Automobile Law

Pennsylvania Automobile Insurance Law

Minimum Coverages Required by Law

  • Liability insurance policies for motor vehicles, except off-road recreational vehicles, motorcycles, motor-driven cycles or motorized pedalcycles, registered and operated in Pennsylvania, shall include medical coverage in the amount of $5,000.
  • Liability insurance policies for motor vehicles shall include bodily injury coverage in the amount of $15,000 for injury to one person in any one accident, $30,000 for injury to two or more persons in any one accident, and property damage coverage in the amount of $5,000.

Optional Coverages Required by Law

  • Bodily injury liability coverage limits shall be available for uninsured, underinsured and bodily injury coverages up to at least $100,000 because of injury to one person in any one accident and up to at least $300,000 because of injury to two or more persons in any one accident.
  • Any promoted discounts are taken off the liability portion of the premium, not the whole premium.

DUI Benefits

  • Insurance benefits may not be denied solely because the driver of the insured motor vehicle is determined to be under the influence of drugs or intoxicating beverages at the time of the accident.

Ineligible Claimants

  • An owner of a currently registered motor vehicle who does not have auto insurance cannot recover medical expense benefits.

Full Tort vs. Limited Tort

  • Full Tort vs. “Full Coverage”:  When agents sell “full coverage”, they usually are speaking about the minimum requirements required by law.  Those policy limits only include “Limited Tort”.
  • Full tort may not cost you much more.  Ask your agent for the difference in premium.
  • The tort option elected by an owner shall apply to all relatives in the household who do not have their own auto insurance.
  • Each person bound by limited tort  shall not recover pain and suffering unless his personal injury results in death, serious impairment of body function or permanent serious disfigurement. Serious impairment of body function or disfigurement is for a jury to decide.  Juries have found that back sprains meet that criteria; they also have found that being in a coma for 6 months or losing a leg does not meet that criteria.  Thus, the odds aren' any better than a “crap shoot” if you have “limited tort”. 
  • Even if you have Limited Tort, you may still be able to collect pain and suffering.   For example, if the other driver is DUI or the defendant' car is from out of state or you are in a taxi or bus, you may be deemed to have Full Tort.
  • New Jersey' Verbal Threshold is slightly different from Pennsylvania' Limited Tort Threshold.  If you are subject to the one, you aren' necessarily subject to the other.

Underinsured vs. Uninsured Motor Vehicle Insurance

  • There are many vehicles on the road who have little or no automobile insurance. 
  • These coverages protect you and your family from such drivers, even if you are a passenger or a driver in another car.In Pennsylvania.
  • These coverages are stacked, like blocks, on top of each other if you have more than one vehicle covered, unless you waive stacking (e.g. $15,000 X 3 cars = $45,000 coverage). 
  • These coverages will be the same as your liability coverage unless you waive them, or agree to take a lower amount.
  • Since these coverages protect your family, DO NOT waive or lower them.
  • If your agent tells you waiving them will save you money, ask him how much it will save you. He has to tell you in writing.

Do You Need an Attorney?

We may be able to help you if:

  • You have been injured in an accident.
  • You have limited tort or the verbal threshold.
  • You can' agree with your insurer.
  • You can' get your doctor bills paid.
  • You have insurance questions.
  • Free Initial Consultation.
  • No fee due if we don' collect for you.

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