Pennsylvania Flag - US's guide to auto insurance - Pennsylvania

All car insurance quotes for Pennsylvania should provide you with the following insurance coverage or financial responsibility at a minimum:

15/30/5 – This is shorthand for the liability policy limits required which means you need a minimum coverage of:

  • $15,000 for death or injury to one person;
  • $30,000 for death or injury to two or more people; and
  • $5,000 for property damage to others

You are also required to purchase Medical Benefits, with policy limit of a minimum of $5,000 per person. Pennsylvania allows you to choose your “Tort Option” in the event you are in a car accident. You choose between “Full Tort” or “Limited Tort”. If you choose “Full Tort”, it means that your right to sue for damages for injuries is unrestricted. If you choose “Limited Tort”, it means that you are limiting your damages to your Medical Benefits coverage for reasonable and necessary medical costs for you and your passengers as a result of a car accident (although in some situations, you may be able to still pursue the Full Tort option).

Nearly all car insurance policies have a provision that will adjust your coverage from the minimums required in your state to the minimum insurance or proof of financial responsibility in another U.S. state. So you do not need to get a new insurance policy for each state you are driving through. However, if you buy a policy in a low limits state (like Pennsylvania or Oregon) but live in a high limits state (like Maine, Alaska or Wisconsin), insurers will only write a policy where your car is principally garaged. So if your home is in Maine, you should buy the minimum limits for Maine.

Pennsylvania’s required insurance limits are low – as in all other states -, considering the cost of repair and damages likely to occur in an accident. If you are in a serious collision and the damages you caused are greater than the coverage limits you purchased, you may be personally liable to pay for those damages that exceed your insurance coverage. Lifting your coverage limits can be a viable and actually quite affordable option to enhance your financial protection for the case of a real incident.

Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Law and Requirements

Pennsylvania is a no-fault, respectively modified comparative fault state with a 51% rule. This is a legal defense that means that a plaintiff can recover for an injury, reducing the amount that the plaintiff can recover based on the percentage of which the plaintiff is at fault if it is determined that his or her fault in causing the injury is less than 51%. If the plaintiff’s fault level reaches 51% or more, he or she cannot recover any damages resulting from the accident. Also note, as described in the Minimum Requirements section, if injured in a car accident, you can also choose the “Limited Tort” option to cover reasonable and necessary medical damages under your own Medical Benefits coverage.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

In Pennsylvania, a first time offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a misdemeanor offense. If you are 21 years or older, if you have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of .08% or higher while driving, Pennsylvania law presumes you are driving while intoxicated. If you are under 21, a lower BAC may apply to you. There are three levels of impairment for determining the penalty for DUI offenses: General Impairment (.08 to .099% BAC), High BAC (.10 to .159% BAC), and Highest BAC (.16% and higher). If you cause injury or property damage while impaired by alcohol, you may be subject to higher level of BAC penalties even if your BAC is not in the higher category.

1st DUI

If convicted, you may be sentenced for up to 6 months in jail, depending on your BAC, aggravating factors, or prior DUI convictions. A court fine of at least $300 may be imposed, increasing with higher BAC up to $5000. You will also be responsible for other court fees. Your license will be suspended for up to 1 year and you will be required to attend alcohol safety school. Alcohol/drug abuse treatment may be ordered. SR-22 or FR-44 forms are not required for DUIs in Pennsylvania.

2nd DUI

If convicted, you may be sentenced for as low as 5 days up to 5 years depending on BAC, aggravating factors, or prior DUI convictions. Fines may be imposed of at least $300 up to $10,000. Your license will be suspended from 12 months up to 18 months. You will be required to install an ignition interlock device for 1 year after your license revocation. SR-22 or FR-44 forms are not required for DUIs in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Resources


Pennsylvania Department of Insurance Annual Statistical Survey Report- 2011

Note: List does not contain duplicates of associated or affiliated insurance companies

More Pennsylvania Resources

Top Ten Car Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania

These are the top ten insurance companies rated by 2010 market share in Pennsylvania:

  1. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance
  2. Erie Insurance Exchange
  3. Allstate Insurance Group
  4. Nationwide Insurance Group
  5. Geico General Insurance Company
  6. Progressive Insurance Group
  7. Travelers Insurance Group
  8. First Liberty Insurance Corporation
  9. United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
  10. Liberty Mutual Insurance Group