insurance coverage that you must carry if you own a vehicle in West Virginia. Failing to adequately insure your vehicle could lead to a host of legal consequences.

What is a Liability Insurance?

The term “liability insurance” refers to the type of insurance a person can purchase to provide them with protection against claims made against them for injuries or property damage. Liability insurance is not relegated just to vehicles. Individuals can buy liability insurance if they own a business, a home, if they rent, etc.

Liability insurance is often required (mandatory) in various situations, including vehicle ownership. Every state around the country requires vehicle owners to purchase and maintain a certain amount of liability insurance.

Mandatory Liability Insurance in West Virginia

Every driver in West Virginia is required to carry a few types of liability insurance: bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

  • Bodily injury liability coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident
  • Property damage liability coverage of $25,000 per incident

It is important to point out that these are the minimums that individuals are required to carry in order to remain legally insured in West Virginia. It strongly encouraged for all individuals to consider purchasing higher amounts of property damage and bodily injury liability coverage. If you cause an accident and the injury or damage expenses rise above your policy minimums, the other party could file a lawsuit against you in civil court to recover more compensation above and beyond those minimums. This means that a successful personal injury or property damage claim could tap into your personal assets. If you have a higher amount of coverage, this lessens the likelihood that that will happen.

Unlike other states around the country, West Virginia does require individuals to carry two other types of insurance, though it is technically not considered liability insurance. This includes uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and uninsured motorist property damage coverage. These two types of coverages are designed to kick in if an accident occurs if the at-fault driver does not have the required liability insurance.

Proving Negligence

Liability insurance coverage is designed to pay if you are the one responsible for causing a vehicle accident. After an accident occurs, there will be an investigation in order to determine exactly what happened so that your insurance carrier can pay out the required amount of compensation to the other party or parties involved. After an incident, your insurance carrier will conduct their own investigation into the incident, typically speaking to you and any other individual who sustained injuries or property damage.

If you have been involved in a vehicle accident, we strongly encourage you to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer who can investigate what happened and help determine the best step forward financially.


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