About West Virginia Insurance Laws, Health Insurance and Regulations…
The West Virginia insurance industry is quite strong despite the relatively small size of the state. The industry is capable of meeting the needs of consumers and efficiently adapting to changes that come to the state’s market. The industry is governed by a set of regulations that are upheld by the West Virginia Insurance Commission. Insurance companies that do not comply with the state’s regulations run the risk of facing serious fines and losing their license to do business within the state of West Virginia.
The West Virginia Insurance Commission has determined that all drivers within the state must hold insurance coverage for their vehicles. Because of the financial implications concerning auto insurance coverage, the agency has also determined that drivers may carry a minimum level of coverage if they choose. This coverage must account for: $20,000 for one accident, one injury/death; $40,000 for one accident, two injuries/deaths; and $10,00 for property damage. Drivers are not required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Drivers must provide proof of insurance coverage when registering new vehicles in the state. Failure to maintain coverage can result in fines and the suspension of a drivers license.
According to the West Virginia Insurance Commission, the average cost of auto insurance in the state is approximately $1,700, roughly in line with the national average.
West Virginia is home to a strong property insurance industry, wherein insurance companies offer protection for both renters and owners, as well as businesses of many kinds. This sector is government by the West Virginia Insurance Commission, which works to ensure that rates for insurance coverage remain fair. Homeowners insurance is not required by state law, but homeowners are strongly encouraged to purchase protection for their homes. Floods are relatively common throughout the state during periods of heavy rain, so flood insurance coverage is highly recommended.
West Virginia boasts of a population of 1.7 million, which is relatively small when compared to larger states. Nearly 14% of this population currently lacks health insurance coverage, with the most common reason for this being financial in nature. In 2014, all U.S. citizens will be required to hold health insurance policies by federal law. By law, states are required to host health insurance exchange programs, which will provide access to affordable policies.
In April 2011, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law a legislation that established an exchange system for the state. The exchange is called the West Virginia Health Benefits Exchange. Though the exchange has been approved, the state is currently discussing whether it should continue to pursue building the program on its own or if it should enter into a partnership with the federal government. The West Virginia Insurance Commission favors a state-run exchange to more easily meet the needs of consumers.
West Virginia Insurance Resources:
West Virginia Insurance Commissioner: Michael D. Riley
West Virginia Department of Insurance Website: http://www.wvinsurance.gov/
West Virginia Insurance Licensing Info: http://www.wvinsurance.gov/AgentLicensing.aspx
File Insurance Complaint:http://www.wvinsurance.gov/ConsumerServices/ConsumerServices.aspx