Auto Insurance Requirements in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania requires that all drivers maintain minimum liability insurance.
Pennsylvania has no-fault insurance law
A no-fault system is intended to prevent insurance fraud because your insurance company compensates you and your passengers for injuries regardless of who is proved at fault. This limits litigation because there is no need to battle over who is at fault. It also speeds up the payment process. The driver who is at fault in the accident is typically charged a higher at-risk insurance premium. In extraordinary situations, a driver in a no-fault state may seek relief in the courts for certain pain-and-suffering damages (versus medical and wage loss damages). In Pennsylvania, an injured driver can sue for pain and suffering damages if these injuries fall into a certain category – for example, death, disability, or disfigurement. In Pennsylvania, policyholders may choose between no-fault systems or the alternative -- chasing the other driver’s insurance company for payment. That choice is made at the time the policy is made or renewed.
Insurance coverage requirements in Pennsylvania
The standards below indicate the minimum insurance coverage in Pennsylvania. Naturally, higher coverage can be acquired for policyholders concerned about liability.
This is the maximum amount per person paid for bodily injury (“BI”) injuries.
This the total amount paid by the policy for all bodily injury to all persons. Therefore if several people are injured, those who file first would receive payment as defined above, and once the total payment was reached, the remaining parties must pursue the policyholder for any sums over these amounts.
This is the total amount paid for property damage (“PD”).
SR-22 is Not Required in Pennsylvania
SR-22 (the “SR” stands for “safety responsibility”) is a document that verifies that someone has automobile insurance. The SR-22 is prepared by an insurance company and then filed (by the insurance company) with the department of motor vehicles (DMV). The SR-22 is not an insurance policy. It is evidence that you have a policy. Pennsylvania does not require an SR-22 for DUI offenses. However if you have an SR-22 filing in another state, and move to Pennsylvania, you must maintain your SR22 in the state where it is required.
What if you’re involved in an accident in a state other than Pennsylvania?
The good news is that most policies will increase to match the minimum requirements of the state in which the accident occurred. The 12 states with no-fault insurance systems require that your insurer pay for your damages (as if you had a no-fault policy).
How are premiums determined?
An insurance company takes many factors into consideration when determining your insurance rates (premiums). Some factors may seem unfair. For example, drivers with higher education or who are married will generally receive better rates than a driver with a similar driving record. Below are the major factors affecting rates
- Driving record and accidents. Moving violations, DUIs, and accident claims trigger higher rates.
- Credit score. Bad credit scores trigger higher rates.
- Miles driven. Drive less, pay less.
- Occupation. Jobs involving driving or heavy commutes may trigger higher rates.
- Location. Higher crime rates in your neighborhood or a density of population (cities) will cause rates to rise.
- Age. Drivers under 25 pay more; drivers between 50 and 65 pay less.
- Gender and marital status. Women have fewer accidents and pay less than men. A married person is considered more stable and will receive a lower rate than a driver with a similar record.
- Type of car. The more powerful or expensive, the higher premium because high performance cars attract riskier drivers and expensive cars are more costly to repair.