If having high car insurance rates were a contest, West Virginia would be the Cinderella story, climbing from the middle of the pack to become one of the top five most expensive states in America. From 2010 to 2012, West Virginia shot up in the rankings from No. 19 in 2010 to No. 14 in 2011, and all the way up to No. 4 in 2012. But of course, skyrocketing auto insurance isn't a contest that any state wants to win, and West Virginia residents have been feeling the pain.
Insurance premiums always result from a combination of factors. Like some of the other states that made Insure.com's top five list, West Virginia has experienced more than its fair share of natural disasters in recent years, including floods, mudslides, snow storms and tornadoes. That alone probably doesn't account for why rates are on the rise in West Virginia, but it's almost certainly a factor. The other factor that is sure to contribute to the escalating rates is the number of uninsured drivers on the road. In 2011, roughly one in seven West Virginia drivers was uninsured. When tens of thousands of people are driving with no auto insurance, those who do buy insurance end up pulling more than their own weight [source: Mothershead].