Earthquakes happen suddenly and destroy buildings quickly

West Virginia is known for its mountains and diverse topography, as well as a climate that encourages plenty of outdoor recreational activities. West Virginia homeowners should consider purchasing some kind of home insurance policy to protect their property from the elements, such as the state’s heavy annual rainfall, and other unforeseen events.

How Much Does West Virginia Home Insurance Cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2010, the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in West Virginia was $699. But insurance companies consider numerous factors when deciding the cost of a homeowner’s insurance.

For example, your home’s location can drive up the cost of insurance if you live in an area that is far from a fire station or one that is at risk of being flooded. Your home’s construction can make a difference too. Homes made from brick or other masonry materials may be less expensive to insure than homes made from wood because they are less of a fire hazard. The age and condition of the structure may have an effect on the cost as well. Some providers won’t insure a home if it’s in poor condition, and an older home will be more expensive to cover because of the increased chance of something going wrong with the pipes or electrical wiring.

Most companies offer discounts for homeowners who install certain safety devices, such as fire, smoke, and burglar alarms, sprinklers, and deadbolts on doors, that may help prevent loss. Each insurance company may offer discounts for different reasons, so check with your provider to find out ways you can save.

What Does It Cover?

Home insurance in West Virginia covers you from damage to your property caused by forces outside of your control. A typical policy pays for the replacement or repair of your dwelling, including your deck and garage, other structures on your property, as well as furniture, clothing, and appliances. Insurance also provides liability protection if you’re found at fault for injuring someone or damaging their property. Protection against flooding and earthquakes are not covered in most policies.

Do I Have to Get Home Insurance in West Virginia?

Home insurance is not required by law in West Virginia. However, buying insurance can help protect your house and property against damage from unforeseen circumstances, and liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their property.

Optional Coverage to Consider

  • Flood. Flooding is one of the greatest environmental hazards in West Virginia. The state receives an average of about 44 inches of rain per year, which combined with its numerous rivers, can cause the right conditions for flooding. Unfortunately, damage caused by flooding isn’t covered by most policies. However, you can purchase flood coverage through various insurance providers or the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Windstorm. West Virginia isn’t known for its violent storms. Even so, wind from strong storms can cause damage to your property, so it’s important to know how much protection you have. Damage from windstorms is typically covered by most policies, although the amount of protection depends on the limit. If you want more coverage, you can purchase it through your insurance provider.
  • Earthquake. Most home insurance providers don’t provide coverage for damage caused by earthquakes. Fortunately, West Virginia hasn’t experienced many strong earthquakes in its history. The strongest earthquake was a magnitude 4.5 that caused minor damage to three towns in southern West Virginia in 1969, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS indicates that southern West Virginia has the highest seismic hazard in the state, so if you live in Welch, Hinton, or Beckley you may want to purchase earthquake insurance.

Mobile Home Insurance in West Virginia

Similar to home insurance, mobile home insurance covers a home from damage caused by fire, lightning, smoke, falling objects, vandalism, theft, and more. It protects the exterior of the home and the property within it, including furniture, clothing, and appliances. Most policies also provide liability coverage and additional living expenses if the homeowner has to temporarily move out of the home. However, flood and earthquake damage isn’t typically covered by most mobile policies, so make sure to check your policy to see how much protection you have.

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