Car Insurance Guide

How does one find the best Pennsylvania car insurance? What are some of the cheapest auto insurance companies in Pennsylvania? What are the PA minimum auto insurance coverage requirements? What are some things to look for when comparing Pennsylvania car insurance rates? How does one find Pennsylvania rental car insurance – and should it even be purchased in the first place? These are all key questions for PA residents that are of legal driving age. Read on to learn some of the PA auto insurance basics and see if maybe you can end up saving yourself some money in the process!

Pennsylvania No Fault Auto Insurance Laws

The state of Pennsylvania uses a no-fault system in regards to car accidents. This means that your insurance company will pay your injury claim regardless of who was at fault in the event of an accident. Since no-fault laws vary from state to state and can change over the years, you might want to call or visit the website of the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance if you have any questions.

PA Car Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements

Under Pennsylvania law, you are required to have bodily injury coverage in a minimum amount of $15,000 per person, up to $30,000 per accident. Bodily injury insurance will cover such things as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any legal defense costs you may incur as a result of an accident.

Pennsylvania also requires that you carry a minimum of $5,000 worth of property damage liability car insurance. Property damage coverage will pay for damage to another person’s property such as a fence, house, or car, as well as any legal costs that may arise from that damage.

Personal injury protection, or PIP, is required by Pennsylvania state law as well. There are different levels of personal injury coverage available, but the minimum amount required is $5,000. Pennsylvania calls the minimum amount required First Party Benefits-Medical. If you are in an accident, this coverage will pay for related medical and surgical expenses, rehabilitative services, such as physical therapy, any necessary dental, psychiatric, and optometric expenses, ambulance and nursing services, and required medications, medical supplies and prosthetic devices. The policy will only provide benefits to you, any other drivers listed on the policy, and any relatives living in the same home as you.

PA Tort Laws

In Pennsylvania, you must choose a tort option. A tort option defines your right to compensation if you, or any members of your household, are injured by another driver in a car accident.

The limited right to recover damages, or limited tort, provides limited benefits. While you will be covered for all medical and other expenses as a result of an accident, you will not be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering, or other non-monetary damages unless your injuries are serious, such as a life long disability or death. If you choose the limited tort option, your premiums for property damage, full first party benefits, and income loss coverage will be lower than if you choose the full tort option.

If you opt for the full tort coverage, your rights to recover financial compensation are not restricted. Under full tort, not only will you and other members of your family be able to recover damages for medical and other expenses, but you can seek full financial compensation for pain and suffering, and other damages for injuries you received that were caused by another driver in an accident. If you choose the limited tort option, your premiums for property damage, full first party benefits, and income loss coverage will not be reduced.

Optional PA Auto Insurance Coverage

Optional liability coverage in Pennsylvania includes first party extraordinary medical coverage. This type of coverage may give you and any members of your family medical benefit coverage in an amount up to $1,000,000. If you choose this coverage, it will take effect once the limit for your medical expenses has been reached under your personal injury protection insurance.

First party income loss coverage will pay you up to 80 percent of your lost earnings if you are unable to work after being injured in an accident. This coverage is limited to $2,500 per month with a cap of $50,000.

You may also personal the optional first party accidental death car insurance coverage. This type of coverage will provide a death benefit of up to $25,000 if you or a member of your family living in your home dies from injuries sustained in an accident for a period of 2 years after the accident occurred. The $25,000 will only be paid to the designated beneficiary that you will name at the time you purchase this coverage.

First party funeral coverage is another car insurance coverage option you can choose in the state of Pennsylvania. This policy will pay $2,500 toward any funeral expenses if you or a member of your family living in the same household dies as a result of a car accident.

While not required under Pennsylvania law, you may want to also purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) bodily injury coverage. This will pay for any expenses such as medical, lost wages, injuries sustained in a hit-and-run, and other general damages in the event you are injured by another driver who is either underinsured or uninsured.

You can also purchase the optional uninsured motorist bodily injury car stacking policy. This option will let you increase the limits for uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. This coverage will, however, increase your car insurance premium.

In addition to all the liability insurance options available in Pennsylvania, you may want to purchase some type of vehicle coverage such as collision, comprehensive, emergency road service, rental car limits, loan/lease gap coverage, and customized equipment policies.

Collision coverage will pay for repair or replacement cost of your car if it has struck another car, object, or has rolled over. Collision coverage cannot be purchased without purchasing comprehensive coverage as well.

