Pennsylvania state capital building

Pennsylvania Car Insurance Guide

Discover auto insurance requirements, the best companies, and how to get the lowest rates in Pennsylvania.

Home » Auto » State Guides » Pennsylvania Car Insurance

Pennsylvania is one of the top five largest states by population. In 2021, there were about 9.2 million licensed drivers on state roads. Most of the state’s population is based in the large metropolitan centers—Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Despite its large population, car insurance rates in the Keystone State generally rank lower than the national average.

This article will break down all aspects of auto insurance in Pennsylvania. This includes a look at how average premiums here match up against the rest of the country. We’ll also teach you about each law and policy that the state has relating to a vehicle’s coverage, including how much meets requirements.

Pennsylvania Average Car Insurance Rates

The average auto insurance rates in your state are a good statistic to consider because they give you an idea of what people are normally paying for their coverage. This can help you find out if you’re overpaying or already getting a good deal.

The table below shows how Pennsylvania car insurance rates stack up to the rest of the country. Auto premiums here are very close to the national average. Note that, based on the data, drivers here pay slightly less each month for coverage than most Americans.

CoveragePennsylvania AverageUS Average
Full Coverage$992.33$1,070.47
Price Per Month$82.69$89.20
Note: cost totals are for one year of coverage. All data is from the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Average Full Coverage Rates

The graph below shows how rates have changed from 2012 to 2019. Full coverage premiums here rose from $827 in 2012 to $992 in 2019. This was an increase of $165, or 19%. You can also see that Pennsylvania has maintained its position either at or below the national mean (aside from a slight rise above the US average in 2012 and 2017).

Average Pennsylvania full coverage insurance rates 2012-2019

Average Liability Rates

Below is a graph showing average Pennsylvania liability insurance rates from 2012 to 2019. Throughout the eight years, prices here have been below the national mean. But costs have been increasing, rising from about $490 in 2012 to $550 in 2019.

Average Pennsylvania liability car insurance rates 2012-2019

Average Collision Rates

In the graph below, you can see Pennsylvania’s average collision insurance rates from 2012 to 2019. In 2013, 2015, and 2016, the cost of this coverage surpassed the US mean. This is possibly due to the number of collisions in the state. In 2019, there were 125,267 crashes reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

Average Pennsylvania collision car insurance rates 2012-2019

Average Comprehensive Rates

The table below shows the average comprehensive insurance rates in Pennsylvania from 2012 to 2019. The cost of this essential coverage have been increasing since 2012. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, rates were higher than the national mean.

Average Pennsylvania comprehensive car insurance rates 2012-2019

Pennsylvania Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements

Almost every state requires some form of auto insurance. Only New Hampshire and Virginia don’t require any to drive. States set minimum requirements for how much coverage you need. State minimum requirements include the following:

  • The different types of coverage you need to buy
  • The limits you need to carry for each coverage type i.e., how much insurance you need to buy

While the state requires a minimum amount of coverage to drive, it may not be enough to cover the costs of an accident. Consider your state’s requirements to be the bare minimum. It’s always a good idea to add as much protection as you can afford to your policy. This way you can avoid paying out of pocket as much as possible.

Liability Insurance

Pennsylvania requires liability insurance to drive. It protects other parties from having to pay for damages and injuries if you cause an accident. Drivers must carry at least the following minimum limits of this coverage:

  • $15,000 of bodily injury liability (BIL) per person
  • $30,000 of BIL per accident
  • $5,000 of property damage liability (PDL) per accident

You may see your state or auto insurer write out the minimum liability requirements in shorthand form. This appears as: “15/30/5.”

Buying the minimum amount of liability is enough to legally drive. But insurers and others in the auto insurance industry generally recommend having bodily injury limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection (PIP) is required and must be part of any policy. PIP covers medical bills for you or your passengers in an accident. It’ll kick in regardless of who caused the accident. You must have at least $5,000 of PIP on your policy to comply with the law.

