Home to iconic mountains and country roads, West Virginia is an American natural beauty hotspot, but it is also home to its fair share of natural disasters and other risks for property investors.
The answer is homeowners insurance.
If you live in West Virginia or have property there, you can enjoy low living costs, the very best of the great outdoors, and the perfect balance of quiet country life and city living. On the other hand, you must also live with the threat of flooding and property crime- two things you should be prepared for.
Other than the fact it is generally required if you are trying to get a loan or mortgage, homeowners insurance is a vital investment for putting up a safety net between the unexpected and your financial well-being.
Before picking a home insurance company, we recommend reading this guide through what to look for and some of the best providers to consider.
It covers the must-knows and must-haves of West Virginia home insurance, including some of the best options for coverage and how to pick the best one.
Homeowners Insurance Summed Up
The purpose of homeowners insurance policies is to provide financial cover for property owners if they are affected by theft, weather events, or anything else that causes damage or loss involving their homes and personal property.
It is the first line of defense when unexpected challenges arise- and the best way to avoid financial hardship when disaster strikes.
Most standard home insurance policies include coverage for personal belongings, your property's structure, personal liability, and temporary living expenses if you become displaced. On top of that, there are usually multiple optional coverage add-ons, extras, and enhancements you can use to personalize your plan to better protect your investment.
How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost in West Virginia?
The average rates for home insurance in West Virginia are roughly $1200 per year. That works out significantly lower than the national average, which is over $1800.
Of course, there a several variants that could make your premium costs more or less, most notably your credit score and details of the policy you choose.
Here are some of the other things that will have an impact on the overall cost of your West Virginia homeowners insurance.
- The size, age, condition, and value of your property
- How much the total value is of your personal belongings inside your home
- Where your property is located
- What materials are used in important parts of your property- especially your roof
- Whether or not your property has any safety or security features installed
- How new your utilities are
- When you bought your property
- How high the limits are on your coverage
- What extra endorsements you include in your policy
- Your claims history
- Whether or not you qualify for any deals or discounts
- The company you choose to provide your insurance policy
Homeowners Insurance and Landlord Insurance: What One Do You Need?
Before we go more into how to pick a homeowners insurance company and some of the best options in West Virginia, let us quickly clarify the difference between this type of policy and landlord insurance coverage.
If you live in your own property and do not rent to anyone else, then you don't need to worry about landlord insurance. It is only relevant for owners who have tenants renting their property from them (either directly or through a property management company).
Landlords need a different type of coverage to insure themselves for the additional liabilities that come with having tenants- including loss of rental income and potential legal issues.
Landlords may need a homeowners insurance policy to cover vacant properties, properties transitioning between renters, and homes they live in but rent a room to someone else.
How to Find the Best Homeowners Insurance Company
There are so many insurance companies to choose from, so how do you know what one to pick?
First, you need to look into the special requirements for where you live and rule out companies that don't offer the coverage you need. Then, you can compare the others based on a few defining criteria that help you determine whether or not they are a reliable choice and a good fit.
Unique Requirements for West Virginia Homeowners
Let's start with the special requirements for West Virginia homeowners insurance. Aside from the usual coverage, there are a few things that are important to have as part of your insurance policy.
Water Damage and Flood Insurance
Most home insurance policies do not cover damage caused by floods, but flood insurance is vital for West Virginia properties. The National Flood Insurance Program offers separate policies specifically for flood-related water damage, with coverage options up to $250,000.
Some insurance companies work with the NFIP to provide coverage for their clients, and a few have their own policies. Others don't cover it at all, and you may need to secure cover separately by yourself.
Property Crime Insurance
Unfortunately, West Virginia homeowners face a higher risk of property crime than more than half the country. Theft and break-ins are something that people need to be aware of- and they need coverage for their personal property that will replace anything that is stolen.
There are two types of insurance for personal belongings- cash value replacement and replacement cost coverage. You ideally want the second option, which will replace items at their full original value with brand-new alternatives. Otherwise, you will only get reimbursed for the depreciated value of your stolen property.
Regardless of where you live, there are some things you must look for when assessing the best choice for your homeowners insurance policy.
- Check the financial strength of the company by finding out its AM Best rating. The top score is A++.
- Have a look at the client reviews online to gauge customer satisfaction regarding support and claim processes.
- Look into what is included in the standard policies and how much they cost compared to similar plans.
- Ask about the discounts available to see if you qualify to save money on your premium.
- Find out the coverage limits and whether or not you have the option to extend them further.
The Top Five West Virginia Homeowners Insurance Companies
Erie is an excellent homeowners insurance company that is tough to beat when it comes to high-quality coverage and customer service. If you are fortunate to live in one of the handful of states that Erie served, you can benefit from great value coverage where and when you need it.
Luckily for West Virginia property owners, the Mountain State is on the list! Erie's home insurance policies include all the usual coverage and a few extra perks you don't often find in standard plans. There are also plenty of ways to customize your policy with extra endorsements and enhanced coverage limits.
Coverage and Features
- Guaranteed replacement cost coverage to your property's full value
- Animal insurance up to $500 included in the standard policy
- Service line, water pump, and utility coverage
- Identity theft protection
- Help replacing important documents that are hard to get
- Extended coverage for valuables
- Full coverage for lost or stolen items, even in the basic insurance plan
- Cash and precious metals insurance up to $500 (extended cover available at an extra cost)
- Optional home-sharing insurance
- Bundling discounts apply when you combine your home insurance with another Erie policy.
