Almost every state requires you have car insurance coverage if you want to drive legally in your state. Most states outline a minimum level of coverage you must buy by law. What your state requires as minimum limits however, may not cut the mustard should you get into an accident.
A car accident can cost WAY more than the minimum limits the state of Pennsylvania requires. On your declaration page from your insurance company, you may see a series of numbers which are what your coverage selections are. The numbers include what you have elected for your bodily injury liability maximum coverage for one person injured in an accident, your bodily injury liability maximum coverage for all injuries in one accident and your property damage liability coverage maximum for one accident.
As an example, in the state of Pennsylvania the minimum liability limits required by law are $15,000 for bodily injuries to one person, $30,000 for all bodily injuries and $5,000 for property damage in an accident. Now let’s say you’re carrying minimum levels of coverage and are in an at fault accident where there are four people in the other car. If each person needs $20,000 in medical care, that’s a total of $80,000. Your bodily injury to one person will cover the first $15,000, but you may be liable for the remaining $5,000. The minimum $30,000 for all bodily injuries will cover some, but you could still be on the hook for an extra $50,000 you’ll have to pay out of pocket. Finally, let’s pretend in the same accident if you then ran your car into someone’s house and caused $15,000 in damage. With the state minimum of $5,000 in property damage coverage, you’d still be on the hook for an additional $10,000. So one accident and you’re paying an additional $60,000. That doesn’t even include the damages to the car that was hit, all just to save a few bucks a month.
Another area of minimum auto insurance that you are not required to carry in the state of Pennsylvania is uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects you if someone with no insurance (or only carrying the state minimum) injures you or passengers in your vehicle. Drivers, who only carry minimum levels of car insurance or drive without insurance, may have financial problems. So even if you sued them, you may not be able to get compensation for your damages. A small increase to your policy cost here of a few bucks a month is all you need to protect yourself.
Finally, you are required to carry something called First Party Benefits in PA. First Party Benefits is a coverage delivering an assortment of varying benefits. The state of Pennsylvania requires that you carry at least $5,000 for medical, but it’s always a good idea to opt for additional coverage if you can.
Spending less to get the cheapest car insurance rate will save you some money up front, but if you’re only carrying minimum car insurance you may end up paying way more if you end up getting into an accident. A Product Advisor at Verti can also make suggestions regarding discounts you may not have thought of to help you save more money while still getting the right car insurance coverage for you.