Be Sure You are Adequately Protected on the Roads in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania requires that all drivers in the state have to have minimal levels of auto liability protection as prescribed by the authorities. The reason for the requirements is to protect drivers from the costly expenses that are associated with being in an auto accident whether you are at fault or not. In Pennsylvania, you may legally fulfill the requirements for protection by either being self-insured or by obtaining a policy through any of the dozens of trusted providers that are licensed to do business within the area.

Insurance on Your Own

If you want to take the route of being self-insured in Pennsylvania rather than the traditional, more-traveled road of buying from a company, then there are a few steps you must follow:

  • Submit an application for self-insurance to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)
  • Complete and submit a master self-insurance and security agreement to be filed with PennDOT
  • Deposit a security with PennDOT of $50,000 for one vehicle, adding an additional $10,000 for each additional vehicle that you wish to self-insure
  • File a current balance sheet and income statement

Minimums You Need to Know

The law in this state requires that you maintain certain levels of minimal liability coverage to be used if you are involved in an accident that is determined to be partially or completely your fault. These minimums are just that - minimums, and do not at all guarantee to be sufficient to pay for damages or medical expenses after a wreck. If you are involved in an collision where the damage or medical expenses exceed your benefit maximums, you may find yourself civilly liable for the rest out of your own pocket:

  • $15,000 Bodily Injury Liability - This pays for the medical (or funeral) expenses for any single person that you are involved in an crash with including pedestrians. Obviously with the high cost of medical services, $15,000 can quickly be swallowed up by tests and medical procedures - or even an ambulance ride - so carrying more insurance than the minimum is definitely recommended.
  • $30,000 Bodily Injury Liability - This amount is for damage or medical expenses to more than one person involved in an incident with you. The $30,000 is the maximum that will be paid out for medical or other expenses no matter how many people were in the car that you had an accident with.
  • $5,000 Property Damage - For damage to another vehicle or other property (such as a guardrail or tree owned by the state. Again this amount is minimal and the limit can easily be reached in most incidences that are reported. If you cause more than $5,000 worth of damage to property the owner may be inclined to sue you in court for the remainder.

Failure to Meet the Standards

If you lose your coverage for any reason you could face penalties and fines as a punitive consequence depending on how you manage the situation. If your policy lapses and you do not get coverage within 30 days of the lapse, you should turn your license plates into the authorities and you will receive no penalty or fine. Failure to do this will result in a minimum $300 fine for driving without a policy, a three month restriction on registering automobiles in addition to a three month suspension of your driver's license, and you will also have to pay an additional $50 to register your vehicle again when the time comes along with a $50 fee to reinstate your driver's license.

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