Here’s everything you need to know about car insurance in Pennsylvania.
If you’re a driver in the United States, then you legally need to have car insurance before you can set wheel on asphalt and hit the open road in almost every state. However, while auto insurance is mandatory practically across the nation, the specific requirements concerning what needs to be covered vary from state to state.
This can make it rather difficult for drivers to figure out what type of insurance they need – especially if you’re moving from one state to another. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve researched the top auto insurance providers, and have compiled our research into this guide to help you find great, affordable car insurance in Pennsylvania.
Here, we’re going to go over all the Pennsylvania car insurance requirements, discuss what makes the state unique as far as driving goes, and finally recommend you our top choices in the Keystone State.
In this article:
- State Car Insurance Laws
- What Are the Requirements For Car Insurance In Pennsylvania?
- How Does Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Compare To Other States?
- Driving in Pennsylvania
- Our Top Provider for Pennsylvania Car Insurance: State Farm
- Our Runner Up for Pennsylvania Car Insurance: Geico
State Car Insurance Laws
Car insurance requirements are set at the state level, which means that each state gets to decide for itself what is and isn’t required. Almost every state requires drivers to take out auto insurance to some degree, except for Arizona and Virginia, which waive the auto insurance requirements in specific cases.
To understand what’s required for auto insurance in Pennsylvania, we’ll first need to clarify what the different types of auto insurance are. There are six types of car insurance you’ll need to be aware of:
- Liability coverage: Coverage for any injuries and damages you cause to other drivers and vehicles, as well as the fees for your legal defense
- Comprehensive coverage: Coverage for non-collision damages such as theft, vandalism, storms, etc.
- Collision coverage: Coverage for collision-related damages to your vehicle, regardless of who is at fault
- Personal injury protection: Coverage for medical payments and occasionally lost wages because of an automobile accident
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Coverage for accidents with an uninsured or underinsured driver
- Medical payments coverage: Coverage for the medical expenses of everyone that was injured in your vehicle
Each state picks and chooses which of these six types of insurance coverages are required, as well as the minimum monetary amount you need to be covered for. Based on what’s required, the average cost of auto insurance will increase or decrease depending on what state you’re in.
What Are the Requirements For Car Insurance In Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania requires all motorists to take out three types of insurance. These requirements are referred to as financial responsibility laws. The minimum requirements are:
- Property damage liability: $5,000
- Bodily injury liability: $15,000/$30,000
- Medical benefits: $5,000
The number to the right indicates the minimum monetary amount you must be covered for. So, in Pennsylvania, your insurance must cover you for at least $15,000 in property damage liability liability before you get on the road, for example.
In the case of bodily injury liability, Pennsylvania stipulates two minimums: one for a single person, $15,000, and a second for everyone in the accident, $30,000.
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means that no matter who caused an accident, the insurance will cover the driver’s medical bills. Motorists in Pennsylvania can also purchase full tort insurance, which allows them to sue the at-fault driver if an accident occurs.
However, while these are the minimum requirements, it’s generally recommended that you take out more comprehensive coverage. Serious accidents can easily surpass these minimum coverage amounts and leave you in serious trouble if you can’t afford the excess that your insurance company won’t cover. For example, if you stuck with the minimum coverage and caused $30,000 of bodily injury to someone, you’d still be on the hook for $15,000.
Motorists who drive without minimum insurance may be subject to:
- A minimum $300 fine
- Impoundment of your car
- A three-month license suspension
How Does Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Compare To Other States?
Pennsylvania is fairly middle-of-the-road when it comes to their car insurance requirements – some states, like New Jersey, have significantly more minimum coverage requirements, while others, like New Hampshire, have far fewer.
Pennsylvania car insurance premiums are the 28th highest in the country, averaging out to $1,390 per year.
Driving In Pennsylvania
The minimum coverage requirements aren’t the only thing that affect the average car insurance premiums across different states. Statistics like the average number of miles driven and the frequency of accidents also affect your premium. It makes sense – a high accident rate coupled with a longer average daily driving distance significantly increases the risk of insurance companies having to file a claim.
Pennsylvanians drive less than the average American. While the average American puts about 13,500 miles on their car each year, Pennsylvanians drive about 12,500 miles per year. Even though this isn’t a particularly big difference, it can add up over the lifetime of a vehicle. Some experts estimate that repairs and maintenance cost about $0.26 per mile, so over 10 years, the average American will spend $35,100 on maintenance, but the average Pennsylvanian will spend only $32,500.
Pennsylvanians are known for speeding, with most drivers traveling about 10 miles over the speed limit on average. Furthermore, Pennsylvania is a largely rural state, and rural areas tend to have more serious accidents due to the higher speeds and greater distance from medical facilities. Although only 36 percent of miles traveled in Pennsylvania in 2015 were in rural areas, accidents in those same areas accounted for over 50 percent of all crashes.
Rural driving also brings along a unique set of issues. In Pennsylvania, drivers must know how to safely pass an Amish buggy and always be on the lookout for deer and other wild animals that could jump out into the road.
Pennsylvania currently has fairly lax laws regarding distracted driving. While in most states handheld devices are not allowed to be used while driving, period, in Pennsylvania, you can use phones and other handheld gadgets so long as you aren’t texting.
All these risks in Pennsylvania raise the average premium in the state.
Our Top Provider For Pennsylvania Car Insurance: State Farm
State Farm is the largest and most popular auto insurance company in the United States, and with good reason: the provider offers reasonable rates, a large assortment of rewards programs, a variety of coverage options, and good customer service.
Being a good insurance provider starts with having a strong financial backing, which makes it easy to cover claims, and State Farm excels on this front. State Farm received the highest financial strength rating possible from AM Best: an A++.
The provider offers a vast array of coverage options ranging from standard coverage to antique and sports car coverage. Its rental and travel coverage is particularly noteworthy. Not only will State Farm reimburse you for the cost of a rental car if your car is undriveable for 24 hours or more, but the company will also pay for the cost of lodging, meals, and transportation if you’re stranded at least 50 miles from home.
Other notable programs include the Steer Clear program, which provides discounts to drivers under 25 who complete a State Farm driving course and have not had accidents in the past three years.
It also has a rewards program specifically for teens as well as a good grades award for students, which makes it a great choice for both new and younger drivers. In fact, we rated State Farm the best insurance company for students and one of the top three best providers for teens.
But perhaps most importantly of all, State Farm has reasonable rates. We found that it had the second-cheapest average premiums, second only to USAA, which only serves military members. Pennsylvania drivers will be pleased to learn that State Farm has lowered its premiums in the state by 2 percent as of 2019.
Customer service is also quite good with State Farm. We found that State Farm had fewer than the median number of complaints for an insurance company of its size. The provider also has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau.
Unfortunately, although we are generally quite impressed with State Farm’s plans, we weren’t happy with the lack of an accident forgiveness program, which is a fairly standard feature.
Most Popular Car Insurer in the U.S.
Most popular auto insurance company that services over 83 million policies.
Our Runner Up For Pennsylvania Car Insurance: Geico
Geico is the second most popular car insurance provider in the United States, and another good choice for Pennsylvanians. We awarded Geico 5/5 stars and have ranked it as one of the best choices for students and military personnel.
Financially, Geico is a very strong company, which means you’re more likely to get claims covered when you submit them. The company has an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, and wrote $33.1 billion in premiums in 2018. Clearly, Geico has the financial wherewithal to fulfill claims, and unlike some smaller companies, it is a better business decision on the company’s part to ensure customer satisfaction than it is to pinch pennies.
Geico’s premiums average a bit higher than State Farm’s, but it is still very reasonable and much cheaper than most other providers we reviewed.
Geico excels in convenience. The provider is very tech-centric, making it quick and easy to get a quote, purchase a policy, or file a claim online. This, coupled with the availability of local Geico agents, is likely one of the main reasons for its high customer satisfaction. In fact, 97 percent of Geico customers reported they were satisfied with their service in a third-party study.
Geico also provides a number of discounts to its customers including:
- Senior discount
- Federal employee discount
- Emergency deployment discount
- Military discount
- Student discount
- Member and employee discounts
- Anti-theft system discount
- Good driver discount for drivers who are accident free for 5 consecutive years
- Multi-vehicle discount
- Multi-policy discount
Unfortunately, there is no discount for hybrid or electric vehicles, and a low credit score may increase your premium in some cases.
That said, Geico’s great customer service, good coverage, reasonable rates, and numerous discounts make it a winner in our book.
Best Company Overall
Best for those ineligible for USAA; offers competitive pricing and great coverage.
How much is car insurance in Pennsylvania?
The average annual cost of car insurance in Pennsylvania is $1,390. However, the cost of car insurance in Pennsylvania varies based on your provider, level of coverage, vehicle, age, and driving history.
Who has the cheapest car insurance in Pennsylvania?
Throughout our research, we found Erie Insurance had the cheapest car insurance in Pennsylvania. State Farm came in second place, with a slightly higher average annual premium.
How much is car insurance per month in Pennsylvania?
The average annual cost of car insurance in Pennsylvania is $1,390, so by dividing that number by 12, we found that the average monthly cost of car insurance in the state is $115.83.
Does Pennsylvania require car insurance?
Pennsylvania requires all drivers to have car insurance. The mandatory coverages are bodily injury liability, medical benefits, and property damage liability.