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In a perfect world, finding cheap car insurance in Pennsylvania would be an easy endeavor. Unfortunately, there are dozens of variables that affect your insurance premiums, and there’s no shortage of insurance providers vying for your business. To make things easier, our team crunched the numbers and compared premiums from leading insurance providers to find the best and most affordable carriers in PA.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania
To score the cheapest rates in Pennsylvania, you’ll have to look at quotes from multiple car insurance companies. To speed things up, our Geeks performed a comparison study. The table below outlines the results of our analysis:
|Liberty Mutual||Safe Drivers|
|USAA||Drivers in the Military|
|Metromile||Low Annual Mileage|
|Esurance||Drivers Who Pay Their Premiums Upfront|
|State Farm||Teen Drivers|
FAQs About Cheap Car Insurance in Pennsylvania
What Are the Car Insurance Requirements in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, all drivers are required to carry car insurance that meets the following minimum limits:
- $15,000 To Cover Bodily Injuries To One Person
- $30,000 To Cover Bodily Injuries Per Accident
- $5,000 To Cover Property Damage
- $5,000 In Medical Benefits Per Collision
What Are the Penalties for Operating a Vehicle Without Car Insurance in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law requires every driver to carry insurance, and even first-time offenders face harsh punishment. If you cannot produce proof of the state-required minimum insurance upon the request of a law enforcement officer, your vehicle registration will be immediately suspended for three months.
During this time, your plates, card, sticker and driver’s license must be handed over to the Pennsylvania Department of Transport. Neither you nor anyone else may drive your vehicle until your driving privileges and registration have been reinstated through paying a hefty fee and providing the Department with verifiable proof that your vehicle is insured.
You will also be fined $300 for driving without insurance.
What Is The Civil Penalty Option?
State law enables you to pay a $500 civil penalty upfront to cut down the three-month suspension of your vehicle’s registration. While it’s costly, this will enable family or friends to use the vehicle until your driving privileges are later restored upon paying the reinstatement fee and providing the Department with proof that your vehicle is adequately insured.
However, if you are caught driving without insurance within a year of a previous offense, you will not be able to make use of this option.
How Do I File an Auto Insurance Claim in Pennsylvania?
1. Dial 911
A prompt and detailed police report is the backbone of any rock-solid claim. Plus, in most states, it is mandatory to report serious road accidents to the municipal traffic department.
Police not only will secure the scene, ensuring that you, any passengers and other motorists are safe, but will also collect statements from the parties involved and anyone who may have witnessed the crash. Officers may also secure evidence from the crash site.
2. Gather Info
You should take down the names, phone numbers, plate numbers, insurance information, and addresses of all motorists involved in the accident. Pro tip: Be sure to collect the personal details of any eyewitnesses, too.
3. Snap Pictures
Using your phone, document any damage and/or injuries caused by the accident. Our Geeks suggest snapping a few extra shots of weather conditions, road markings and anything else that might help provide context.
4. Visit the Doctor
You might not have any surface injuries, but even a small crash can cause untold pain in the near future. This is because impact forces put immense strain on the most vulnerable parts of your body – such as your neck and spine – and can lead to slipped discs, fractures and sprains.
Your doctor will be able to assess your condition and conclude whether you require further medical treatment. This not only is important to your own well-being but also will ensure that you include all the relevant medical expenses as part of your eventual claim.
5. Start Your Claim
Contact your insurer to figure out what you need to start filing your claim and to report the accident. Be sure to include additional evidence such as photographs from the scene, the personal details of any witnesses, a doctor’s diagnosis of your injuries and information you think might aid the insurance company and strengthen your claim.
Can I File a Claim If I Was Partially At-Fault for the Accident?
Remember this: Pennsylvania is one of very few “no-fault” states. This system means that drivers can rely on the personal injury protection component of their own auto insurance policy to cover a portion of their medical bills resulting from a crash, whether they are to blame or not.
However, you can opt for what is known as a “limited tort” option when buying insurance in Pennsylvania, which will help lower your premiums but, in most cases, does not cover injuries caused by a crash.
Our Geeks recommend buying “no-fault” insurance as the higher premium will give you peace of mind that a crash won’t come at the cost of your next family vacation.
How Can I Be Prepared for Any Accident?
Next time you are about hit the road, make sure you’re ready for the worst. Pack this:
- An emergency kit including thick bandages; and
- A document folder containing everything from your insurance information and healthcare coverage details.
What Are Some Important Pennsylvania Car Insurance Terms?