Comprehensive coverage will pay for damage from such things as falling objects, fire, certain natural disasters, vandalism, theft, glass damage, and damage caused if you hit an animal.

If you have a loan on your car, or lease your car, the bank or other financial institution may require you to have both collision and comprehensive coverage on your car.

Customized equipment coverage will pay for any special equipment permanently installed on your car, truck, or van such as running boards, brush bars, roll bars, fog lights, bed liners, etc. You can only purchase customized equipment coverage if you have both comprehensive and collision coverage as well.

The optional loan/lease gap insurance available in Pennsylvania will cover the actual cash value of you car at the time of loss, and any greater amount owed at the time of the loss, if your car gets damaged in an accident. This does not include any deductible, unpaid finance charges, excess mileage, or wear and tear charges, and any payment under this type of coverage will not exceed 25 percent of the actual cash value of your car at the time of the loss.

Pennsylvania High Risk Car Insurance

The state of Pennsylvania also has an Assigned Risk Plan. This program offers high risk Pennsylvania car insurance to drivers who are not able to get certain types of coverage. You may need to use this plan because of your driving record, type of car you own, or if you have an unavailable motor vehicle record.

Pennsylvania Rental Car Insurance

Many PA drivers agonize over whether they should purchase rental car insurance. While it is true that your regular PA auto insurance policy will travel with you and cover you even while driving a rental car it is important to make sure that your regular auto insurance policy has all of the coverage that you will want while driving the rental. For example, if you have a very bare bones regular Pennsylvania auto insurance policy then you may want to consider purchasing the rental car insurance.

Finding The Cheapest Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Company

While no one PA car insurance company is the cheapest for everyone it is certainly true that PA has a number of top auto insurance companies. Here is a listing of some of the best:

AIG

SF Insurance

Allstate

Esurance

Progressive Direct

GEICO

Liberty Mutual

Be sure and compare rates from at least 5 different companies in order to find the best policy for your needs.

Compare Pennsylvania Car Insurance Quotes Online

With all the options for car insurance available in Pennsylvania, it may be wise to shop around online for the best rates and coverage. You might want to do a side-by-side comparison of rates, and services available at several different car insurance companies. A little time and research may save you hundreds of dollars on your car insurance policy in the state of Pennsylvania.

Auto Insurance For Classic Car

How can one find the best auto insurance for a classic car? Is it even possible to find cheap antique car insurance? Classics cars can be well worth the sometimes pricey cost of upkeep and storage – there is no need to have to pay more for insurance coverage than necessary. Read on to learn some of the things that you should know before you purchase a classic car auto insurance policy.

Who hasn’t turned their head while driving down the road to get a better look at a classic or collectible car? We’re enamored with the lines of the car as well as its pristine condition. But the detailed attention in maintaining a classic car’s flawless appearance and operation is not only to draw admiring looks, it is also necessary in order to keep up the market value of the car. For this reason, along with others, specialized classic auto insurance policies were developed to meet the needs of classic and collectible car owners.

Another reason (a very important reason), for insuring your vehicle as a classic or collectible is the greatly reduced cost of classic car insurance relative to standard auto insurance. Standard auto insurance can cost as much as 200%-300% more than classic auto insurance. So, what is the biggest factor that causes such a great disparity in price between classic auto insurance and standard car insurance? Generally, collector vehicles are driven on a limited basis (the garage is where they are usually found). As a result, the risk of accident and loss to collector vehicles is considerably lower than the risk involved in vehicles that are regularly driven.

DOES YOUR VEHICLE QUALIFY?

The following is a list of classifications for collectible cars.

Antique cars – 25 years or older
Custom cars – 1949 to present
Classic cars – 20-24 years old
Collectible cars – 15-19 years old
Exotic cars – less than 15
Street rods – Pre-1949

This is the standard listing for those cars that are considered eligible for classic car auto insurance, but certain cars may be accepted at the discretion of the insurer. Sometimes, classic car insurers will customize an insurance policy for a particular vehicle.

WHAT ARE THE RESTRICTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH COLLECTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE?

To keep collector auto insurance rates low, certain usage limitations are placed on the insured vehicle.

Cannot be used for everyday use. This rules out using it to drive to work, run errands, or go out for that bite to eat. Under a classic car insurance policy, car usage should be limited to driving to and from car shows and the occasional parade.

