PA Car Insurance Coverage Minimums
In Pennsylvania, the minimum bodily injury liability limits required by law are $15,000 for bodily injuries to one person, $30,000 for all. The numbers include what you have elected for your bodily injury liability maximum coverage for one person injured in an accident and your bodily injury liability maximum coverage for all injuries in one accident.
As an example, let’s say you have state minimum levels of bodily injury coverage and get into an at-fault accident with a driver and four passengers in the other vehicle you struck. If each passenger requires $15,000 in medical treatment (or other damages as a result of the bodily injury), that adds up to $75,000. Your bodily injury coverage will cover the first person injured for $15,000, but the state minimum coverage of $30,000 total for one accident will only cover a fraction of your liability for the bodily injuries resulting from the accident, so you’re left paying that remaining $45,000. Coverage payout isn’t typically this linear and can be broken up in many different ways, however payment from your insurance carrier can’t exceed the $15,000 per person or $30,000 per accident limits.
Another area where a minimum coverage threshold is set in PA is for Property Damage with the minimum being $5,000. Let’s say in that prior at-fault accident we mentioned you also sideswiped someone’s house and caused $10,000 in damage. The state minimum of $5,000 in property damage coverage, you’d still be left owing roughly half.
Personal injury protection, also called first party medical benefits, has a minimum of $5,000 in Pennsylvania. “First party” is essentially a fancy way of saying “the person who owns the car insurance policy” and covers you and those in your vehicle regardless of who was at fault for the accident. First party medical benefits can help pay for expenses such as medical treatments, dental treatments and hospitalizations. So let’s say you and one passenger in your car received injuries requiring $10,000 each or $20,000 total in medical treatments. That means the first $5,000 for each person requiring medical treatment would be covered under your first party medical benefits coverage, but you’d be responsible for that remaining $10,000.
Is Pennsylvania State Minimum Car Insurance Enough?
I know what you’re probably thinking. Verti is a car insurance company. Of course we want you to up your coverage amounts because that’s how we make money. The point is almost every car insurance company is going to recommend you up your coverage limits because the state minimum requirements are just not enough.
In the above example, a lack of proper coverage could cost you much more than a slightly increased car insurance policy cost. This is a risk when only state minimum limits are selected. This is just one example using made up dollar amounts to illustrate this point, the actual amounts you could have to pay with only minimum car insurance coverage could be double this or much more.
Another coverage you’re not required to have in PA is uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage. This protects you if a driver with inadequate car insurance coverage or no car insurance harms you or other people in an automobile accident, even if they hit you as a pedestrian. Drivers, who only carry minimum levels of car insurance or drive without insurance, may have financial problems. A small increase to your policy cost here of a few more dollars a month is all you need to protect yourself.
If you want to pay less for car insurance, state minimum coverage offers a way to get cheap car insurance, however you put yourself at increased risk. It’s a gamble, which sometimes pays off, but if you’re ever in a car accident you could be left with enormous out of pocket costs. Spending a small amount up front on more adequate car insurance coverage can prevent this and give you a little more peace of mind should the unavoidable happen. A Product Advisor at Verti can suggest discounts you may not have known about to help you save a bit more while still getting the right car insurance coverage for you since, as we’ve seen here, car insurance is required in Pennsylvania.