Pennsylvania Car Insurance

Drivers in the Keystone State understand the importance of a good auto policy and staying safe on the road, but even the savviest consumer can be overwhelmed by the plethora of laws, regulations, and information out there. To help drivers stay ahead of the curve in terms of staying safe and adequately insured, The Simple Dollar has put together a useful guide to car insurance in Pennsylvania. Read on to brush up on your insurance needs and all of the rules of the road between Philly and Pittsburgh.

 

 

 

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Stats in Your State

Before you can truly understand how insurance works, it helps to first get some background information. We’ve compiled some useful data to better illustrate the factors that affect your insurance premium, such as traffic fatalities and the cost of automotive repairs.

Auto Insurance Premiums

Pennsylvania’s average car insurance rates are somewhat analogous to those found across the U.S. Although Pennsylvania's annual rates rose nearly $150 between 2000 and 2004, these numbers closely mirrored the national average; in the four years that followed, however, Pennsylvania's rates exceeded those found across the U.S. by roughly $25-35.

Traffic Fatalities over time

From a decade-high 1,616 fatalities in 2005, traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania decreased more than 20% over the next four years. In 2009, 1,250 traffic fatalities were recorded in the state, well above the number of traffic deaths in many states in the country.

Auto Repair Costs

Between 2010 and 2011, the average repair costs in both Pennsylvania and the U.S. decreased, though the former dropped much more drastically. By 2011, the going rate for car repairs in Pennsylvania was roughly $20 below the national average.

Rules in Your State

When you get behind the wheel it’s important to know the rules of the road to ensure you stay safe and to keep your insurance premiums in check with a good driving record. Below you'll find important rules for insurance requirements, new driver restrictions, and drunk driving penalties.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Pennsylvania

Coverage with the following minimum limits:

  • Minimum of $5,000 to cover medical expenses for yourself or others, regardless of fault
  • Minimum of $15,000 to cover medical expenses for injuries to one person, with a cap at $30,000 per accident
  • Minimum of $5,000 to cover property damage if you are at fault
  • Limited or full tort coverage to file a legal suit against the at-fault driver

Required Proof of Insurance in Pennsylvania

  • An insurance identification card
  • A copy of the insurance declaration page listing the claim holder and insured cars and drivers
  • A binder of insurance signed by a licensed broker
  • A copy of application for the Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan
  • A letter from the insurance provider, on company letterhead and signed by the insurance agent, demonstrating proof of coverage

Pennsylvania Licensing Facts for Teen Drivers

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles Young Driver Fact Sheet:

Hardship License for Minors? No.

Learner’s Permit Age: 16 years. Drivers must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 21, must log 65 practice hours and must hold a permit for 6 months prior to applying for a license.

Restricted License Age: 16 years, 6 months. No driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless a family member over the age of 18 is present. Only one passenger who is not a family member is allowed for the first 6 months of the restricted license.

Full License (Unrestricted) Age: 18 years.

More Rules in Pennsylvania

Unfair Insurance Practices Act: The regulation listed above addresses specific unfair acts and practices in terms of insurance claims, policies, and market regulation. Consumers can reference the act to be sure of their rights, but you should consult an attorney if you are unsure whether or not your rights have been compromised.

2006 Amendment: Abuse, unfair methods of competition, Amended: unfair or deceptive acts or practices, private passenger automobiles: The 2006 amendment to the above act details further unfair or deceptive acts or practice in relation to insurance claims and specifically auto claims.

DUI/DWI Laws:

Administrative license suspension 1st offense? BAC .08 to .099: No, BAC .10 and higher: 12 months
Restore driving privileges during suspension? BAC .08 to .99: N/A, BAC .10 and higher: After 60 days if hardship is demonstrated
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for first offenders for the following offenses? No
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for repeat offenders for the following offenses? yes
Fine for first offense? BAC .08 to .99: $300, BAC .10 and higher: $500 to $5,000
Jail sentence for first offense? BAC .08 to .99: No, BAC .10 and higher: 48 hours to 6 months

Representatives & Resources in Your State

Consumers who want to learn more about insurance in Pennsylvania can access more detailed information using the links below.

Pennsylvania Insurance Department
1326 Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
(877) 881-6388
Get Directions
Contact Information
Consumer Complaint Resource
Auto Insurance Guide
The Insurance Department has put together an informative consumer guide to auto insurance that addresses the most frequently asked questions among Pennsylvania drivers.

Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles
1101 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104
(800) 932-4600
Get Directions
Contact Information
The Department of Motor Vehicles handles various driver and vehicle services, such as new driver testing and licensing, renewals, and vehicle registration.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)
Use the PennDOT website for updates on highway safety, traffic conditions, and general driver resources in Pennsylvania.