Cannot be driven more than 2,500 miles per year. 2,500 is a fairly standard number among insurance companies that offer classic coverage, but there are some insurance companies that have mileage plans that allow up to 5,000 or 6,000 miles per year. This increased mileage limit was put in place to accommodate those drivers who like to take their cars to distant car shows. Of course the premiums are greater.

Must be kept in a locked garage. A locked enclosed trailer will also do, but a carport will not meet the grade even if you live in a gated community with a security guard. (The weather is also an enemy of the classic car). Some policies might stipulate that a car cannot be left unattended in a parking lot. This means leaving your car in a motel or hotel parking lot might present a problem.

WHAT CONSIDERATIONS SHOULD BE KEPT IN MIND WHEN CHOOSING CLASSIC AUTO INSURANCE?

Does the company offer Agreed Value Coverage or Stated Value Coverage?

Agreed value lets the classic car owner and the insurance agent set a value for the auto that does not necessarily reflect the market value for that car. Usually, the insurance agent will have to do a thorough inspection of the car both inside and out and will require photos of the vehicle.

What are the usage and mileage restrictions?

Find the policy that best suits your plans for using the car. Why pay for a plan that covers mileage for 5,000 when you know that you won’t even come close to using the 2,000 miles available in a cheaper policy.

Can you choose your own repair shop?

The Mom and Pop shop down the road might do a good job on your regular car and offer the lowest repair bid in town, but do you really want them working on your classic “baby”?

What company underwrites the policy and what is the rating for that company?

You want to be sure that the underwriter has a good track record and is going to be able to fulfill all of their obligations even if for some reason there is a larger than normal influx of insurance claims.

Are there any discount programs available?

A good insurance company should always inform you of any discounts that are available to you, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Does your insurance offer insurance for classic or modified cars that are under construction?

Some companies will monitor the progress that is being made on your vehicle while it is in the garage for repairs and modifications and allow you to adjust the value of the car as the project continues. Also, this type of insurance covers damages to your auto in case of a catastrophic occurrence such as a fire, or the hydraulic lift fails, or the tool cart falls on your car (with a little imagination the possibilities are endless.)

WHY CAN’T I JUST ADD MY COLLECTOR CAR TO THE FAMILY AUTO INSURANCE POLICY?

You can, but it could be a costly mistake. If repairs are needed you may be forced to accept the lowest repair bid, or if the car is badly damaged, the insurance company could opt to have it totaled. And although a discount is usually given for cars combined under one policy, that discount still may not provide the savings available if the car was insured under a classic auto insurance policy.

Finally, make sure your insurance company has a good understanding of classic cars. In the event that your car is totaled, you want to be able to work with a knowledgeable representative and receive the full value for your car.

COMPARE CHEAP CLASSIC CAR AUTO INSURANCE QUOTES ONLINE

Be sure that you shop around and compare car insurance rates from multiple companies before you decide to purchase. The more you shop the more you may save.

How To Get Best Rates For Your Car Insurance

Most consumers do not bother reading the terms in their insurance policy – they simply call around for lowest insurance quotes and purchase the lowest bid. In the long run, this isn’t always the best approach, and won’t always save the most money. However, let me assure you, car insurance best rates are achievable. Saving money on car insurance requires a combination of techniques that improve your insurability, decrease the rate of insurance for your vehicles, and provide you with a unique advantage when it comes to purchasing car insurance.

This article will outline seven techniques that will ensure that you receive the lowest possible car insurance rates.

#1 – Choosing the Best Insurer
Cost is certainly one factor when considering car insurance, but your insurer selection should be weighted more heavily on reliability. You could easily call a number of insurance companies, ask for quotes, and simply select the lowest bidder. However, even if the lowest cost insurer saves you hundreds of dollars a year in premium payments, that savings does you no good if you find yourself in an accident, needing car repairs or medical attention, with an unreliable and unresponsive insurance company. A good company is crucial. It’s not just about car insurance best rates.

#2 – Customize Your Policy
Before you begin calling around, it’s important that you determine the level of insurance coverage you need. Not everyone’s insurance needs are the same. Some families own two or three very expensive vehicles, while other families own only older used cars. Some people are members of AAA, while others are not. The specific terms of a policy should be determined by your life situation and the value of the items being insured.

