What Is the Minimum Amount of Auto Insurance Coverage Required in Pennsylvania?
If you drive in Pennsylvania, you are required to have auto insurance coverage in the event of an accident. If you fail to carry insurance, you face a fine of up to $300 and a three-month suspension of your driver’s license and registration. The commonwealth sets mandatory minimums in three categories:
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage — $15,000 per person up to $30,000 per accident
- Property Damage Liability Coverage — $5,000
- Medical Benefits Coverage — $5,000
Liability coverage pays for the losses you cause to others, and medical benefits are available for injuries you cause to yourself. You can also purchase an “all purposes” policy with a minimum of $35,000 in total coverage.
It should be readily apparent that these limits are not adequate to address a serious accident, so it is important to consider the consequences of carrying only the minimum level of insurance. Imagine you cause a serious, high-speed accident on I-79 or I-80, totaling a $35,000 car and sending two people to the emergency room. They require surgery, a two-week stay at the hospital, four weeks at a step-down facility and six weeks of rehabilitation at a nursing facility. The total bill comes to half a million dollars —plus you are responsible for their lost wages during that time and their pain and suffering.
If that case went to court, you might be liable for millions of dollars in damages. Your insurance company only has to indemnify you for the full value of your policy. After that, you must pay the judgment out of your available assets. If you own a home or a business, you could be forced to sell. The victims could attach your savings and even garnish your wages. Bankruptcy will not discharge a liability judgment, so you can be stuck paying off that accident for the rest of your life.
How much auto insurance coverage you purchase is a personal decision, based on your overall finances. But it is prudent to carry at least enough insurance, including uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, to pay for a moderately serious accident, so you can put that terrible event behind you and get on with your life.
If you are injured in a car crash in western Pennsylvania, Rudberg Law Offices, LLC can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 412-488-6000 or contact our Pittsburgh office online to schedule a free consultation.