Pennsylvania's minimum requirements for car insurance are extremely low compared with those in other states. For example, its mandatory $5,000 liability for property damage would not repair or replace many of the cars you are most likely to hit. And even a minor injury can rack up $15,000 in medical expenses.
Once bills hit those low limits, you are legally responsible for the balance. We suggest anyone with a home or savings to protect consider raising liability coverage limits.
Pennsylvania requires that insurance companies offer you uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, but you may decline it. In the Philadelphia area, where the rate of uninsured motorists is high, you should consider keeping it.
Pennsylvania also mandates purchase of first party benefits medical coverage. This pays medical expenses for you and anyone on your policy up to its limits, even if the accident was your fault.
Time heals your driver's license: Pennsylvania removes three points from your motor vehicle record when 12 months pass without a violation. If you hit six points on your record, you are required to take a written examination of your knowledge about safety and regulations. Two points are deducted from your total if you pass. Your driver's license is suspended at 11 points.
Insurance check: You'll have to produce proof of current insurance in Pennsylvania:
- if you are stopped for a traffic violation
- if you are involved in a reportable traffic accident
- when you register your car
- when your car undergoes its safety inspection
In addition, your insurance company will report a cancellation or nonrenewal to the state.
Lapse in coverage: If your Pennsylvania auto insurance policy lapses, your vehicle registration will be suspended for three months. If the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) determines that you drove your vehicle without insurance, your driver's license will also be suspended for three months. To serve the suspension your registration plate, sticker, card and driver's license need to be surrendered to PennDOT. The one exception to this is if the lapse was for less than 31 days and you can prove that the vehicle wasn't operated during this time.