You live in Pennsylvania. You drive a car. That means you need auto insurance. The question is - how much is the minimum amount required by law and how are you vulnerable in case of an accident?
Automobile insurance minimums are determined by each state so if you're new to Pennsylvania, the laws might be different than the laws in the state you came from.
Minimum insurance requirements
The minimum required coverages in Pennsylvania are:
- $5,000 for medical benefits that cover you and others on your policy regardless of fault
- $15,000/$30,000 for bodily injury liability. This covers medical and rehabilitation expenses if you injure someone in a car accident and any damages for which you are found liable. The $15,000 pays for injuries to one person while the $30,000 represents the total available for one accident
- $5,000 for property damage liability if you damage someone's property.
- Limited tort coverage gives you a break on your premiums but you can recover some damages such as pain and suffering only under specific circumstances. With full tort coverage, you have unrestricted rights to sue someone.
There are plenty of other choices available:
Uninsured motorist coverage covers you and your passengers if you are hit by an uninsured motorist;
Underinsured motorist coverage covers you if you are hit by an underinsured motorist;
Funeral coverage pays for the cost of your funeral up to a certain amount;
Income loss coverage provides lost wages if an auto injury keeps you from working;
Collision pays to fix damage from an accident. Most lenders require this coverage if you take out a loan to buy the car;
Comprehensive pays for any theft or damage to your car from natural disasters or vandalism. Most lenders require this coverage if you take out a loan to buy the car;
Extraordinary medical covers you if your medical bills are between $100,000 and $1 million;
Accidental death pays your representative if you die within 24 months of an accident;
Rental reimbursement and towing coverage pay for a tow and a rental car if you are in an accident;
Gap coverage pays the different between an insurance company's payment for a vehicle after an accident and the balance of the loan for the vehicle.
Penalties for not having insurance
If you are driving your car without insurance, you could face:
- A $300 fine
- A three-month suspension of your vehicle registration
- A three-month suspension of your driver's license
- Fees to restore your registration
- Fees to restore your driver's license
Also, your vehicle may not be driven by anyone while the registration is suspended.