Pennsylvania is a state with diverse geography and plenty of historical landmarks to visit. You can enjoy the sites of mountains, plateaus, coastal planes, or visit the shores of Lake Erie. And of course, there’s Philadelphia - one of the largest cities in the country, and also one of the oldest. But before you set out to explore your home state, you need to have car insurance!

On average, Pennsylvania residents pay about the same as the national average for car insurance. But this can vary widely depending on where you live. Philadelphia residents can expect to pay much more because of the higher volume of traffic and frequency of claims. The best way to find affordable car insurance that leaves you protected is to compare car insurance premiums from as many companies as possible.

Luckily, the internet has made shopping for insurance coverage a lot easier. OnlineAutoInsurance.com can help you compare rates from multiple insurance companies all from the comfort of your home. All you have to do is answer a few questions about yourself and the vehicle you want to cover, and within minutes you’ll be able to compare car insurance rates from companies operating in your area.

But before you start shopping, you need to decide the level of coverage you need. So what are the legal limits, and what other options should you consider?

Pennsylvania Car Insurance Requirements

Pennsylvania state law requires all drivers to carry a car insurance policy with the following minimum coverage:

Liability Coverage

  • $15,000 Bodily Injury Coverage per person
  • $30,000 Bodily Injury Coverage per accident
  • $5,000 Property Damage Liability per accident

Your Bodily Injury Liability Coverage pays for medical expenses and funeral costs for injuries you’re liable for in an at-fault accident. Your Property Damage policy will cover damages to vehicles or standing structures in an at-fault accident. With such low minimums, you should consider raising the limits to protect yourself and your assets if you aren’t prepared to pay out-of-pocket expenses after a serious accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

  • $5,000 medical benefits per accident

Also known as First-Party Benefits, PIP is a kind of no-fault insurance that pays for bodily injury expenses for you and your family members. You are required to have medical coverage of at least $5,000; however, you can choose higher coverage depending on your needs.

Full Tort vs. Limited Tort

Pennsylvania allows you to choose between Full Tort coverage and Limited Tort. Choosing Limited tort will save you money on your insurance premiums, but you forgo the right to collect reimbursement for pain and suffering due to injuries unless they are found to be “serious injuries.”

With Full Tort coverage, you retain the right to sue and collect in instances where your injuries caused significant pain and suffering but otherwise wouldn’t qualify as serious injuries. Because of the murky nature of this law, it can be hard to determine the definition of serious injuries. You may suffer a back injury that limits your ability to bend or move, but an insurance company may not consider this a qualifying injury.

Young drivers without families to support may consider the Limited Tort option as a way to save money on their car insurance, but it’s a calculated risk. If you have people that depend on your income, Full Tort benefits are an especially important form of coverage.

Additional Coverage Options

There are several other options to consider before you start comparing rates. Your Liability Insurance won’t cover any damages to your vehicle, and there are some valuable benefits you can add to your policy to protect you and your family in the worst-case scenarios. Consider each of the following, and experiment with different levels of coverage from different companies to find the best value for you.

Comprehensive and Collision

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage will help you repair or replace your car, no matter what caused the damage. Most lenders require you to carry this coverage if you’re still paying off your vehicle.

Your collision coverage will pay for damages to your car no matter who’s at fault, whether you’re in a car accident, or you’ve hit a tree or pole. Comprehensive covers damages to your vehicle that happen outside of collisions, whether it’s hail, fire, theft, or vandalism. It also covers collisions with a deer or other animals.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist Coverage will act in lieu of another driver’s liability policy if you’re hit by an uninsured motorist. It offers bodily injury and property damage coverage for you, your passengers, and your vehicle, and can also combine with the liability policy of an underinsured motorist when the damages exceed their maximum limits. Additionally, when you are covering multiple vehicles, you have the option to stack all of the policies together for a higher combined limit.

Added Benefits

There are several individual policies you can add that provide additional benefits in different circumstances. That includes funeral benefits, which provide coverage if someone covered under the policy dies as a result of a car accident. Income loss will pay for a certain percentage of your wages if your injuries keep you out of work. Accidental Death benefits work like a life insurance policy—each policyholder can name a beneficiary that insurance will pay if you die in a car crash. You can also get rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, and towing and labor coverage for your vehicle.

What determines your insurance premiums?

Your insurer will use a combination of personal factors, vehicle information, and the level of coverage you select to set your rates. The higher the risk you are to insure, the more it will cost to carry coverage. The personal factors can include age, address, marital status, credit score, and driving history. Pennsylvania doesn’t allow insurance companies to base your rates on gender.

Your vehicle’s year, make, and model, and the amount you drive will also affect the price of your policy. The more expensive your vehicle is to repair, the more it will cost to cover. But advanced safety features like anti-lock brakes can get you a discount. You should always find out the cost of insurance before you buy a new vehicle to make sure you can afford it.

The level of coverage you choose will also affect the price of your insurance coverage, but it’s imperative that you never opt out of necessary coverage just to save money. If you’re in a serious car accident, the out-of-pocket expenses can be astronomical, and it can be difficult for you to ever recover from the debt. Spending a little more each month is a lot cheaper than facing a car accident when you’re underinsured.

Finding the cheapest car insurance rates

Comparing quotes is the best way to find an insurer that will provide the cheapest rates for you. Because companies all use different formulas to determine the rate you pay, no one company will have the best prices for everyone.

But you have to make sure you’re comparing quotes that have similar levels of coverage. The value of a policy depends on the maximum limits, the deductibles you have to meet if you need to make a claim, and added features like accident forgiveness that protect your rates. In order to get the best deal, you want to make sure you are thorough about the coverage your policy offers before you make a purchase.

The less of a risk you are to insure, the cheaper your rates will be. Drive safely, take defensive driving courses, and always follow the rules of the road. Speeding tickets and other moving violations will raise your rates, and the longer you go without an accident, the cheaper your insurance will be.

The bottom line

Finding cheap car insurance no longer requires calling insurance agents or visiting multiple offices. With OnlineAutoInsurance.com, you can peruse prices from multiple insurance companies for free, and there is never any obligation to buy. Once you find a policy that’s right for you, you can purchase it online and print proof of insurance within minutes.

Even if you already have an insurance policy, make it a habit to compare rates periodically.

Insurance Companies are constantly adjusting their rates to stay competitive, and switching carriers can save you hundreds of dollars a year. So start your rate comparison today, and rest assured you’ll be covered if the worst should happen.