Explore West Virginia Homeowners Insurance State Guides, Laws and Regulations before You Buy Insurance
The Mountain State lives up to its name with the highest average elevation of any state east of the Mississippi River. Nestled along the eastern U.S., West Virginia is picturesque thanks to the Appalachian Mountains. The densely forested state is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. From rock climbing and skiing, to whitewater rafting and fishing; West Virginia has an activity for everyone, regardless of season.
The state is completely landlocked, but due to its elevation and abundance of rivers, West Virginians often are plagued by dreadful floods. Another natural disaster most property owners look out for is severe storms. In fact, they are so prevalent that the northwest region of the state is affectionally deemed Lightning Alley.
What Does Homeowners and Renters Insurance Cover, and How Much Does it Cost?
West Virginians pay significantly lower than the nation’s average for homeowners insurance, and slightly more than average for renters. These respective rates are undoubtedly driven by the low probability of catastrophic loss for the state. In fact, they reveal that insurance carriers perceive the risk of loss or damage to personal property such as clothing or furniture, to be higher than that of permanent property, such as a home.
Average Homeowners and Renters Insurance Premium
Source: Insurance Information Institute (2017)
Majority of the property risks that impact West Virginians are covered by the standard homeowners insurance policy. Damage from wind or snow, theft, and a host of other perils are generally covered in a normal property policy. However, flood is explicitly excluded. Given the Mountain State’s uneven terrain, and penchant for flash flooding, property owners should supplement their homeowners insurance policy with one specifically for flood. West Virginians can find flood coverage with the National Flood Insurance Program.
Which Property Insurance Carrier Should I Choose?
The homeowners insurance market in West Virginia is fairly concentrated, with the top two insurance carriers in the region controlling over 44% of the market, and the top five controlling close to 70%. Majority of the top carriers in the market are large national and international insurance companies. When seeking to find the right insurance partner, make sure to include a few regional carriers. Although these companies may not have the financial strength of their larger international counterparts, they often are able to tailor coverage to a customer’s specific risks and provide consistent, reliable customer service. Whichever homeowners insurance carrier you choose, ensure that they have a solid reputation in addressing claims and settling them in a timely manner.
Top 5 Home Insurance Carriers in West Virginia
Erie Insurance Group
Nationwide Mutual Group
Source: Insurance Information Institute (2019)
The Mountain State is tree-laden, with picturesque views of the Appalachian Mountains. As a result, its visitors and those that are lucky enough to call it home are never lacking in outdoor activities. West Virginia’s natural beauty is matched by its favorable homeowners insurance rates. Unfortunately, renters pay slightly more for insurance than the national average.