- You can reduce your homeowners insurance rate if you make wind mitigation efforts on your property.
- Save money when you enroll in Autopay.
- Erie clients can earn discounts when they renew their policies in advance.
- Insurance rates are usually cheaper in homes with smoke detectors, sprinklers, security alarms, and other safety features.
2: State Farm
State Farm is America's largest insurance company and has served the country's homeowners for over 100 years. It is a solid choice for almost any property owner and is our top pick for West Virginia.
Why? There are several reasons, the first being the excellent value for money. Although not the cheapest overall, it does provide a whole lot of bang for your buck. The policies are generous and robust and offer comprehensive personalized coverage through various add-ons.
Coverage and Features
- Sewer, pump, and drain insurance
- Flood coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program
- Vandalism and break-in cover (even in vacant properties up to 30 days)
- HVAC, furnace, and other home system breakdown cover
- Water damage coverage (including mold, water leaks, and flood damage)
- Incidental business insurance
- Foundation insurance
- Excellent liability coverage
- Save money through multi-policy discounts.
- Some discounts are available for homes with safety features and monitoring systems.
- Earn a no-claims history bonus after several years.
- Homeowners may qualify for cheaper insurance if they upgrade their utilities.
- An impact-resistant roof could mean cheaper insurance with State Farm.
As the name suggests, Nationwide is a national insurance company that operates across the USA. It is highly reputable and strongly recommended by existing customers.
Some things that make it stand out as an excellent choice for West Virginia homeowners include the generous coverage offered in the standard policies that usually cost extra, the excellent range of discounts available, and the upgraded coverage limits on certain endorsements.
Coverage and Features
- Upgraded roof replacement
- Water backup and pump failure insurance
- Service line coverage
- Brand new replacements for stolen or damaged belongings
- Medical expenses and personal liability coverage
- Flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program
- Policies are cheaper for homes bought within 12 months of taking out the insurance.
- If you installed a new roof recently using specific qualifying materials, you may be eligible for a discounted rate.
- Properties with smart home technologies and security features alarms can usually get cheaper premiums through Nationwide.
- There are discounts for those living in a gated community.
- Earn a no-claims bonus by staying claim-free for a set amount of time.
- Insuring your home and car in a Nationwide insurance bundle gives you cheaper rates on both.
- Clients may receive credit toward their premium for updating their heating, plumbing, or cooling systems.
If you want a powerful insurance company with excellent financial strength and even better customer service, Allstate could be the one for you. It is one of the largest providers in the country and is known for its comprehensive coverage options at competitive prices.
Like our other favorites in West Virginia, Allstate offers a range of policies and various extras for tailored coverage you can rely on. It is especially good for people who work from home, occasionally house-share, or sometimes rent out their home through Airbnb and similar enterprises.
Coverage and Features
- New replacements for broken items and full-value
- Actual value cash settlement option instead of replacements
- HostAdvantage for short-term rentals
- Electronic data recovery
- Replacement cost coverage over the policy limits
- Yard and garden insurance
- Public utility coverage
- Ordinance and law insurance
- Business property insurance
- Water backup coverage
- Earn up to 25% off when you bundle home and car insurance.
- Costs are generally lower if you use autopay and consistently pay on time.
- Discounts are awarded when you renew your policy at least a week before the old one runs out.
- New buyers are usually eligible for lower rates- as are homeowners with recently renovated properties.
- Deductible rewards of $100 every claim-free year apply up to five years.
- Safety discounts apply if you have qualifying features in your home, including fire detection and protection systems and anti-theft measures.
- You could save 20% off when you join Allstate if you have not claimed from your previous provider recently.
5: Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual offers an ideal blend of high-limit coverage, flexible policies, and personalized service, earning it the final spot on our list of the best home insurance companies in West Virginia.
As well as the usual dwelling coverage, personal liability, and personal property damage insurance, Liberty Mutual goes above and beyond to help property owners protect their investments from crime and natural disasters.
It is a generous insurance company that provides excellent personalized coverage at a good price- made even better if you qualify for some of the excellent discounts on offer.
Coverage and Features
- Water backup insurance
- Extended replacement cost coverage
- New replacement for stolen or damaged property
- Ordinance insurance
- Inflation protection on all policies
- Deductible-free insurance for stolen jewelry and valuables
- Identity theft insurance
- Reduce your rates by combining home and car insurance policies.
- Your costs may be lower if you haven't filed any recent claims with your previous insurance provider.
- Premium costs drop after three years claim-free.
- New purchases, new builds, and recently renovated properties cost less to insure.
- Buying your policy online, using Autopay, and going paperless saves you money.
- Preventative measures against theft, fire, and water damage can lower premiums.
A Few Other Notable Homeowners Insurance Companies
- USAA (offers coverage for military families and veterans only)
- Westfield (cheapest homeowners insurance in West Virginia)
- Amica (good storm protection and advice)
The Mountain State is beautiful but treacherous when rail fall is at its heaviest. Protecting your property investment with a robust homeowners insurance policy is vital if you want to avoid costly challenges alone.
There are plenty of home insurance coverage options available through these five top companies, but always compare the details to find the one that suits you best.