Pennsylvania Car Insurance Rules: Driving in Pennsylvania with Ample Protection
Like other US states, Pennsylvania strictly enforces its own laws regarding car insurance. Do not drive around Pennsylvania without enough coverage to protect you in case you get into an accident. You have to make sure that you are carrying at least the minimum amount of coverage before you set out on Pennsylvania's roads. There are insurance companies that can help you get the right amount of insurance for your vehicle. Your premiums will depend on the amount of insurance that you will get, the kind of driving experience you have had, and the kind of car that you are driving among other things. There are other factors that could influence your premium rates. Your insurance company will be able to give you a better idea as to the amount that you need to prepare for in premiums. You will find that you will get differing quotes from various insurance companies. You have to examine your quotes closely to ensure that you are getting the coverage that you really need. This is actually an important step if you are to get the best deal.
According to Act 6 Amendments to the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, also known as MVFRL, every driver must carry liability coverage insurance with a minimum of $15,000 per individual and $30,000 per accident with property damage coverage of $5,000. This liability coverage compensates the other party when the policyholder is proven to be the at-fault driver in the incident. This is among the lowest insurance coverage requirements across the United States. A personal injury protection coverage of at least $5,000 is additionally required for motorists in Pennsylvania. This gives cash benefits to cover reasonable and necessary expenses that you and one of your passengers might incur for medical treatment of injuries due to a vehicular accident. You also have the option to add an uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. While this is not required by Pennsylvania laws, it is often recommended that you take out some amount of coverage under this benefit. As Pennsylvania operates on a tort system, you can actually choose to hold on to your right to sue the driver who caused your accident and injuries and demand for financial compensation. While the minimum coverages might be enough for minor accidents like scratches and fender benders, it might take a larger sum to cover more serious accidents requiring more extensive repairs and more serious medical treatments. If you do not have enough coverage to address these expenses, the person or persons you injured might file a lawsuit to run after your other assets to cover for their expenses. Carefully weigh your options before getting your car insurance coverage. Get in touch with several providers so that you have a clearer idea of what your options are.
Evidence of Insurance
Every driver must carry a proof of their current insurance policy such as an insurance identification card or any valid documents. The minimum liability insurance policy must be obtained within a month or 31 days. Similarly, the driver or registrant is prohibited from operating the vehicle without carrying minimum liability insurance. If the Pennsylvania DOT or Department of Transportation finds out that the vehicle is operated without the required insurance, it will result in three months suspension of driver's license as well as surrender of sticker, registration plate, and card. A $50 restoration fee and evidence of insurance must be submitted before the driver can get his driving privileges and his registration documents again.
First Party Benefits
Previously known as Personal Injury Protection or PIP, First Party Benefits is a mandatory medical expense coverage in Pennsylvania. The state sets a minimum coverage of $5,000, which will be used to pay the driver, and his passengers, medical expenses in case treatment is needed. If the First Party Benefits is exhausted, the driver's separate health insurance will cover the excess bills.
Full Tort or Limited Tort
In legal terms, a tort means a private or civil injury or wrong. When a driver purchases an automobile insurance, he can either choose full or limited tort. Full tort requires higher premium payments. It also entitles the driver to bring a settlement claim or litigate for the injuries incurred by the at-fault party. The aggrieved party can demand reimbursement of medical expenses as well as non-monetary compensation such as pain and suffering incurred by the accident.
Limited tort holders pay smaller premiums and are also allowed to bring a case in court. However, they can only collect reimbursements for serious injuries resulting in serious physical impairment resulting in functional or permanent disfigurement or death. Limited tort holders are prohibited from making claims for non-monetary injuries.
If a household has more than one driver or vehicles, there is no need to purchase separate liability insurance. A policyholder can sign an exclusion form, stating that the excluded driver is insured under an existing auto insurance policy. Supporting documents must be provided in order to prove the driver's exclusion.
Uninsured motorist coverage
This is an optional coverage that protects the driver in case he is injured in a road accident by an uninsured driver or vehicle. This kind of insurance is essential if the no-fault driver is seriously injured and the at-fault party does not carry sufficient liability insurance with him.
The law of Pennsylvania does not limit drivers from purchasing higher insurance coverage as long as they comply with the state's minimum liability coverage requirements. In any case, each driver must purchase sufficient insurance to cover property damage and medical bills, both of the at-fault and no-fault party.
Pennsylvania Department of Insurance
- 1326 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA 17120
- Phone: (717) 787-3166
- Fax: (717) 787-8781
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
- 1101 South Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17104
- Phone: 1-800-932-4600
- Fax: (717) 783-0505