West Virginia homeowners insurance
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Homeowners insurance protects the value of West Virginia residences. As of 2023, the value of the average home in the Mountain State was $143,697. Learn about the risks that weather patterns and property crime pose to homes in this state and the impact of these factors on the average cost of West Virginia homeowners insurance. VIU by HUB makes it easy to compare policy quotes and provides expert advice to help West Virginians find the best coverage.
Why West Virginia homeowners need insurance
Several risks can affect the condition and value of West Virginia residences. Severe weather, including supercell thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes, impacts this mid-Atlantic state. The following statistics indicate why homeowners insurance is a good investment in the Mountain State:
• On average, two confirmed tornadoes touch down in West Virginia every year.
• There are six to eight ground lightning strikes per square kilometer in the Parkersburg area each year.
• Supercell thunderstorms can bring large hail.
In addition to the direct dangers of severe weather, heavy rain also has unpredictable effects on the mountainous landscape and surface water in West Virginia. Runoff resulting from as little as two inches of rain can cause flash flooding in valleys. Most homeowners insurance policies exclude flooding. Homeowners can obtain flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program or private carriers.
The average monthly rainfall across the state is over three inches in May, June and July. Charleston also averages over three inches of rain in April and August. The average rainfall statewide exceeds two inches in most months. Heavy rain and high winds can down trees that fall on homes.
The requirements for West Virginia homeowners insurance
The state government of West Virginia does not require homeowners to carry insurance. Mortgage lenders typically require home buyers to maintain at least Broad or Special form policies until they finish making payments. Owners of homes in areas with a high risk of flooding who have federally backed mortgages may also have mandatory purchase requirements for Flood Insurance.
Flood coverage reduces the financial risk of owning a home on a floodplain. Refer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps or state government-maintained resources based on these maps, such as the West Virginia Flood Tool, to determine whether you need Flood Insurance in addition to your homeowners insurance policy.
Homeowners insurance policy features and options
West Virginia homeowners insurance covers a wide range of perils. Basic policies can reduce the out-of-pocket costs of repairing damage to your Dwelling and may offer options for replacing damaged or stolen Personal Property. Broad form policies typically cover Personal Property and have options for additional Liability Coverage. Both of these policy forms usually only cover named perils. Special form and Comprehensive home insurance are more likely to be open peril policies that cover all risks except for stated exclusions. Learn more about options for homeowners insurance that can reduce your exposure to financial risk.
While the Basic homeowners form provides coverage for Personal Property on a depreciated value basis, Replacement Value may be available with a Broad or Comprehensive form. The limits for repairing or replacing the Contents of your home are likely to increase with your overall level of coverage. Check the limits for this part of your policy. Also, because homeowners policies limit coverage on valuable property, such as fine art, antiques or jewelry, ask your VIU by HUB Advisor about special coverage for these types of items.
Liability Coverage is included in homeowners policies. This pays for losses due to accidents that result in injuries to other people on your property and can limit your exposure to risk. Higher limits of liability are available for higher premiums and with umbrella policies, policyholders can add additional liability limits that apply over and above the liability limits of the homeowners policy.
Insuring outbuildings on your property, such as a detached garage or toolshed, can be an option under Special forms and Comprehensive policies.
Most homeowners insurance policies exclude certain types of damage such as flooding or sewer backups. Even if you are not in a flood zone, having Flood Insurance in a separate policy from an insurance company or from the National Flood Insurance Programs is a good idea.
The cost of homeowners insurance in West Virginia
The cost of West Virginia homeowners insurance is about average compared to all the states. Several factors affect the cost of insuring a residence in West Virginia:
• Home age, value and location.
• Type of construction.
• Proximity to natural hazards like lakes and rivers.
• Policy deductibles.
• The policyholder's credit history.
• Home security features.
The age of a home can indicate whether the residence meets current building codes. In some cases, modernizing the electrical, heating or plumbing systems of older homes can lower rates. Policy limits and rates should correspond to the value of a home and the estimated cost of rebuilding. The cost of rebuilding may make insuring your home on a Replacement Cost basis, rather than a depreciated basis, a good option to consider. If you have a mortgage on your home, the Replacement Cost on the dwelling is likely a requirement from your lender.
In addition to median home values in the area surrounding a home, other data, such as rates of property crime, factor into quotes. That’s why investing in home security or fire alarm system can lower the cost of homeowners insurance coverage.
This information is intended for general informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.