Under the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s umbrella, the Office of Insurance Product Regulation and Administration regulates insurance rates charged and policy forms in Pennsylvania. Car insurance regulated by the state safeguards the rights of fair insurance practices by protecting, educating, and ensuring equal access for insured motorists. The department oversees all of the various types of insurances for the state, including health insurance programs for eligible adults and children. Its mission is accomplished by monitoring financial solvency, licensing insurance companies and its producers/agents, reviewing and approving policy language and rates, and coordinating the liquidation of insolvent insurance companies.
Pennsylvania Car Insurance Companies
The list of 11 insurance companies considered Pennsylvania’s top writers, by market share.
• Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company
• Erie Insurance Exchange
• Geico General Insurance Company
• Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company
• Nationwide Insurance Company of America
• Progressive Advanced
• Progressive Specialty
• State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
• State Farm Fire and Casualty
• Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company
Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s 2009 rate comparison guide lists annual premiums, across 12 counties, for limited tort ranging from $404 to $1,075 and from $438 to $1,188 for full tort. This chart does not reflect rates for state minimums and premiums could be lower.
State Minimum Requirements
In the state of Pennsylvania, car insurance is mandatory and must include four types of coverage. The medical benefit pays for the insured and other passengers in the insured’s vehicle who are covered by the policy, no matter who is at fault. Injuries to the passengers in the other vehicle, involved in the car accident, are covered under bodily injury liability. Property damage liability is for any property damaged by the accident at which the insured is found at fault. Full tort and limited tort relate to how much damages an insured can recover. Full tort gives the insured an unrestricted right to recover damages from the negligent party. Limited tort restricts the types of damages an insured is entitled to bring suit. For example, pain and suffering is not covered unless it meets one of the stated exceptions in the Act 6 of 1990 law. In exchange for certain restrictions, premiums are lower than full tort.
The state’s minimum coverage amounts
• Medical Benefits – $5,000
• Bodily Injury Liability – $15,000/$30,000 *
• Property Damage Liability – $5,000
* Bodily injury liability break down is $15,000 for the insured’s medical bills and a $30,000 cap for all medical bills incurred, per accident. Insurance companies can offer a single limit of $35,000, which also meets the state minimum requirement.
Uninsured Motorists of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has car insurance available for those who are unable to obtain coverage. The Assigned Risk Plan requires all insurance companies, in the state, to participate in the plan. Applicants are assigned to an insurance company according to the amount of business each company writes in the state. Contact the plan’s customer service office by calling 401-946-2800 or 800-477-6146.