Pennsylvania Car Insurance Regulations & Required Coverage

Pennsylvania car insurance regulations require that all drivers maintain minimum liability insurance limits of 15/30/5. Additional coverage is recommended to ensure you’re adequately covered at all times. Pennsylvania auto insurance laws operate under a choice no-fault system, which is similar to a tort system but gives people the option of choosing Full Tort or Limited Tort. Your Pennsylvania car insurance premiums will be reduced if you select the limited tort option.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 10, 2020

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Pennsylvania car insurance laws are governed by a tort system with limits of 15/30/5. There is also an additional First Party Benefits requirement that is unique to the state. Additional coverage is recommended to ensure you are adequately covered at all times.

Pennsylvania operates under a choice no fault system but is also similar to a tort system and gives people the option of choosing Full Tort or Limited Tort. Full tort entitles you to unrestricted financial compensation for injuries caused by other drivers while the limited tort option lets you recover the costs of medical and other out of pocket expenses but you are not allowed to receive compensation for pain and suffering or other non-monetary damages. Your car insurance premiums will be reduced if you select the limited tort option, but it is up to you to determine if the savings are worth giving up some of your legal rights.

Required Coverage

All personal vehicles in Pennsylvania require the following liability coverage requirements:

  • Bodily Injury
  • Property Damage

Additionally, Pennsylvania requires the following coverage:

  • First Person Benefits

First party benefits is similar to personal injury protection and can cover several areas within your insurance coverage. Pennsylvania is the only state that requires drivers to purchase first party benefits, but the requirement is only for the medical coverage. This coverage helps pay for medical expenses related to injuries from a car accident to the policyholder and drivers listed on the policy plus any relatives living in the same household as the policyholder.

Minimum Pennsylvania Car Insurance Requirements
Bodily Injury Liability $15,000 / $30,000 Limit
Property Damage Liability $5,000 Limit
First Party Benefits (PIP) $5,000

Additional insurance coverage can include:

  • Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
  • Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Uninsured / underinsured coverage will help cover expenses if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance, their insurance coverage isn’t enough to pay for all damages or if you’re involved in a hit and run accident.

Collision and comprehensive are usually grouped and sold together by insurance companies but are actually two separate types of coverages. Collision provides additional coverage for vehicle repairs and related expenses if your car is in an accident and comprehensive coverage covers your damages incurred that aren’t resulting from a collision. Having your vehicle listed on the list of most stolen vehicles in Pennsylvania means you should usually purchase this coverage. Even if it isn’t, you should strongly consider it.

Proof of Insurance and Financial Responsibility

Establishing proof of insurance and financial responsibility

  • Get a standard liability car insurance policy
  • Self insurance can be obtained by completing a self insurance application and master self insurance & security agreement, providing a current balance sheet and income statement and putting up a security deposit of $50,000 for the first vehicle and $10,000 for each additional vehicle to be self insured.

Required Documentation

Your insurance company is not required to notify PennDOT that you currently meet the state’s minimum insurance requirements. In order to provide proof of insurance, you can provide one of the following:

  • Insurance ID card provided by your insurance company
  • The declaration page of your insurance policy
  • Insurance binder signed by a licensed insurance agent
  • A signed Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan application
  • A signed letter from your insurer listing your current coverage
  • A certificate of self insurance, issued by PennDOT

You must maintain proof of insurance and financial responsibility and present it:

  • When asked by a police officer
  • During the initial registration of your vehicle
  • Anytime you operate an insurable vehicle

Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility Penalties

If you are unable to show proof of insurance when asked by a police officer, you can face one of the following penalties:

  • Minimum $300 fine
  • 3 month suspension of your vehicle registration
  • 3 month suspension of your license
  • $50 restoration fee to restore your vehicle registration
  • $50 restoration fee to restore your license
  • Your vehicle will not be allowed to be driven by anyone while the registration is suspended

Pennsylvania Insurance Agents

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