Pennsylvania Car Insurance Requirements

Fast, Free Auto Insurance Quotes

Minimum car insurance in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania requires two kinds of insurance to legally drive: Liability and personal injury protection (PIP). But for many drivers, buying more coverage is the right choice. Let's look at the insurance options in Pennsylvania so you can make the right picks.

Minimum liability insurance in Pennsylvania:

This is required. If you cause damage or injuries to others, it's covered by your liability insurance. But only up to the amounts you choose. If you're responsible for more damage than your insurance covers, you can be sued. That's why it's good to consider buying more than the state minimum car insurance. Pennsylvania drivers must have liability coverage limits of at least:

  • $15,000 bodily injury per person.
  • $30,000 bodily injury per accident.
  • $5,000 property damage per accident.

This is often written as 15/30/5.

Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage:

  • UM and UIM must be offered in Pennsylvania but you can reject them in writing. These cover your injuries if you're hit by a driver who doesn't have liability insurance or not enough.
  • If you buy UM, the minimum coverage is $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident (15/30).
  • If you buy UIM, you must buy at least coverage that matches your bodily injury coverage. For example, if you have 50/100 in liability, you must buy at least 50/100 in UIM.
  • Pennsylvania lets you "stack" UM policies. That means if you have more than one UM policy, you may be able to make claims under more than one. You can get a lower premium for choosing a no-stacking option. Here's more about stacked insurance.

   More: Cheap car insurance in Pennsylvania

No-fault insurance in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania requires personal injury protection (PIP). The state uses a no-fault insurance system. That means you make small injury claims on your own policy, no matter who caused the accident. PIP pays these claims.

You must buy at least $5,000 in PIP. In Pennsylvania, drivers also choose between "limited tort" and "full tort" policies. "Limited tort" will cost less. This choice affects your right to sue after a car accident. Here's a quick summary:

  • Limited tort: You can sue someone medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses. But you can't sue for pain and suffering unless the injuries meet the definition of "serious injury." Pennsylvania law defines "serious injury" as: A personal injury resulting in death, serious impairment of body function or permanent serious disfigurement.
  • Full tort: You can sue someone for medical bills, pain and suffering and other non-monetary damages.

Read more about no-fault insurance.



More insurance options

Comprehensive and collision coverage

Both of these cover damage to you own car. Together, the problems they cover include damage from hitting another car, hitting an object like a tree, animal collisions, flood, hail, fire and explosions. Comprehensive coverage also pays for theft of your vehicle if it's stolen and not recovered. If you have a car loan or lease, your lender or leasing company probably mandates that you have them.

Rental reimbursement

This pays for a rental car when your car is being repaired due to an accident.

You must show an insurance ID card (or other proof of financial responsibility) in Pennsylvania when:

  • Law enforcement requests it
  • You renew vehicle registration
  • Your vehicle is involved in a car accident

Penalties for not having car insurance in Pennsylvania

If you don't have liability insurance on your vehicle, you could face the following fines and penalties:

  • A minimum fine of $300
  • A three-month suspension of your driver's license
  • A three-month suspension of your vehicle registration

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Complaints against the biggest auto insurance companies in Pennsylvania

The department of insurance in each state handles complaints against insurance companies. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners uses state data to make a "complaint ratio." These ratios show the number of complaints relative to an insurer's size.

Pennsylvania auto insurance complaints comparison

DUI laws in Pennsylvania

There are three levels of DUI in Pennsylvania:

  • General impairment: .08 to .099% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
  • High BAC: .10 to .159% BAC
  • Highest BAC: .16% to higher

General impairment penalties in Pennsylvania

No prior DUI offenses

The first offense is an upgraded misdemeanor. If convicted, you could get:

One prior DUI offense

The second offense is an upgraded misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face:

  • A $300 to $2,500 fine.
  • Five days to six months in jail.
  • 12-month license suspension.
  • Requirement to attend an Alcohol Highway Safety School.
  • Treatment when ordered by the state.
  • One year driving with an ignition interlock.

Two or more prior DUI offenses

The third and subsequent offenses are a second-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face:

  • A $500 to $5,000 fine.
  • 10 days to two years in prison.
  • 12-month license suspension.
  • Treatment when ordered by the state.
  • One year driving with an ignition interlock.