The auto insurance industry has its own dictionary-length list of indeterminable jargon. But picking up a few of these terms doesn’t have to feel like learning a second language. This glossary of terminology breaks down the most common words you’ll encounter when purchasing coverage and will help you make sense of every element of your new policy:
Accident Forgiveness: Whether you caused the accident or not, a collision could trigger an insurance rates hike. Why? Statistical analysis has shown that drivers who have been involved in an accident recently are far more likely to crash again. Fortunately, many insurers offer an “accident forgiveness” provision baked into their policy offerings. This feature will prevent your premiums from spiking after your first accident.
Claim: A request to your provider to reimburse you for loss covered under any of your policy features. Your insurer will then investigate your claim to determine fault and calculate compensation.
Claims Adjuster: Someone employed by your insurer responsible for investigating, verifying, and settling claims. A claims adjuster will look at facts pertinent to your case, such as the official police accident report and witness accounts.
Exclusions: Loss or items not covered under your standard policy or additional features.
Rates: How much you will have to pay every month, every six months, or every year to maintain your vehicle’s coverage. Remember, insurers calculate your rates (or premium) based on a variety of factors, including your accident history, age, deductible, and additional policy features.
Collision Coverage: This policy feature covers damage to your property if you collide with another vehicle or object. For example, you may have hit a fire hydrant, collided with another motorist, flipped your car, or sustained damage after running over a deep pothole.
Declarations Page: The opening salvo of your insurance policy document provides you with a useful summary of your policy period, the insured property, the amount of coverage, your rates, and your personal details.
Deductible: In the event of a crash, your deductible represents the amount you will have to fork out for damages or injuries before your insurance coverage kicks in. A higher deductible will help you reduce your rates, but a lower deductible will help you save a substantial amount of money after a collision.
No-Fault Auto Insurance: Pennsylvania is one of 12 no-fault states. In these states, motorists can still recover compensation from their own provider regardless of who caused the accident. In so-called “tort” states, however, insurers will investigate a crash to determine who was to blame for the accident taking place. Liability is dolled out in the form of percentages, which are then used to calculate the proportion of the damages assigned to each liable party. Keep in mind that you can elect to opt out of no-fault coverage in PA. This may help reduce your rates as no-fault policies are often far more expensive.
Premium: This term refers to the cost of maintaining an insurance policy. Insurers calculate your premium based on a variety of factors including your occupation, gender, age, education, driving record, car type, and more.
Third Party: Providers allow you to cover multiple drivers under a single policy. These “third party” members on your coverage can include family members, friends, passengers, etc. based on the nature of your coverage.
Threshold: A threshold is the financial flood line, which, once exceeded, enables the victim of a car crash to file a lawsuit against another party to recover damages for severe injuries sustained during an accident.
What Are Pennsylvania’s Driver’s License Laws?
Pennsylvania takes a multi-stage approach to introducing budding young drivers to the road, its regulations, and laws. This process is divided into three separate steps:
1. Learner’s Permit
Turning 16 is a landmark moment for PA teens; it’s finally time to start driving. To get started, teens will have to visit the state’s driver’s license center along with a parent or guardian. You can find the nearest driver’s license center by visiting the state Department of Motor Vehicle’s website.
Teens will be required to present their Social Security card and a completed medical clearance form before undertaking both a written exam and a vision test. This process is relatively painless and very few teens are denied their learner’s permit.
This permit entitles teens to drive but only under certain situations. Learner drivers can only get behind the wheel if they are traveling with a licensed guardian or spouse who is at least age 18, or any other licensed driver who is 21 or older. Take note: Learner drivers are only allowed to drive their vehicles from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. if they are under the supervision of a licensed spouse, guardian, or parent.
Once a teen driver has completed 65 hours of driving, including 5 hours of travelling time during inclement weather conditions and a further 10 hours after dark, he or she will qualify to take a junior license test.
2. Junior License
After passing a junior license road test, teens can finally drive without adult supervision during the day. However, there are still a few restrictions:
- In the first six months, junior drivers are not allowed to drive with more than one unrelated passenger under the age of 18 without the supervision of a guardian or parent; and
- After those six months have passed, junior drivers are restricted to driving with no more than three unrelated passengers unless traveling with a guardian or parent.
3. Full License
In the event that a teen has managed to stay out of trouble, avoided crashes and convictions for the one-year duration of their junior license, and completed a certified driver education course, he or she may now apply for a full license at age 17 and 6 months.
A full license is unshackled from the restrictions imposed on both junior licenses and learner’s permits. While this new freedom will be sweet relief for your teen, it’s important that you encourage your son or daughter to still practice safe driving habits when they’re on the road.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Statistics
In 2017, there were 1,137 reported crash fatalities in the state. This was a slight drop from the previous year which saw 1,188 road accident deaths during the same period, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transport.