Hollay Ghadery Last Updated On: August 23, 2023

Protect Your Home with Homeowners Insurance in West Virginia

If “Take me home, country roads” leads you to West Virginia, you’re lucky. West Virginia is a beautiful place to call home, but it might not be so lovely if you’re left footing the bill after a severe storm destroys your roof or siding. 

This is where home insurance comes into play. If you own a home in West Virginia, you’re going to want to keep reading for a breakdown of all things home insurance, from cost to coverage types, discounts to deductibles, and more.

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West Virginia Weather & How It Impacts Your Home Insurance

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West Virginia has been lovingly referred to as “almost heaven”, and while the state is beautifully picturesque, it still gets its fair share of natural disasters that can wreak havoc on your home and property. 

First and foremost is flooding. Flooding is a common occurrence in West Virginia, whether it’s caused by too much rain, dam and levee failures, overflowing rivers, and city planning issues near floodplains. Whatever the cause, flooding is an expensive problem that you’ll want to be aware of when it comes to home insurance. 

West Virginia doesn’t see earthquakes or tornadoes, luckily, but the state does see powerful storms. These severe storms bring rain, thunderstorms, hail, wind, and supercells. The northwest of the state is even referred to as “Lightning Alley”, given the frequency of lightning. These storms bring property damage and power outages, so it’s important to be prepared. 

But that’s not all. West Virginia sees a high number of wildfires each year and is the state with the highest landslide damage per capita. And although the landlocked state escapes the wrath of hurricanes, West Virginia still sees the aftermath of wind, rain, landslides, and power outages from hurricanes in other states from June through November. 

West Virginia is a stunning place to live, but residents need to know what to be on the lookout for in terms of severe weather. They also need to understand how these perils impact their home insurance. Keep reading for that and more. 

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Options for Home Insurance in West Virginia

Although most people know they should have home insurance, too many people don’t know what they’re actually covered for under the policy. Being prepared for severe weather means to batten down the hatches, of course, but it also means knowing what you are and aren’t covered for on your home insurance. 

So, let’s explore the standard coverage types in home insurance:

  • Dwelling: This part of your home insurance policy protects the structure of your home, including the walls, roof, and foundation. It also covers other structures on your property, like a garage or shed.
  • Liability: If someone is injured on your property or if you damage someone else’s property, this coverage helps pay for the costs to make it right. It also helps pay for a legal defense and damages if you’re sued. 
  • Personal Property: Of course, your actual belongings in your home are also protected from damage and theft. This includes your clothing, electronics, furniture, jewelry, and more. Keep in mind, there are coverage limits for your personal property, so doing a quick inventory of your belongings can help you understand if you need more or less coverage than what’s in your policy. Read more here.
  • Additional Living Expenses: If your home is damaged and you can’t live there while it’s being repaired, your policy also covers lodging, food and transport until you can move back in. 

Now this is the extent of most standard home insurance policies. This is enough coverage to see you through many common perils, including:

  • Fire and smoke
  • Windstorms and hail
  • Weight of snow, sleet or ice
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Water damage
  • Explosions
  • Lightning strikes
  • Damage from a vehicle or aircraft 
  • Riot
  • Accidental discharge/overflow of water 
  • Sudden tearing/cracking of appliances
  • Power surges
  • Freezing

Keep in mind, your homeowners policy may cover all of these or exclude some. Most policies commonly exclude the following items:

  • Wear and tear
  • Flooding
  • Pests and vermin
  • Earthquakes
  • Mold

You can purchase separate insurance for earthquakes and flooding, since they are almost always excluded. In West Virginia, it would be a wise move to pony up for the extra flooding coverage, given how prevalent it is and how much damage it can cause to your home. 

Added Home Insurance Coverage Options

You might find your chosen insurance provider has even more coverage options for you to choose from and add to your policy. These are often called riders or endorsements, and the optional coverage is designed to make you feel even more protected. 

Common endorsements include: 

  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost: Your dwelling coverage is based on the replacement cost of your home, but that number can change over the years (or maybe it wasn’t accurate to begin with). This endorsement guarantees that your home will be restored to its original condition, regardless of the cost. 
  • Water Backup: Your policy covers water damage, but it doesn’t include water backing up from a sewer or sump pump. This endorsement covers damage to your home and belongings from this unpleasant peril. 
  • Scheduled Personal Property: Your personal property has an overall coverage limit,  but certain categories like jewelry and electronics have blanket limits too. You can extend that coverage to ensure you can actually replace that item or collection of items should they be damaged, stolen and even misplaced. 
  • Identity Theft: Identity theft is becoming more and more prevalent, and it can be a nightmare to extract yourself from it. This coverage helps pay for costs associated with recovering your identity, like attorney fees, ID replacement, loss of income, administrative costs, and more. 
  • Home Business: If you run a business out of your home, you need additional coverage. This will help cover your business equipment in case it’s damaged or stolen. 

