What Auto Insurance Coverage Do You Need in Pennsylvania?
The Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law requires, as a driver in Pennsylvania, that your vehicle have at least the minimum amounts of coverage while it is on the road.
If you are caught without auto insurance, you may be fined as much as $300, and your driver’s license, registration, and license plate could be suspended for three months. The minimum limits for Pennsylvania auto insurance are:
- Liability Coverage – $15,000 per individual and $30,000 per incident (if you are at fault and a third party makes a claim against your insurance)
- First Party Medical (PIP) Coverage – $5,000 (if you require medical treatment as a result of an accident.
Other optional coverage can include:
- Collision Coverage – pays for damage to your vehicle if you are in an accident
- Comprehensive Coverage – reimburses you if your vehicle is stolen or damaged in something other than a motor vehicle collision
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) – provides payment if you are injured as a result of the negligence of another party who is uninsured
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) – provides payment if you are injured as a result of the negligence of another party who does not have enough insurance.
In addition you have the right to select Limited Tort or Full Tort coverage. Selecting Limited Tort is cheaper, but can limit your ability to sue for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses in the event you are injured in a car accident. See our article about the Dangers of Selecting Limited Tort.
Its not uncommon that a non-negligent driver has been injured in a motor vehicle collision and the at-fault party does not have enough liability coverage to compensate the injured party. This is where UM/UIM insurance kicks in. The minimum UM/UIM coverage is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. However, Pennsylvania drivers may also want to consider obtaining more than the minimum coverage. Some Pennsylvania drivers do not have insurance and some only have the minimum coverage referenced above and if your injuries, such as lost wages, medical bills and out of pocket expenses, exceed their minimum coverage your only other option may be filing a claim for your uninsured or underinsured coverage. So for example let’s say you have lost wages of $25,000 and medical bills of $25,000. In that scenario the combination of the negligent party’s minimum coverage and your minimum UM/UIM coverage would not fully compensate you for your economic losses and would not compensate you at all for your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Therefore if you have minimum coverage and you want to protect yourself in the event that you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver you may want to consider raising your UM/UIM coverage.
If you have been injured in an auto accident and you have questions about available coverages from which you can receive compensation it is important that you speak to an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney.