Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Car Insurance

Pennsylvania car insurance laws ensure that residents have both Medical Benefits (or no-fault) coverage and Liability coverage. These requirements serve to fully protect PA drivers in case of an accident.

Learn more about PA auto insurance requirements, options, programs, and discounts.

Car Insurance Requirements

Pennsylvania law requires that all PA drivers hold BOTH:

  • Medical Benefits (no-fault) coverage.
  • Liability car insurance.

Medical Benefits

Pennsylvania is a no-fault state.

Your car insurance carrier will help pay for medical bills incurred by you or your passenger(s) after a car accident, regardless of which driver was determined “at fault."

The minimum Medical Benefits coverage you must have in your car insurance policy is $5,000.

Limited or Full Tort

The main goal of no-fault insurance is to reduce the number of civil suits resulting from car accidents. When you purchase your insurance, you have two tort options:

  • Option 1: Limited right to sue.
  • Option 2: Full tort right to sue.

The limited tort option allows you to sue for all medical costs resulting from a car accident. This option comes with a cheaper premium, but will limit your right to sue for pain and suffering. Essentially, you can only sue for your medical costs unless the injury is very severe.

The full tort option gives you an unrestricted right to sue for BOTH:

  • Medical costs.
  • Pain and suffering.

This option will raise the price of your premium.

Liability Coverage

While Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, you are still required to purchase liability insurance.

Liability coverage helps cover the costs of any victims' injuries and damages that result from a car accident that you caused.

The following minimums apply:

  • Bodily Injury Liability:
    • $15,000 per person, per accident.
    • $30,000 total per accident.
  • Property Damage: $5,000 per accident.

Some car insurance carriers offer a single limit of $35,000; this covers the entire liability requirement.

Proof of Insurance

PA requires you to have proof of insurance with you while driving.

Proofs of insurance must be shown during traffic stops and may be requested when you register your car.

In Pennsylvania, acceptable forms of proof of insurance include:

  • An insurance ID card issued to you by your insurance carrier.
  • A copy of the declaration page from your policy.
  • An insurance binder.
  • A signed letter from your insurance company on their official letterhead.
  • A copy of your Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan application.

Insurance Violations

If the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) finds that you have driven your car without the required amount of insurance, or if you are pulled over for a traffic violation and have no car insurance, you may face the following consequences:

  • A minimum fine of $300.
  • 3-month suspension of your driver's license and registration.
    • Once your suspensions are over, you will have to pay the following restoration fees:
      • Vehicle registration: $112.
  • Impoundment of your car.

If your car's registration is suspended, NOBODY can legally drive it.

Optional PA Auto Coverage Types

When purchasing insurance, you'll be given the option to buy higher limits on your medical benefits and liability coverage. You may also choose to buy the following optional types of auto insurance coverage:

  • Collision – This will help pay for accident-related damage to your car.
  • Comprehensive – This coverage type helps pay for damage to your car that resulted from an incident not involving a car collision (e.g., vandalism).
  • Uninsured – This coverage type helps pay your medical bills should you get into an accident with an uninsured driver.
  • Underinsured – This coverage will pay your medical expenses up to your limits that exceed the insurance coverage limits of a driver who caused an accident with you (the “at-fault" driver).
  • Rental car reimbursement.
  • Towing.
  • Funeral.

NOTE: Collision and comprehensive coverage policies are not required by Pennsylvania law. However, if your car is being financed or leased, the bank or finance company will require you to purchase these coverages.

Stacking Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage

If you have uninsured/underinsured coverage on multiple cars, you may have the option of stacking these policies. This would increase your coverage per accident by multiplying your uninsured/underinsured limits by the number of cars you have under your insurance plan.

While this option will increase the price of your premium, it does greatly increase your coverage limits.

Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan

Because car insurance is required in Pennsylvania, all licensed drivers are guaranteed access to auto insurance coverage.

However, note that individual car insurance companies do have the right to deny you coverage if they feel you are a high-risk driver.

If you are having a difficult time finding car insurance due to your high-risk driver status, you can purchase your insurance through the Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan.

All PA car insurance companies are required to accept applicants through the plan.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan, call:

  • (401) 946-2800.
  • (800) 477-6146 (toll-free).

Determining Your Auto Insurance Rates in PA

When shopping for car insurance, several factors go into determining the rates you see on your car insurance quotes. These factors include:

  • The limits of your coverage.
  • Any optional coverage you purchased.
  • Your deductible (the amount of your coverage you are responsible for paying).
    • The higher your deductible is, the lower your premium will be.
  • Your car's make, model, and year.
  • Your driving record.
  • Your credit history.

Pennsylvania auto insurance companies are NOT allowed to use the following to determine your rates:

  • Age.
  • Race.
  • Religion.
  • Nationality or ethnic group.
  • Marital status.
  • Job.
  • Size of family.
  • Place of residence.

Pennsylvania Insurance Discounts

It is always smart to ask your car insurance company about discounts when shopping for insurance.

Most Pennsylvania car insurance companies offer discounts for the following:

  • Multiple policies.
  • Multiple cars.
  • Safety features (airbags).
  • Paid-in-full status.
  • Good driver status.
  • Good student status.

All of the above discounts will help lower your rates, but the best way to ensure affordable coverage is to drive safely and obey all traffic laws.

Most Stolen Cars in Pennsylvania

If you own a car that is highly targeted by thieves, you may have to pay higher car insurance rates.

The following is a list of the most stolen cars in Pennsylvania for 2013, according to

  1. Honda Accord.
  2. Honda Civic.
  3. Ford Pickup (Full Size).
  4. Toyota Camry.
  5. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
  6. Dodge Caravan.
  7. Chevrolet Impala.
  8. Nissan Altima.
  9. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
  10. Ford Explorer.
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