Limited or Full Tort

In Pennsylvania, you must choose between limited or full tort coverage. Full tort coverage means that you may sue another driver for pain and suffering after an accident. With limited coverage, you’re unable to do so.

So, which one should you choose? Full tort comes with the most benefits, but it’ll make your premium higher. Consider whether a lawsuit is something that you’d pursue if you end up in an accident. If so, then it might make sense to get full tort coverage. Either way, you’ll have to decide which one you want.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UM and UIM)

UM and UIM is a type of coverage that covers damages that an uninsured or underinsured driver causes in an accident. State law doesn’t require drivers to carry UM and UIM coverage. However, keep in mind that in 2019 about 6% of drivers in the state had no coverage. It’s a smart decision to carry UM and UIM so that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for expensive damages after an accident.

Valid Proof of Insurance

All drivers must have proof of financial responsibility for each vehicle they register. In other words, you need to carry at least the mandated minimum amount of liability coverage. It’s smart and sometimes required to keep proof of insurance in your car at all times. You’ll also need it to maintain your vehicle registration.

Below is a list of what may satisfy your state’s proof of coverage requirement :

  • An ID card issued by your insurer
  • A copy of your policy’s declarations page i.e., the first page of the policy
  • A letter from your insurer that certifies proof of financial responsibility
  • An application to Pennsylvania’s assigned risk program containing the same info that appears on your ID card
  • A temporary insurance binder that serves as proof of coverage (only valid for 30 to 60 days)


State law allows for self-insuring your cars. This is where you take complete financial responsibility for your vehicles, as well as other driver’s expenses if you cause an accident. To obtain self-insurance, you must complete a proposal to the state’s DMV. The proposal that you file should contain:

  • An application for a self-insurance certificate
  • A balance sheet and income statement that indicates your financial situation. PennDOT requires a $50,000 security (collateral) for one vehicle and $10,000 to $1,000,000 for any others.
  • Master self-insurance and security agreement

Pennsylvania accepts many forms of security payments. This includes the following:

  • US currency
  • US Treasury notes
  • US Treasury bills
  • Escrow deposits

Penalty for Driving Without Coverage

Driving without the minimum coverage is against the law. Doing so can land you in some big legal trouble. If you’re caught driving without the protection of an insurance policy, you could receive the following penalties:

  • A fine of at least $300
  • Others may not drive your car until you restore the registration
  • Three-month driver’s license suspension
  • Three-month vehicle registration suspension
  • Restoration fee for both your driver’s license and registration
  • Restoration fee for your commercial driver’s license if you have one

Keep in mind that you might also experience registration or license suspensions if you have a lapse in your coverage. The same can happen if your insurer cancels your policy. A lapse is when you go any period without coverage.

If you lose your auto insurance, you can’t drive your vehicle until you have proper coverage. By law, you can reverse any suspensions if you can prove to PennDOT that you didn’t use the car during the lapse period. The lapse period must be a maximum of 31 days for you to reverse the registration suspension.

Best Car Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania

There are many solid options when you’re shopping for a new auto insurance company in Pennsylvania. Choosing the right one is an important decision. This is a provider you’ll likely end up working with for years. But how do you find the best insurer for your needs? The best providers are the ones that put you first by having excellent rates, benefits, and customer service.

To find the best company, you’ll want to do your research. This includes comparing details about all the insurers you’re considering, such as their rates or benefits. You can also visit our article on the best car insurance companies in the US for more info on the major carriers and their overall quality.

Top Companies by Market Share

One of the ways you can find the best company is by looking at who owns most of the market share. These are usually the biggest and most popular companies. The largest companies aren’t always the best, but they do have the most customers in the area. So, they’re at least worth taking a look at.

Below is a table showing the top ten companies in Pennsylvania by market share in 2018:

RankCompanyDirect Premiums WrittenMarket Share
1State Farm$1,766,67419.4%
7Liberty Mutual$428,9284.7%
Note: market share data is from the III.

