Pennsylvania’s “Choice No-Fault” Option
Pennsylvania’s auto insurance laws can be rather complicated to navigate for a new driver or someone who has just moved into the state. While PA is generally considered by law a “no-fault” insurance state, you can opt out of the no-fault requirement by purchasing a full tort insurance policy.
No-Fault insurance means that in an accident, no fault is assigned. It doesn’t matter who caused the accident; each driver can receive compensation from their own insurance company for medical expenses and lost wages. This is considered the Limited Tort option and is the minimum amount of insurance required by Pennsylvania state law motorists.
Limited Tort vs. Full Tort
Limited Tort Option – No-Fault Insurance Coverage
When you first purchase car insurance, you have two options: limited tort or full tort. As earlier mentioned, limited tort is the no-fault option, and you will not be able to file any lawsuits against the party who is at fault for the accident.
Your insurance provider will handle your insurance claim, and it will be limited to lost wages and medical expenses. Under limited tort, if you’re in an accident, you cannot file suit or claim any compensation for pain and suffering unless you have injuries that meet certain conditions or thresholds, which can often be very restrictive, and you’ll be unable to file suit.
The injuries must be serious enough to meet the thresholds and may include permanent disabilities or disfiguration. You should discuss these conditions with the insurance provider when you purchase your policy.
Many motorists aren’t aware of these limitations and simply choose the limited tort option because it offers lower premiums. It is always best to consider full tort coverage, however, in case you are in a serious motor vehicle accident and sustain serious or permanent injuries.
Full Tort Option
If you choose the full tort option in your insurance policy, you are opting out of no-fault insurance. You may have higher premiums; however, you have no limitations if you’re in an accident. Under full tort, you can sue the at-fault party for full compensation beyond lost wages and medical bills and file the claim for additional pain and suffering.
Pennsylvania Minimum Liability Requirements
The state minimum car insurance PA requires that you have at least minimum liability insurance for your vehicle to be legally on the road. If you are caught or in an accident and have no insurance, you can face fines for failing to ensure your vehicle.
State minimum car insurance PA:
- $15,000 bodily injury per person per accident
- $30,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
- $5,000 property damage per accident
Pennsylvania’s minimum liability requirements may be enough coverage for some motorists, especially if you own an older vehicle or don’t drive far or often, and you will avoid any penalties for not being insured, it’s best to discuss additional coverage options with your insurance provider.
Penalties for Failure to Carry State Auto Insurance
When you purchase your vehicle insurance, you must keep proof of the insurance in your vehicle at all times. You will need to provide your insurance card to get your vehicle inspected and to show it to law enforcement if you’re ever stopped or in an accident.
If you are found operating a motor vehicle without the proper insurance, you may risk suspension of your vehicle registration, license plate and driver’s license in addition to fines up to $300.00.
Best Auto Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania
You can get a PA insurance quote from many companies at once by using websites that provide auto insurance comparison tools. You can also do a Google search for the “best auto insurance companies in Pennsylvania” and get a PA insurance quote from each of the top companies.
A few of the top insurance companies in Pennsylvania are:
Erie Insurance Group
Erie Insurance Group covers the Mid-Atlantic region of Pennsylvania and consistently rates among the top groups in this area by its clients. It also has a 5-star rating from J.D. Power.
State Farm Insurance
State Farm insures about 20% of Pennsylvania motorists and offers discounts to its clients for bundling various insurance coverage under one policy; for example, multiple vehicles, home, and life insurance.
General Casualty Insurance PA
General Casualty Insurance PA is a specialty insurance provider for professional services that maintain a fleet of vehicles for their workers. Their target market includes commercial real estate firms, retail and other service firms.
Cheap Insurance Quotes
If you do a Google search, you will see various websites claiming to get you cheap insurance quotes, but always keep in mind, cheaper may not be better. Before you simply purchase insurance online, it’s advised that you first speak to someone about your situation to ensure you’re getting the right amount of insurance for you.