CHARLESTON – Rider Insurance of New Jersey has decided to terminate West Virginia policies because of the state’s “difficult legal system.”
The company has reportedly notified nearly 6,000 customers on May 31 that it would no longer offer motorcycle coverage in West Virginia.
Roman Stauffer, Executive Director of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse said that the Legislature under the leadership of Senate President Bill Cole and House Speaker Tim Armstead have made great strides in fixing West Virginia’s civil justice system, as they have worked to pass several, much-needed, lawsuit reforms to bring our state into the legal mainstream.
“More work needs to be done in areas where our state continues to be an outlier, particularly with our lack of an intermediate court of appeals, Stauffer said. “Another challenge is the Mountain State’s lawsuit lottery mentality. Our courts need to be all about justice, not greed.”
In the insurance company’s letter to West Virginia customers, it stated that the company had concluded that it was “impossible to do business in West Virginia as a specialized company that is determined to maintain low premiums for our customers.”
“The reason is the West Virginia legal system… It is far more difficult than the judicial system in any other state in which we write insurance,” the letter stated.
Stauffer said it is unfortunate that the company will no longer do business in West Virginia, and it is an example of how lawsuit abuse can directly affect consumers.
“Motorcycle owners will have fewer options for liability protection, and some may have to pay higher prices,” Stauffer said. “Clearly our work is not done. Citizens need to continue to call out lawsuit abuse, advocate for legal reforms – and vote – to make sure West Virginia courts are fair and balanced.”