Top Companies by J.D. Power Rating

Customer satisfaction is an important metric to look at when you’re shopping for car insurance. J.D. Power ranks companies based on their customer satisfaction rating. They group Pennsylvania into the “Mid-Atlantic” region, which includes other nearby states, such as Delaware and New Jersey. Below are the top companies in the Mid-Atlantic by J.D. Power rating:

RankCompanyCustomer Satisfaction Score (Out of 1,000)
3State Farm851
7Liberty Mutual833
9The Hartford829
10Plymouth Rock Assurance827
12CSAA Group806

Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Laws

No-Fault or Fault?

Pennsylvania is a no-fault state for insurance. This means that you must buy personal injury coverage. PIP covers your injuries from a car accident no matter who was at fault.

Totaled Cars

Your insurer will generally declare your vehicle to be a total loss if the cost of repairs is more than its actual cash value (ACV). Each state establishes guidelines on total loss. Some states require insurance companies to declare a car totaled if the damages reach a certain percentage of its value.

Other states, such as Pennsylvania, use the total loss formula (TLF). With the TLF, your car’s a total loss if the damages plus the salvage value cost more than its ACV. Your insurer will return your vehicle if it’s not a total loss and you’ll be able to repair it.

Salvage and Reconstructed Titles

A salvage title vehicle is one that was totaled in an accident or some other disaster and is now undrivable. Salvages are illegal to drive. And that makes salvaged cars hard to insure. To drive it, you’ll need to restore it to a roadworthy condition. Then, you’ll be able to obtain a reconstructed title from the DMV. In other states, these are called rebuilt titles.

How to get a Reconstructed Title

To get a reconstructed title, you’ll need to go through an application process and inspection. Here’s are the steps to get a state-issued reconstructed titled:

  • Restore the car to its “original operating condition.” All parts must match the original manufacturer’s requirements and specs.
  • Pass the car through an enhanced safety inspection
  • Apply for a reconstructed title – Form MV-426B
  • Provide proof of ownership – certificate of title or salvage (either from PA or another state)
  • Provide proof of insurance – physical or digital ID card
  • Complete form MV-1 if your name isn’t on the certificate of salvage that you’re using as proof of ownership

Insuring Cars with Reconstructed Titles

You’ll need an insurance policy to get a reconstructed title. But keep in mind that insurers may only sell you liability rather than full coverage. Your rates may also be higher than normal. Cars with reconstructed titles are a higher safety risk because they were once totaled. In addition, a vehicle’s claim history is permanent and never goes away.

Any insurer can access your car’s claim history when quoting you. But each company sets prices for rebuilds based on their internal rate factors. That’s why it’s so important to shop around for the best rate for reconstructed title insurance once the vehicle’s rebuilt.

SR-22 Forms

An SR-22 form is a document certifying that you have the proper amount of financial responsibility to drive in your state. This means that you have the minimum amount of coverage needed to drive and it’s on file with the state that you do. States will usually require you to file an SR-22 if you have a severe offense, such as a DUI or reckless driving.

In Pennsylvania, you don’t need to file an SR-22 form after a DUI or other severe offense. But you can still expect to become a high-risk driver and pay higher rates. This can make it hard to get coverage.

Full Windshield Replacement

If an outside force damages your windshield, your comprehensive coverage will cover it. Unlike some states, Pennsylvania doesn’t require windshield replacement without a deductible. Some insurance providers offer a full glass coverage option for you to add to your policy. This is where your insurer will replace your windshield with no deductible. Keep in mind that this costs extra to add to your policy.

Filing Claims

Filing a claim with your provider is an important step after a car accident. Luckily, it’s fairly straightforward. Insurers have to play by your state’s rules, so no need to worry about your claim falling through the cracks.