#3 – How to Become Highly Insurable
Whether you’ve already purchased car insurance, or you are getting ready to start looking, one of the best things you can do to obtain the lowest possible rates is to improve those things that car insurance companies look at when they calculate your insurance premium. There are several things you can do in the short term to improve your insurability standing, and there are also things you can do over the long term to improve it as well. This section will describe four major elements of this technique to save money on your car insurance.

#4 – Reduce Your Car’s Insurance Rate
Another extremely effective technique to obtain the lowest possible insurance rate is to improve those things about your car which car insurance companies value the most when they calculate your insurance premium. There are several things that you can do before buying a car that will dramatically decrease your insurance premium. If you’ve already bought a car, however, and are looking for ways to decrease your existing insurance costs, there are still methods you can use that will substantially cut your premium costs.

#5 – Gaming the System
In addition to all of the techniques already listed in this article, there are also additional ways that you can use the insurance industries rating rules and premium calculation system in ways that will reduce your costs. Again, use the industry’s rules to get car insurance best rates.

#6 – Constantly Update Your Policy
One of the most important things that you can do to keep your insurance premium at a minimum is to always remember to update your insurance provider of any changes in your life that can reduce your insurance costs. Forgetting to do this can be very costly.

#7 – Deciding on Liability Only
There comes a point in the life of a car when the decision needs to be made whether or not it is worthwhile to maintain collision and comprehensive insurance coverage.

Getting Rock Bottom Insurance Rates
If you carefully follow each of the sections outlined in this guide, you are guaranteed to receive the lowest possible insurance rates for anyone within your calculated risk bracket. No one should ever overpay for car insurance – especially given the fact that there are so many insurers in the industry competing for your business.

Most people overpay for car insurance out of sheer laziness. However the consumer that understands how car insurance works, and is clever enough to take advantage of all of its loopholes, will save significantly on their premium in the long run.

Before you step foot into another insurance office, or visit another insurance website, make sure to print this guide and follow it carefully in order to ensure that you get the best insurance deal possible. Remember, car insurance best rates are achievable.

Tips To Cut Car Insurance Rates

Less desirable and low value cars are cheaper to insure

When I was 17 I wanted to own a Ferrari and live life in the fast lane. Even if I could have afforded the car, then I couldn’t have afforded the insurance to cover it. At 17 you are brand new to the world of driving and statistically you are more likely to make an insurance claim. Mixing high-powered cars with inexperienced drivers is not something car insurance companies are super-keen about, the chance of a claim shoots through the roof with the price of the premium following it. When you are young and inexperienced, buy a low-powered, low value car to try and keep your car insurance premium to a minimum. If it is worth less then it will cost less to fix/replace when in your youthful exuberance you crash it. The same logic actually applies to everyone, the lower the value of the vehicle and the lower the car insurance policy will be in most cases. Sports and premium cars will always cost more to repair in an accident so the insurance will reflect this. New cars now feature myriads of anti-theft and driver aids that in many cases will help to reduce the cost of insurance so keep an eye on the spec sheet when looking at a new car. A good rule of thumb is that less desirable and low value cars are cheaper to insure.

Age is a concern

I mentioned it above and it bears repeating. Generally the younger you are the higher your car insurance premium. This is down to inexperience and the youthful belief that bad things will never happen to you. The statistics say otherwise, which is often a shock to an unsuspecting young driver who ends up in a crash wondering how it happened to him…Driving experience and age are usually linked and that leads to a method of reducing your insurance premium – whatever age you are you will benefit from advanced driving courses and many car insurers offer discounts for these qualifications. It may only be a five – 10 per cent saving for the course but on a premium of £1000 it’s worth having the saving and it will remain with you for years, so it should be a good investment, not to mention make you a better driver.

Keep adding to the no-claims bonus

The more years you can accumulate without making a claim the better as most car insurers will offer a discount on your insurance for this. Effectively you are proving you are good business to have and because you haven’t made any claims then you are a good risk for them to underwrite. There’s nothing you can do here but keep your nose clean and don’t make a claim. If you own a low value vehicle and dent it parking, you’d be advised not to make a claim on comprehensive insurance because it would reduce your no-claims bonus, likely to be for a small amount of money and you may even end up paying for most of it depending on excess. In that case, provided you have not caused damage to any other vehicles or property, keep quiet, fix it yourself and your saving on no-claims bonus will be sweet the following year – in time, when you have built up three or more years no-claims bonus, you can actually protect your bonus, meaning even if you make a subsequent claim you will not lose your bonus.