Penalties for high BAC in Pennsylvania

High BAC is .10% to .159% in Pennsylvania.

No prior DUI offenses

The first offense is an upgraded misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face:

  • A $500 to $5,000 fine.
  • 48 hours to six months in prison.
  • 12-month license suspension.
  • Requirement to attend an Alcohol Highway Safety School.
  • Treatment when ordered by the state.

One prior DUI offense

The second offense is an upgraded misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face:

  • A $750 to $5,000 fine.
  • 30 days to six months in prison.
  • 12-month license suspension.
  • Requirement to attend an Alcohol Highway Safety School.
  • Treatment when ordered by the state.
  • One year driving with an ignition interlock.

Two or more prior DUI offenses

The third offense is a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face:

  • A $1,500 to $10,000 fine.
  • 90 days to five years in prison.
  • 18-month license suspension.
  • Treatment when ordered by the state.
  • One year driving with an ignition interlock.

Three or more prior DUI offenses

The fourth and subsequent offenses are a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face:

  • A $1,500 to $10,000 fine.
  • One to five years in prison.
  • 18-month license suspension.
  • One to five years in prison.
  • Treatment when ordered by the state.
  • One year driving with an ignition interlock.

Highest BAC penalties in Pennsylvania

Highest BAC is defined as .16% or higher in Pennsylvania.

No prior DUI offenses

The first offense is an upgraded misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face:

  • A $1,000 to $5,000 fine.
  • 72 hours to six months in prison.
  • 12-month license suspension.
  • Requirement to attend an Alcohol Highway Safety School.
  • Treatment when ordered by the state.

One prior DUI offense

The second offense is a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face:

  • A $1,500 to $10,000 fine.
  • 90 days to five years in prison.
  • 18-month license suspension.
  • Requirement to attend an Alcohol Highway Safety School.
  • Treatment when ordered by the state.
  • One year driving with an ignition interlock.

Two or more prior DUI offenses

The third and subsequent offenses are first-degree misdemeanors. If convicted, you could face:

  • A $2,500 to $10,000 fine.
  • One to five years in prison.
  • 18-month license suspension.
  • Treatment when ordered by the state.
  • One year driving with an ignition interlock.

Refusal of chemical testing in Pennsylvania

Drivers who refuse breath or chemical testing may be subject to the "highest BAC" penalties above.

DUI penalty source: The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the National Conference of State Legislatures

Distracted driving laws in Pennsylvania

Prohibits drivers from using hand-held cell phone while driving

No

All cellphone ban

No

All cellphone use banned for novice drivers

No

Text messaging ban while driving

All drivers

Source: Governors Highway Safety Association


Updated July 9, 2018

Find an auto insurance agent in Pennsylvania

Allentown Car Insurance | Bethlehem Car Insurance | Erie Car Insurance | Harrisburg Car Insurance | Lancaster Car Insurance | Levittown Car Insurance | Philadelphia Car Insurance | Pittsburgh Car Insurance | Reading Car Insurance | Scranton Car Insurance | Allison Park Car Insurance | Altoona Car Insurance | Bethel Park Car Insurance | Bloomsburg Car Insurance | Carlisle Car Insurance | Chambersburg Car Insurance | Chester Car Insurance | Drexel Hill Car Insurance | Easton Car Insurance | Greensburg Car Insurance | Hanover Car Insurance | Hazleton Car Insurance | Hermitage Car Insurance | Hershey Car Insurance | Horsham Car Insurance | Johnstown Car Insurance | King of Prussia Car Insurance | Lansdale Car Insurance | Lebanon Car Insurance | Monroeville Car Insurance | Murrysville Car Insurance | New Castle Car Insurance | Norristown Car Insurance | Phoenixville Car Insurance | Pottstown Car Insurance | Pottsville Car Insurance | State College Car Insurance | West Chester Car Insurance | West Mifflin Car Insurance | Wilkes-Barre Car Insurance | Williamsport Car Insurance | Willow Grove Car Insurance | York Car Insurance


MORE: Additional Pennsylvania Cities & Towns

Fast, Free Auto Insurance Quotes