What to Expect After Filing a Claim

Per state law, an insurance company has ten business days to confirm that it’s received your claim. If you file a claim with your provider, they have 15 business days after the receipt of your claim to accept or deny it. Otherwise, they must send you a written explanation of why they need extra time to decide. Finally, your insurer has 30 days after they accept it to settle your claim.

After an accident, you should file any necessary claims as soon as you can. Some policies have specific rules for how long you have to file. Be sure to check with your insurer to know exactly how long you have.

Credit History

Some states don’t allow insurers to use your credit history as a way to determine your rates. But, in Pennsylvania, insurance companies can use your credit score as a rate factor. They can also use your credit history as a means of deciding whether to offer you a policy.

Policy Cancellation

Insurers are allowed to cancel or drop your policy for a set of valid reasons. These reasons include:

  • Driver’s license suspensions
  • Fraud or misrepresenting information
  • Missing payments
  • Being a high-risk driver

Depending on your auto insurance provider, policy reinstatement is still possible if you only missed a payment. Be sure to call your insurer and explain the situation. In most cases, if you pay within a grace period, you should be able to reinstate your policy without issue. However, if your policy lapses, it may be hard to find coverage and your rates could be much higher.

Drunk Driving Laws

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous. It’s destructive to others and yourself. It can also get you in big legal trouble. Each state has unique penalties if you get a DUI. Typically, repeat offenses result in more severe consequences.

Below are the penalties for a DUI conviction for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08:

First offense:

  • $300 fine
  • Up to six months of probation
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety school
  • Alcohol treatment
  • Ungraded misdemeanor

Second offense:

  • $300 to $2,500 fine
  • 12-month driver’s license suspension
  • Five days to six months of jail time
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety school
  • Alcohol treatment
  • Ignition interlock device (IID) for one year
  • Ungraded misdemeanor

Third (and any more in the future) offense:

  • $500 to $5,000 fine
  • 12-month driver’s license suspension
  • Ten days to 2 years of jail/prison time
  • Mandatory alcohol highway safety school
  • Alcohol treatment
  • Ignition interlock device (IID) for one year
  • Second-degree misdemeanor

Driver’s License Points System

Pennsylvania uses a driver’s license points system. Each time you have a violation, such as a speeding ticket, you’ll receive points against your license. After enough points, the DMV could suspend your driver’s license.

If you get six points on your driving record for the first time, you’ll need to complete a written points examination. After you reach six or more points a second time, the state requires you to attend a hearing. If you keep getting violations of six or more points, you’ll need to go to more hearings and may lose your driver’s license.

The state will remove three points from your record each year that you don’t have your license under suspension. You’ll also need to not get any more points on your record during that time.

It’s also worth mentioning that insurance companies scan your record occasionally to find out of you’ve accumulated any points on your driving record. If you did, and the number crosses certain thresholds, you should expect to receive a notification from your provider that your premium now costs more. You’ll have to wait for the points to expire from your history and a return visit from your insurer before your rates go down.

Most Popular Cars

The most popular cars each year depending on the state. Insurers pay close attention to which vehicles people drive off the dealership lot with the most. This is because they may be targets for thieves. Below were Pennsylvania’s most popular cars in 2021:

  1. Ram 1500/2500/3500
  2. Honda CR-V
  3. Ford F-Series
  4. Chevrolet Silverado
  5. Toyota RAV4

Most Stolen Cars

Insurers also pay attention to which vehicles thieves target the most in each state. If your make and model are frequently a target for theft, your premium may be higher. Here were Pennsylvania’s most stolen cars in 2021:

  1. 2003/1997 Honda Accord
  2. 2020 Nissan Altima
  3. 2000 Honda Civic
  4. 2019 Ford Pick-Up (Full Size)
  5. 2020 Toyota Camry
  6. 2020 Chevrolet Malibu
  7. 2019 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
  8. 2020 Toyota Corolla
  9. 2019 Hyundai Elantra
  10. 2000 Honda CR-V