All drivers in Pennsylvania are required to carry liability insurance, or “financial responsibility,” on their vehicles in order to operate a vehicle legally and to maintain legal vehicle registration.
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, meaning that your insurance will pay for your medical bills and damages regardless of who is at fault in the accident. The minimum financial responsibility requirements for Pennsylvania drivers are as follow:
A minimum of $5,000 for medical benefits coverage
A minimum $5,000 for property damage liability
A minimum of of $15,000 per person for bodily injury liability. This means you’ll need to carry a minimum of $30,000 to cover the lowest possible number of people involved in an accident (the two drivers).
This means that the total minimum amount of financial responsibility you will need is $40,000 to cover bodily injury or death, property damage liability, and medical benefits coverage.
Being a no-fault state means that Pennsylvania drivers’ have two options regarding tort in their insurance policies. They can choose the cheaper limited tort, which means that their right to sue another driver for pain and suffering is limited; or they can choose the more expensive unrestricted tort, which allows drivers to sue other drivers for medical costs as well as pain and suffering.
Proof of insurance
In order to register your vehicle in Pennsylvania, you must present proof of insurance. You must also keep a proof of insurance document in your vehicle, because you are required to show it during a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident.
Acceptable forms of proof of insurance include the following document:
A current insurance ID card from an authorized insurance provider
A current insurance binder
A copy of the declaration page of the insurance policy
A signed letter from your insurance provider or agent, on company letterhead
A copy of your application to the Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan
Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan
If you are deemed a high-risk driver, insurance providers in Pennsylvania can legally refuse to offer you coverage. In order to ensure that all drivers can access legally required liability insurance, Pennsylvania operates the Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan. This requires all insurance companies in Pennsylvania to accept applicants through the plan, regardless of their high-risk status.
If you do not carry the legally required financial responsibility in Pennsylvania, you could face several penalties. These include:
A minimum fine of $300
Suspension of your driver’s license and registration for up to three months
A total of $176 in reinstatement fees
Impoundment of your vehicle
Canceling your insurance
If you need to cancel your insurance policy because a vehicle is in storage, or being repaired, or due to financial difficulty, you must send your registration plate, sticker, and card to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation immediately.
For more information, or to renew your vehicle’s registration online, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation through their website.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Pennsylvania and was authored by Valerie Johnston.