Pennsylvania requires you to have both Liability coverage and Medical Benefits coverage (or no-fault insurance coverage). These insurance coverages will protect you in case of an accident. Learn more about Pennsylvania car insurance requirements, rates, optional coverages and discounts by reading this article further.
Medical Benefits insurance coverage
If you are a driver in this state, Pennsylvania laws require you to purchase Medical Benefits insurance coverage (no-fault insurance) to help you cover the medical bills for your injured passengers regardless of who was at fault when the accident occurred. The minimum Medical Benefits insurance coverage that your car must have is $5,000.
Limited or Full Tort
The reason for no-fault insurance is to reduce a number of suits resulting from car accidents. This insurance comes with two options:
- Limited right to sue
- Full tort right to sue.
The Limited right to sue allows you to sue in order to get all medical costs in the event of an accident. This option comes with a cheaper premium. You can only sue for your medical costs but not for your pain and suffering. The Full tort right to sue gives you unrestricted right to sue for both pain and suffering and for the medical costs. This option comes with a higher premium:
You will be required to purchase liability insurance for your car. This insurance coverage will help cover costs of any property damage and injuries resulting from car accidents that you cause. The following minimum limits apply to this insurance ceverage:
- $15,000 for bodily injury per person, per accident
- $30,000 for total injury if multiple people are injured per accident
- $5,000 for property damage per accident.
Some car insurance providers in this state offer a single minimum limit of $35,000 for liability insurance.
Proof of Insurance
If you are stopped by a traffic police, you will be required to show proof of insurance. Acceptable forms of proof of insurance in Pennsylvania include:
- An insurance ID card obtained from your car insurer
- Your policy’s declaration page
- An insurance binder
- A valid letter from your car insurance carrier with official letterhead
- A copy of Assigned Risk Plan application.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is the department that determines the state of your Pennsylvania car insurance and provides remedies to car insurance violations. If you are caught violating car insurance laws, you will face the following penalties:
- A minimum fine of $300
- 3-month driver’s license and car registration suspension.
When your car suspensions are over, you must pay the following fees to get them reinstated or face car impoundment:
- $50 for Vehicle registration
- $50 for Driver’s license.
Optional Auto Coverage Types
Medical Benefits and liability coverage alone cannot protect you fully from car accidents. You need to purchase other optional Pennsylvania car insurance. These include:
- Collision – Insurance that helps pay for damages to your car in the event of traffic accident
- Medical payments – Insurance coverage that helps you pay for your medical costs
- Comprehensive – Insurance coverage that helps you cover damages to your car if you are involved in any type of accident.
- Towing and labor
- Uninsured and Underinsured coverages
- Funeral insurance coverage.
NOTE: Pennsylvania car insurance laws do not require you to purchase Collision or comprehensive coverages. However, these two insurance policies are required if you intend to purchase your car through a lease agreement or car loan.
Stacking Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage
If you have purchased uninsured/underinsured coverage on multiple cars, you may decide to stack these policies. This option will not only increase your insurance premium but also your coverage limits.
Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan
Because car insurance is a must in this state, all drivers regardless of the status of their driving record are guaranteed access to car insurance. However, individual car insurance provider may refuse to insure your vehicle if they feel that you pose a great risk while driving. If you are being denied for coverage by individual car insurance providers, you can apply for it through Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan. All Pennsylvania car insurance companies must give insurance coverage through this plan. For more information about this plan, call (401) 946-2800 or (800) 477-6146 (toll-free).
Determining Your Car Insurance Rates
Most Pennsylvania car insurance companies use several factors when determining the price of your car insurance premiums. These factors include:
- The limits of your coverage
- Your deductibles
- Your car’s make, model and year
- Any optional coverage you purchased
- Your driving record
- Your credit card history.
Pennsylvania car insurance laws prohibit insurance companies from using the following to determine your rates:
- Nationality or ethnic group
- Place of residence
- Marital status
- Size of family.
Pennsylvania Insurance Discounts
It is always advisable to ask your car insurance provider if they offer the following car insurance discounts:
- Multiple policies
- Safety features (airbags)
- Multiple cars
- Paid-in-full status
- Good student status
- Good driver status.
These discounts can help you save huge sums of money. But remember that the best way to get cheap insurance is to maintain a clean driving record.
Most Stolen Cars in Pennsylvania
If your car is always a candidate for theft, you are more likely to pay for higher car insurance rates. This is the 2013 list of the most stolen cars in Pennsylvania according to www.nicb.org:
- Honda Civic and Honda Accord
- Toyota Camry
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
- Chevrolet Impala
- Dodge Caravan
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Nissan Altima
- Ford Explorer.