If you’re wondering how Pennsylvania car insurance laws and regulations work, including the no-fault insurance system and car insurance requirements, and how to prove who is at-fault, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll discuss the meaning of ‘choice no-fault,’ minimum insurance requirements, and how uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UMI) can help.
What is a “Choice No Fault” Car Insurance State?
A ‘choice no-fault car insurance state, like Pennsylvania, is one that allows for drivers to choose to have no-fault insurance, where their own insurance will be financially responsible for injuries after an accident, no matter who was at fault. Drivers can also choose to have traditional insurance, where they can file a claim against the insurance of the at-fault driver, instead. If you choose no-fault car insurance, then you can receive compensation for injuries from your own insurance company up to the personal injury protection (PIP) limit that you have on your policy.
If you do choose to have traditional insurance instead, then you have the advantage of being able to sue the at-fault driver, but you are also open to lawsuit if you are determined to be at fault for the accident. If you choose no-fault insurance, then you can only be sued if the accident resulted in a serious injury, which is defined as serious impairment, disfigurement, or permanent disability.
Having said that, no-fault rules do not apply to property damage, so you can still file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for any damages and repairs to your vehicle. You can learn more about Pennsylvania laws and no-fault car insurance by contacting a car accident attorney.
What are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Pennsylvania?
Every operator of a motor vehicle is required to have a certain amount of liability insurance on their vehicle in Pennsylvania. The minimum state required coverage amounts are $15,000 per person PIP for third parties (including passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, etc.); $30,000 total per accident PIP for third parties; $5,000 per accident property damage protection, and $5,000 no-fault PIP coverage. There are also some all-purpose policies which are allowed with at least $35,000 in total coverage.
It is best to consider having more coverage on your Pennsylvania car insurance policy than minimum requirements. This is because it is not uncommon for the damages of an auto accident to be much higher than these minimum amounts, and if you are at-fault for an accident, you can be personally responsible for the remainder of any judgment against you.
Why Do You Need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in PA?
Uninsured/Uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) is not required in Pennsylvania, but is a supplement to your regular auto insurance policy. It ensures that you are protected and covered if you happen to get into an accident with someone who has no insurance or who is underinsured. As an example, if the at-fault driver has the minimum required PIP coverage, but your expenses amount to $5,000 more than
that, then your UIM can cover the remainder that the at-fault driver’s insurance does not. You can learn more about UIM coverage by contacting a Pennsylvania auto accident attorney.