“West Virginia, mountain mama, take me home, country roads.” You’ll hear locals singing this country classic before every West Virginia University home football game that describes the state's picturesque scenery.
Small town charm abounds all around the happiest state for homeowners. West Virginia is the place to be if you want to take a walk through beautiful parks like the Kanawha State Forest or ski down slopes like Snowshoe Mountain. The scenery and hospitality are great perks, but severe weather is also typical in the area throughout the year.
Thankfully, Hippo now offers policies in the Mountain State to protect your home and belongings from natural disasters and other unexpected circumstances. Below, we’ll go over the details of West Virginia home insurance and how we can help.
Home insurance in West Virginia is $1,059 per year on average. This is slightly lower than the national average of $1,200 and Virginia’s home insurance average of $1,123 a year. For this price, you can buy about 619 Golden Delicious apples, which is West Virginia’s state fruit!
West Virginia’s susceptibility to severe weather impacts its home insurance cost. Heavy snow, floods and wildfires are a few risks to consider when buying a home in the area. You can keep your costs down by customizing your policy and picking a location that’s less prone to these risks.
West Virginia does not require homeowners to get insurance. However, having insurance is usually a stipulation when applying and securing a loan, so it's a good idea to start shopping around during the home buying process to please your lender.
Weather is just one factor that contributes to West Virginia homeowner’s insurance costs. Other factors that impact your home insurance rates include your home’s location, the age of your home and proximity to first responders.
West Virginia home insurance covers your dwelling, liability, and personal property. It also covers sudden or accidental damage to your foundation. Home insurance doesn’t cover specific natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and mudslides. Even though earthquakes are rare in West Virginia, mudslides and floods are quite common.
For floods, including events like mudflow and erosion, you’ll need flood insurance. West Virginia is the top state with substantial flood risk and experienced severe flooding in June 2016. Just 5 inches of flooding can cost $18,254 in damages for a 1,000-square-foot one-story home. Adding flood insurance coverage to your policy can keep your home safe in the event of flooding.
Mudslides aren’t covered by traditional homeowner’s insurance or flood insurance, but mudflow is covered by flood insurance. This additional coverage is a good idea if you’re in an area that experiences lots of flooding, like West Virginia. It’s also helpful with the overall rise in river flooding in the U.S. as a result of climate change.
West Virginia is also the third most forested state in the country. Lots of trees don’t necessarily mean more wildfires, but events like arson and accidental fire can lead to danger and damage. West Virginia saw 593 fires and burned 7,653 acres due to human-caused fires in 2019.
Homeowners insurance in West Virginia covers fires, but additional fire insurance provides extra protection that your regular insurance may not cover. This helps cover costs if your house is old or significantly customized.
Flood insurance in West Virginia starts at about $129 a year, according to the WV Offices of the Insurance Comissioner. Of course, how much you pay will depend how much coverage you get. If you want more coverage, you can expect to pay about $600 a year per $100,000 of coverage.
Living in West Virginia means you’ll have some of the best natural wonders right outside your doorstep. You’ll have beautiful foliage in the fall and hidden swimming holes to explore in the summer.
It shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg to enjoy West Virginia’s unspoiled wilderness, but saving some money on your home insurance premium could mean a little more room to upgrade your hiking equipment!
You can start by finding ways to lower your flood insurance costs. Look into elevating utilities off the ground so floods are less likely to damage them. You can also elevate your entire home to cut down on the risks of flood damage.
Improving your roof is another home improvement upgrade that makes a difference for West Virginia homes. Roofs in the Mountain State can take a lot of damage from snow and thunderstorms.
This is a significant investment, but an upgraded roof better protects your home and brings down your premium. Upgrading other parts of your home like windows and heating can also reduce your premium costs.
Understanding how to protect and insure your home against weather risks is a top priority when purchasing a home in the Mountain State. You’ll also need to research other requirements you may need for your home. West Virginia residents can go to the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner to learn more about the state and federal programs listed below.
Flood protection is especially important for West Virginians because of past disasters and the potential of future floods. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance coverage to help property owners recover from flood damages. NFIP policies cover up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for the contents of the building.
West Virginia’s FAIR Plan is available if you have difficulty getting insurance from the traditional market. The FAIR Plan is for those who live in high-risk areas or are otherwise in high-risk situations. This is helpful if your home is in a flood zone or a high-risk area for lightning.
Hippo is excited to operate in West Virginia and help residents protect their homes. Living against the gorgeous West Virginia backdrop definitely makes this state feel like “almost heaven.” A protected home is probably the only thing that can make life in the Mountain State even better. Call us today to learn more about our home insurance options.