Pennsylvania is one of only 12 states where auto insurance costs went up by less than the countrywide average between 1989 and 2010, as per a November 2013 study released by the Consumer Federation of America. While the countrywide expenditure on auto insurance went up by 43.3 percent, on average, during this time period, costs in Pennsylvania went up by 25.7 percent. In dollar terms, the statewide average went up from $646.03 in 1989 to $812.15 in 2010, on average. As of 2010 it was still dearer to buy auto insurance in Pennsylvania compared to the countrywide average of $791.22. However, the gap is closing.
The study found that states that implemented stringent auto insurance regulation had the most success in keeping costs for rising fast. For instance, the Prior Approval (PA) system has been credited by the study as having a significant impact on keeping premium rates low. The PA system, which is in place in Pennsylvania and a few other states, requires insurers to file rates changes with the state and await approval before they can be implemented in the marketplace. The PA system has helped Pennsylvania go from being ranked the 10th most expensive state (in 1989) in terms of auto insurance expenditure to occupying the 17th rank in 2010.
One of the more interesting findings of the study is that stringent regulation did not adversely affect profitability of insurers. The profitability in states that employed stringent regulation was equal or better than states with regulation that was lax. Moreover, regulated states showed approximately the same profitability as states that are deregulated altogether.
Pennsylvania’s auto insurance regulation has benefitted consumers in the state by reducing their auto insurance expenditure. Moreover, it has done so without affecting the profitability of insurers in the state. In fact, a rise of only 25.7 percent in insurance costs over the 21 years ending 2010 is the 6th best performance in the entire country.
Auto insurance does not come cheap in the state of Pennsylvania. With an average annual auto insurance rate of $1604, Pennsylvania is the 15th most expensive state to buy auto insurance. It is mandatory to have both liability insurance as well as no-fault insurance in this state. The minimum no-fault coverage limit is $5,000, and minimum liability coverage limit is $15,000 per person, per accident for bodily injuries and $5,000 for property damage.
You need to furnish documents proving that you have the required insurance coverage, and if you are caught driving without this proof you could face a minimum fine of $300, and 3 month suspension of your driver’s license and registration. If your car’s registration gets suspended, it becomes practically useless, since no one else can legally drive it either.
Auto insurance rates vary between $978 and $2199 in Pennsylvania. The average insurance rates in the cities of Pennsylvania have been listed below –
||Average Annual Premium($)
A single accident could increase the affordable $978 in Harrisburg to $1178 for a multi-car policy, and $1369 for a single-car policy. This is as per the Insurance Services Office’s (ISO) surcharge standard. In Philadelphia, the rates increase to $2639 and $3079 for multi-car and single-car policies, respectively.
In Altoona, an accident that caused major property damage or medical injuries could hike your rates to an amount between $1557 and $2076.
Insurance companies look up your driving record when you are buying a new insurance policy, and an accident in the past three years on your record could increase your premium up to an amount between $1298 and $1557 in Altoona. One accident in Pittsburgh could increase your premium to $1414 and the second one could cost you up to $2109.
One way to reduce your premium is to have a defensive driving course. This could reduce your premium by around 15%. Also, it could help you drive better in hazardous weather conditions.