Even the most careful drivers can be in traffic accidents. That is why vehicle owners in Philadelphia are required by state law to carry car insurance. From fender benders on Market Street to multi-car collisions on I-95, a solid auto insurance policy can shield you from facing large financial losses as a result.
Finding affordable coverage is easy when you work with a local independent agent. These agents can work with some of the best car insurance companies in Philadelphia to find an ideal policy for you and your family. Contact an independent insurance agent near you to start comparing customized auto insurance quotes.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Philadelphia, PA?
The average cost of car insurance in Pennsylvania is slightly lower than the national average. However, rates in Philadelphia tend to be a lot higher. Shopping around for the best rate has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars a year.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Pennsylvania average annual car insurance cost: $1,304
- Philadelphia average annual car insurance cost: $1,699
Of course, an average rate can only give you a general idea of what you might actually be expected to pay. Car insurance premiums will vary from one driver to the next because they are based on several factors such as:
- The number of vehicles you are insuring
- Your vehicle’s make, model, year, and trim
- Your age, occupation, and driving history
- Information about the other licensed drivers in your household
- Whether you own or rent your home
- The amount of liability coverage you are purchasing
- The coverage options you are including in your policy.
Most insurance companies offer rate reductions to policyholders who bundle their car insurance with other policies such as home insurance or renters insurance. Be sure to ask about all potential car insurance discounts when requesting customized quotes.
What Are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?
While other states typically require or offer either personal injury protection coverage or medical payments coverage, Pennsylvania instead requires drivers to carry at least $5,000 in what is referred to as first-party medical benefits.
First-party medical benefits can cover medical costs like ambulance rides and medical treatment if you or your passengers are injured in a collision regardless of fault. This will serve as your first line of coverage before the at-fault driver is assigned financial responsibility.
You are also required to carry liability insurance. Liability car insurance is designed to cover property damage and injuries sustained by other people if you cause a collision and their medical costs exceed what their own first-party medical benefits can cover.
In Pennsylvania, your car insurance policy must include coverage of at least:
- $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $5,000 in property damage liability per accident
- $5,000 in first-party medical benefits
Pennsylvania also requires drivers to choose between full-tort or limited-tort coverage. A limited-tort policy will cost less but it limits how much you can sue other drivers for if they cause an accident and you are seriously injured.
With limited-tort coverage, you can sue for monetary damage only. You cannot sue for pain and suffering or other non-monetary damages unless you carry the more expensive full-tort coverage.
What Else Can Philadelphia, PA Car Insurance Cover?
In addition to the mandatory liability and first-party medical insurance that is required by the state, most insurance companies will offer a variety of coverage options. These include:
- Full coverage: This covers damage to your own vehicle. Full coverage is typically required by lenders if you are still paying for your car and by dealerships if you are leasing it. Otherwise, it is optional. It includes:
- Collision insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled by a non-collision event such as a hailstorm or a garage fire.
- Uninsured motorist insurance: This covers injuries and property damage that go beyond what your own policy can cover if you are in a collision caused by an uninsured driver.
- Roadside assistance and towing: This covers the costs of a service call if your car breaks down or becomes disabled while you’re out on the road, such as if your engine overheats or you get a flat tire.
- Gap insurance: This is often recommended during the first year or two of new-car ownership. It can pay off your car loan if your vehicle is totaled in a covered event, even if the vehicle’s assessed value is lower than the amount you still owe for it.
- Rental car reimbursement: This covers the cost of renting a vehicle while your own car is being repaired following a covered event.
- Umbrella insurance: This is an affordable way to significantly boost your liability coverage beyond your insurance company’s coverage limits.
Reviewing coverage details and costs can help you determine which, if any, of the coverage options available to you are a good fit for you and your family.
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What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Philadelphia, PA?
Driving without insurance is illegal in Pennsylvania. If caught, you can face penalties including:
- A fine of at least $300
- The suspension of your vehicle registration and driver's license for three months.
- Restoration fees of around $200 to get your driving privileges back
- Possible impoundment of your vehicle
- Possible jail time for repeat offenders
- Higher car insurance rates
Drivers in Pennsylvania do have the option to pay a $500 civil penalty fee in order to avoid having their vehicle registration suspended for three months.
The good news is that the rate of uninsured drivers in Pennsylvania is lower than the national average rate.
- Percentage of US drivers who are uninsured: 13.0%
- Percentage of Pennsylvania drivers who are uninsured: 7.6%
If you are in a collision caused by an uninsured driver, that person is responsible for compensating you and your passengers for any property damage and injuries you may sustain that go beyond what your collision insurance and first-party medical benefits can cover.
However, these funds can often be difficult, if not impossible, to collect — particularly if the at fault-driver simply has no money or assets to go after.
Uninsured motorist insurance was created to ensure that you can you receive the compensation you deserve quickly and without the need to go through lengthy legal channels. Your insurance company will take on the burden of trying to get compensation from the uninsured driver.
Does Philadelphia, PA Car Insurance Cover against Auto Theft?
The auto theft rate in the state of Pennsylvania is much lower than the national average rate. However, in Philadelphia, the risk is higher. Residents of this city report around 5,500 auto thefts a year.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.29
- Pennsylvania auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 1.02
- Philadelphia auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 3.58
You can only be compensated for a stolen vehicle if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage. This optional insurance covers more than just car theft. It also covers loss or damage caused by a variety of other non-collision hazards like windstorms and floods.
If you are still paying for your vehicle or if you have it on a lease, chances are good you have this coverage already. If not, you may want to look into how much it would cost for you to add it to your Philadelphia car insurance policy. That way, you can determine whether it is of good value to you.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Philadelphia, PA?
If you are looking for the right auto insurance to meet your coverage and budgetary needs, an independent agent in Philadelphia can help. These agents work for you, not for a particular insurance company, so they can shop around to find you the coverage you want at the most competitive price.
Talk to an independent insurance agent near you to get more information and to start comparing customized quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in Philadelphia, PA.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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