If you are new to Pennsylvania or you are in the process of testing for your license, it is time get familiar with financial responsibility laws in the state. Financial responsibility laws, which are also commonly referred to as PA auto insurance laws, require all drivers in the state to carry valid auto insurance when they are driving a vehicle on public roadways. Drivers who are caught driving without Pennsylvania car insurance can be punished in a number of different ways. Some of the most common punishments include the suspension of your driver license, the suspension of your registration, fines, tickets, and even jail time. As you can see, the state takes insurance very seriously. Learn why insurance is so important and what type of insurance is covered in the state and protect your driving privilege and yourself.
What Coverage Must You Carry in Pennsylvania?
All drivers in the state must carry third party liability insurance. This coverage will pay a third party driver if you cause damage or injuries to that driver. Liability is made up of both Bodily Injury and Property Damage coverage. Your policy will only pay up to the limits stated on your policy to pay for either injuries or damage. You must satisfy the state minimums of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in Bodily Injury cover. You also must carry $10,000 in Property Damage.
Not all states require drivers to carry first party (or medical payments) cover. In Pennsylvania, you are required to carry a minimum of $5000 in medical benefits. This coverage will pay for reasonable and necessary medical treatment resulting from an accident. You can raise these limits if you desire by requesting higher limits on your Pennsylvania auto insurance quotes.
In some states, Uninsured Motorist is optional. Officials in Pennsylvania require Uninsured Motorist so all drivers are protected from the few people who violate the financial responsibility laws. If you are hit by someone with no insurance or low liability limits, your Uninsured Motorist cover will pay for your medical treatment up to the limits stated on your policy. You must carry at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident of UM in Pennsylvania. If you select higher limits you will have added protection in exchange for paying Pennsylvania car insurance rates.
Understanding Tort and Full Tort
Pennsylvania is one of the few states that is classified as a “no fault” state. This means that you have the option to select either a Full Tort or Limited Tort policy. When you select a Limited Tort policy you limit your rights to sue by receiving a lower premium. When you select a Full Tort policy, you can sue for things like pain and suffering, embarrassment, and other losses.
As you can see, financial responsibility laws in Pennsylvania are very complex. You need to make sure you understand these laws when you are getting your license or registering a car in the state. Sit down with an agent and discuss the laws in detail so you have a deeper understanding.