These are just some endorsements you can add to your policy, but you’ll find even more when shopping around for home insurance in West Virginia. Add what feels valuable to you, and leave what doesn’t—it’s your home and property, after all!

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The Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance in West Virginia

When it comes to the cost of home insurance in WV, “almost heaven” sums it up: you’ll pay on average $1,125 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage, which is much less than the national average of $1,428 per year. 

This is without factoring in any added endorsements, like flooding coverage, but it can help give you an idea of what to budget for. Your actual rates will be based on a number of factors that are unique to you, including:

  • Where you live
  • The age of your home and roof
  • The building materials of your home and how much it would cost to replace
  • Your claims history
  • Distance from a fire station
  • Your credit score

This is why your quotes can be so different from a neighbor’s or friend’s quotes. But the good news continues: we’ve pulled together our top tips to save on home insurance premiums, because everyone deserves a good deal.

How to Find the Cheapest Homeowners Insurance in West Virginia

Getting a good deal on something you want to buy is a great feeling, but a deal on something you have to buy? Even better. You might not have a choice when it comes to having home insurance (especially if you have a mortgage), but you do have options and there are ways to save. 

Our best ways to save on home insurance in WV include:

  • Compare Quotes: Get a minimum of three home insurance quotes before choosing a policy. This will help you find the best rate and ensure you’re getting the best coverage. Every insurer calculates quotes differently, so multiple quotes helps you find the best deal.
  • Review Your Coverage: You could be paying for more coverage than you need, or not getting discounts you’re entitled to, just by not taking a look at your actual policy regularly. For example, you could still be paying extra for the trampoline you got rid of years ago but didn’t tell your insurance provider about. Or you might be entitled to a claims-free discount since you haven’t had a claim in years. Knowing what you’re covered for also helps you feel more prepared should something happen and you need to submit a claim.
  • Claim Discounts: Speaking of discounts, you deserve one (or more!). Most insurance providers offer a range of discounts, including savings for a recent roof upgrade, home safety features like alarms and sprinklers, loyal clients, and more. Even if you’re a current customer, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount; if they say no, you’re free to shop around for a new policy with savings for the next time your policy comes up for renewal.
  • Maintain Your Home: Wear and tear isn’t covered under most policies, but it can make damage from storms and bad weather worse. This can even lead to your claims being denied in some cases. This is why it’s so important to maintain your home and fix small issues before they become worse.  
  • Increase Your Deductible: This is a quick one, but consider it carefully. By increasing your deductible (the amount you would pay for a claim to be paid), your premiums will go down. But make sure you could actually afford that deductible in the event of needing to file a claim. 
  • Bundle Your Policies: Bundling multiple insurance policies with one provider can save you on each policy. For example, getting home, auto, and life insurance with one provider, or home and auto for multiple vehicles. See more details here.
  • Avoid Smaller Claims: Filing a claim tends to make your insurance rates go up, so try to handle small claims and repairs yourself so that you don’t end up paying higher rates for the long term. 

There you have it folks, our best tips to put more money back in your pocket. With these tips, you can save anywhere from 5-30% on your home insurance premiums, which means more money to do what you love, from exploring the beautiful state of West Virginia to hiking or skiing the stunning mountains. 

You don’t have to guess how much you’ll save. Go ahead and get access to free quotes fast right here

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Is Home Insurance Required in West Virginia?

By law, you’re not required to have home insurance if you own a home. However, you might need it as a condition of your mortgage. After all, a bank is lending you a nice chunk of change for the house and wants to protect its investment. You can read more here

But you should want to protect your investment as well, which is why home insurance is a good idea for everyone, regardless if you’re required to have it or not. Home insurance protects from the unexpected and gives you peace of mind, which is hard to put a price on.

And with lower than average rates, West Virginia is a great place to live and have home insurance. Win win!

Pro tip: are you moving to a bigger place because of your new bundle of joy? Check out our free financial guide for new parents to help you check all your boxes, from home insurance to college savings, and more. 

Key Takeaways: West Virginia Homeowners Insurance

The Mountain State is an outdoor-lovers paradise, but it’s also an incredible place to live and work. If you call West Virginia home and have four walls and a roof to shield you from the worst of WV’s weather, you should strongly consider having home insurance in place.

Home insurance is more affordable than you might think, especially in West Virginia where it’s less than the national average. You can build a policy that helps you feel protected, whether you run a business out of your home or you’re in a high-flooding area. 

Don’t delay when it comes to getting home insurance. The unexpected can happen at any time and leave you high and dry if you don’t have coverage. Start by getting access to free quotes here, and you’ll be well on your way to affordable coverage that protects your biggest asset. 

We’ve got you covered.

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