Even the most experienced drivers can cause accidents. That is why vehicle owners in Pittsburgh are required to carry car insurance. From fender-benders on Smithfield Street to multicar collisions on the Parkway East, a good auto insurance policy can shield you from facing large financial losses.
It is easy to find affordable coverage when you work with a local independent agent. These agents are free to work with some of the best car insurance companies in Pittsburgh as they search for an ideal policy for you and your family. Contact an insurance agent near you to get started.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Pittsburgh, PA?
The average cost of car insurance in Pennsylvania is slightly lower than the national average. However, rates in Pittsburgh tend to be higher. Shopping around for the best rate can potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Pennsylvania average annual car insurance cost: $1,304
- Pittsburgh average annual car insurance cost: $1,476
An average rate can only give you a ballpark idea of what you might actually be expected to pay. Car insurance premiums can differ significantly from one driver to the next because they are based on several factors such as:
- Details about your vehicle (e.g., 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
- Your claims history and credit score
- The amount of liability coverage you are purchasing
- Which, if any, coverage options you are including in your policy.
Insurance companies typically offer rate reductions to policyholders who bundle their car insurance with other policies like homeowners insurance or renters insurance. Be sure to ask about all potential car insurance discounts for which you might qualify when you are requesting customized quotes.
What Are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, your car insurance policy is required to include at least the following amounts of coverage:
- $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
Drivers in Pennsylvania are required to carry liability insurance. Liability car insurance is designed to cover property damage and injuries sustained by other people if you are at fault for a collision.
First-party medical benefits
Most other states either require drivers to carry personal injury protection coverage or give the option to buy medical payments coverage. Pennsylvania is a little bit different. It requires drivers to carry what is referred to as first-party medical benefits.
First-party medical benefits are a type of no-fault coverage that is designed to cover medical costs like ambulance rides and treatment of injuries if you or your passengers are hurt in a collision. This will serve as your first line of coverage before the at-fault driver, if it is someone else, is assigned financial responsibility.
Full tort vs. limited tort coverage
Pennsylvania state law also requires drivers to choose between full tort or limited tort coverage:
- Full tort coverage: If you are in a collision caused by another driver, having full tort coverage enables you to sue for both monetary and nonmonetary damages.
- Pros: Full tort coverage enables you to sue for things like pain and suffering and changes in the quality of your life.
- Cons: Full tort coverage is more expensive than limited tort coverage, and the claims process can take longer.
- Limited tort coverage: If you are in a collision caused by another driver, having limited tort coverage enables you to sue only for monetary losses such as lost wages and medical bills if they go beyond what the at-fault driver’s insurance can cover.
- Pros: Limited tort coverage is far less expensive and leads to a more streamlined claims process.
- Cons: Limited tort coverage limits how much compensation you can collect if you are seriously hurt in a collision.
An experienced insurance agent can help you review the pros and cons of each of your tort options so you can make an informed decision about which is right for you and your family.
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What Else Can Pittsburgh, PA Car Insurance Cover?
In addition to the mandatory liability insurance and first-party medical insurance that is required by the state, most insurance companies will offer a wide variety of coverage options. These typically include:
- Full coverage: This covers damage to your own vehicle. It is typically required by lenders if you are still paying for your car and by dealerships if you are leasing. Otherwise, full coverage is optional. It includes:
- Uninsured motorist insurance: This covers your injuries and property damage if you are in a collision caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
- Gap insurance: This 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. It is often a good idea during the first year or two of new-car ownership.
- Towing and roadside assistance: This covers the cost of assistance if your car breaks down or becomes disabled while you’re out on the road.
- Umbrella insurance: This is an affordable way to significantly boost your liability coverage limits beyond what your car insurance company can offer.
- Rental car reimbursement: This covers the cost of renting a vehicle while your own car is being repaired following a covered event.
Reviewing the details and costs of your various options can help you determine which, if any, are a good fit for you and your family.
What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Pittsburgh, PA?
Driving without insurance is illegal in Pennsylvania. If caught, you can face some pretty tough penalties such as:
- Fines of at least $300
- A three-month suspension of your vehicle registration and driver’s license
- Around $200 in restoration fees to get your driving privileges back
- The possible impoundment of your vehicle
- Higher car insurance rates
Uninsured drivers in Pennsylvania are given the option to pay a $500 civil penalty fee in lieu of having their vehicle registration suspended for three months.
The good news for Pennsylvania drivers is that the rate of uninsured drivers in this state is lower than the national rate.
- Percentage of US drivers who are uninsured: 13.0%
- Percentage of Pennsylvania drivers who are uninsured: 7.6%
If you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, that person is responsible for compensating you and your passengers for any property damage and injuries you may sustain if they go beyond what your collision insurance and first-party medical benefits can cover.
However, this money can often be difficult, if not impossible, to collect — especially if the at-fault driver simply has no money or assets to go after.
Uninsured motorist insurance can provide you with the compensation you deserve quickly and without the need to go through lengthy legal channels. Your insurance company will take on the burden of collecting what is owed from the uninsured driver.
Does Pittsburgh, PA Car Insurance Cover against Auto Theft?
Although the auto theft rate in the state of Pennsylvania is much lower than the national average rate, in Pittsburgh, the risk is a bit higher. Residents of this city report around 700 auto thefts a year.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.29
- Pennsylvania auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 1.02
- Pittsburgh auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.41
You can be compensated for a stolen vehicle only if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage.
If you are financing or leasing your car, chances are good you have this coverage already. If not, you may want to look into how much it would cost for you to include this optional coverage in your Pittsburgh car insurance policy. That way, you can determine whether or not it is of good value to you.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Pittsburgh, PA?
Local independent agents are available to help you find the best and most affordable auto insurance policy. These agents work for you, not for a particular insurance company, so they can request customized quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in Pittsburgh, PA.
Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an independent insurance agent near you to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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