Convictions aren’t cool

If you are an inner-city teenager then an ASBO may be a badge of honour. Insurers are less impressed by convictions though, so it is best to avoid them if you can. Minor speeding offences are certainly not in the same category as serial killer though, so if you have a couple of points it will not be the end of the world or have a major influence on your premium depending on the insurer.

If you’ve got a garage, use it

What are garages for? If you ask the average person they’ll probably say for storing all the kids’ toys, the home gym, bicycles, the freezer and tumble-dryer. I have news for you all; the garage is designed to house your vehicle when you are not using it. The fact that it puts a physical barrier between any opportunist thieves and your car is a real good thing and car insurance companies will recognise this and reduce your premium if you park in a garage overnight. Using your garage will save you money; it doesn’t get any easier than that.

Anti-theft devices

Most modern cars come with immobiliser and alarms factory fitted and if you notify your insurer it will check to make sure they are to approved standards and will apply discounts if applicable. You can get other devices that slosh around in the passenger footwell until you park and then fix to generally your steering wheel or gear-stick. These are mechanical devices and some do attract further discounts if used, just do your homework before buying. Thatcham is the organisation which grades security devices and generally a decent mechanical security device will feature its Thatcham approval very prominently along with any premium discounts you may expect, so choose carefully.

Use a reputable broker

Car insurance is very big business with around 30million+ vehicles on the UK roads, so there is a wealth of car insurance companies to choose from. Ironically, the big names you are familiar with are probably in your head because of massive marketing campaigns on television, on-line etc. Regardless of the message, those marketing campaigns need to be paid for and that means they may not actually have the best rates, although the sheer scale of some of these businesses means prices will be keen due to buying or underwriting power. The best advice is to compare a couple of different prices from different companies. Call the insurer and then call a comparable competitor and then perhaps a small car insurance broker. Each one will ask you if you have a price already and you should tell them what it is. Generally if they want the business they know what to beat. The moment you get a broker saying they can’t match the price then you are probably close to the best market price or else speaking with a broker that is not a specialist in the area.

A word of caution on price comparison sites

There are plenty of price comparison sites around which promise to drive the cost of your insurance policy down – Money Supermarket, Go Compare, Confused etc. They certainly do help reduce the cost of insurance as most of the major players are fighting for business on the same platform. Where these price comparison sites do not perform so well is actually advising you on the sort of policy that’s best for you or your car. Would comprehensive be cheaper and more suitable than third party fire and theft? The point is you cannot ask the price comparison site for any advice, that’s where car specialist brokers have the edge. Compare it to buying a new house, would you buy one without a survey? You might and then when it subsides into the sea you’ll be praying your insurance will cover it…the point is you shouldn’t buy insurance without talking with an expert either.

Pick up the phone

The internet is a great shopping and selling tool, you know my feelings on that from previous articles…but I suggest if you speak to a real person at a brokerage then you have a much better chance of getting cheaper car insurance. They can ask more questions, clarify your requirements and if needed they can even delegate the rate (set the price themselves) if they really want the business. There is no substitute for human contact, just make sure you speak to at least three different brokers to get a true comparison.

Got a nice postcode?

If you live in a postcode where there are few thefts and claims then your insurance premium will be lower than living somewhere that is a known crime hotspot. If you can afford it, move to a posh area and you’ll benefit from lower insurance premiums. Not the easiest way to save on the cost of insurance for sure…

Mileage and use

The more miles you drive the more chance you have of being involved in a claim. It’s simple statistics. The fewer miles covered, the less your insurance premium should cost. Don’t tell lies though, if you exceed the stated mileage by a distance then it could invalidate your insurance.

Married with kids?

Insurers like selling car insurance to married couples mortgaged and with kids and jobs. You are very easy to credit check and generally display responsible behaviour which hints at a lower risk for the insurer. That can reduce your car insurance quote.

Don’t modify your car

We all see the bling bling cars that haunt Supermarket car-parks late at night and whether you like the tacky neon colours and loud exhausts is neither here nor there – the fact is that any sort of modification is likely to hike your car insurance premium. Modifications can draw attention, invalidate warranties and in the case of loud exhausts, can also be illegal (if above the noise limit). If illegal, then it could invalidate your insurance as well. The fact is that car manufacturers spend a lot of time developing their products so they work well and if you modify them then it’s all out the window and your insurer will be scratching his head wondering what he should charge – and it will almost always be more than a standard vehicle.