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Driving in the Keystone State

You’re a smart, savvy shopper. We get that. You don’t visit the airport when you need to book a trip, you use or Car insurance is no different. We’ll help you quickly figure out who offers the best car insurance in Pennsylvania for your smart, savvy self.

We are carrier-neutral because our customer is you. Have no fear of the unknown after reviewing the data points provided here, especially when purchasing car insurance for the first time. You will be armed and prosperous! And then you can get on with your life. We get that, too. So, let’s do this…quickly!

Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Rates

You’re on the go and don’t have time to answer our questions. Don’t worry, we’ve still got you. Below are the top three auto insurance companies in your state, all things considered (see the full list).

  1. Erie Insurance
  2. The Hartford
  3. Allstate

Some things considered. Where can I find the cheapest car insurance in Pennsylvania? Which insurance company offers the best coverage? Which is the most popular in my area? Who has the most rejected claims or repeat business?

Click on your city to compare auto insurance rates where you live! Don’t see your city listed? Start comparing rates instantly.

Legalities 101

You’re on your way to finding a great car insurance rate, but what else do you need to know? Pennsylvania auto insurance comes with its own unique set of laws. You are not only a smart, savvy shopper but a good citizen, so we have outlined the most important driving and insurance laws in Pennsylvania for you.

Pennsylvania Driving Safety Stats

  1. Don’t drink or drug and drive
  2. Don’t cell phone and drive
  3. Don’t anything-that-might-cause-distracted-driving and drive

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Fatal Accidents Testing Positive for Drug Involvement in Pennsylvania
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Annual Distracted Driving Related Crashes in Pennsylvania
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Years in Pennsylvania Prison for Vehicular Homicide Caused by a Drunk Driver


Driving in Pennsylvania with a blood alcohol content (including that from medications) at or below the set limits WILL put you at risk of being arrested for driving under the influence. The consequences are real, and they are as harsh as you would suspect. Visit our FAQ to learn the limits and possible consequences of a DUI conviction or refusal to submit a chemical test.


Texting and driving in Pennsylvania (read the latest update to your state’s law here) can also have extreme consequences. Watch this video with your family to understand that what we often think is just a safe, quick glance could mean permanent damage, our own death or even homicide. The fact is, a one-second glance away from the road is what the Journal of Adolescent Health has deemed safe, but the average text message takes five seconds. You wouldn’t drink and drive, so don’t text and drive either.

Three strikes, you’re out

While it might seem like all of these driving laws go without saying, the statistics tell us otherwise. SmartFinancial encourages you to avoid all non-driving activities while driving. The more serious offenses could fall under Pennsylvania’s Three Strikes Law (see our FAQ for more information). Keep yourself, your passengers and other drivers safe by limiting your road activities strictly to driving while driving.

Do it because it’s your social responsibility, and because Oprah said so! Take the “no phone zone” or #itcanwait pledge and share this information with your social networks.

Driving Green

With more than 250,199 miles of scenic road to cover, there is a large amount of driving being done in Pennsylvania. Here’s how you can do your part to “drive green.”

  • Smog

    Get your emissions checked every year in these counties before or with the annual safety inspection.

  • Littering

    Avoid fines, community service and/or jail time by not breaking the Pennsylvania littering laws.

  • Clean Air Cars

    Check out this extensive list of incentives for driving clean air cars in Pennsylvania. Don’t forget to ask your selected insurance company if they offer any green car discounts.

    For more information on Pennsylvania’s efforts (and nationwide efforts) to promote hybrid and electric vehicles, visit

Car Insurance Laws

Being a Minimalist

You like to keep it simple, and so do we! Just don’t go too minimalist and skip the auto insurance altogether (see our FAQ for more information). In Pennsylvania, you are legally required to obtain both liability insurance and personal injury protection.* This is for your protection if you are deemed “at fault” in an accident that causes injury and lost wages to another driver or passengers in another vehicle. Liability coverage pays up to the amounts listed below. It also pays for damages to the other driver’s vehicle. Trust us, you’d want this coverage even if it wasn’t legally required!

Since Pennsylvania is a “no-fault” state, drivers are financially responsible for any accident they case. You can also be sued by the other driver if found at fault. Consider this: $5,000 is the maximum payment for property damage but you collide with a $25,000 vehicle. If you are found at fault, you are on the hook for any damages beyond $5,000. Between this and the high cost of medical care, we recommend you carry more than the minimum required coverage!

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$ 15,000
Bodily injury coverage per person

Max. payment for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.

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$ 30,000
Bodily injury coverage per accident

Max. payment for all injuries that you cause in an accident when more than one person is hurt.

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$ 5,000
Property damage per accident

Max. payment for damaged property in an accident caused by you.

Maximizing your Return on Investment

While not legally required, drivers can also elect to carry full coverage insurance. For more information, read the SmartFinancial blog 10 Things to Consider when Shopping for a New Auto Insurance Policy.

Optional coverage in Pennsylvania

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance/Towing
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage
  • Funeral

* The Pennsylvania Assigned High Risk Plan was designed for those high risk drivers to be able to obtain car insurance and requires that all Pennsylvania car insurance companies are required to accept applicants through the plan. To find out if you are eligilble, visit or call 800-477-6146.

Pennsylvania car insurance companies

Erie Insurance
The Hartford
Plymouth Rock Assurance
State Farm
21st Century
Liberty Mutual

* Ratings for the Mid-Atlantic Region (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia) in order of consumer rating as documented in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study,  which examined five key customer service areas: interaction, policy offerings, price, billing process and policy information, and claims. USAA and NJM Insurance Co. are not available to everyone, and therefore, not included in the rankings.

Car Safety for Pennsylvania Kids

Pennsylvania Car Seat Regulations

Pennsylvania law specifies that children under 2 years of age must be properly restrained in a rear-facing car seat until they surpass its weight and height limit. From then up to 4 years old, children have to be in an appropriate front-facing car seat with harness. After outgrowing this safety seat, children from 4 to 8 are required to use a booster seat. From then on, they must use the vehicle’s factory-installed seat belts.

Kids are always safest in the back seat of a vehicle. They’re better insulated in various types of accidents, and they’re also not at risk of being harmed by an airbag deployment. Find lots more child passenger safety advice and information on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation website.

Leaving Children Unattended in a Vehicle

Pennsylvania law states that no caregiver shall leave a child under 6 years of age unsupervised in a vehicle if that child’s health, safety, or welfare may be endangered.

There are a variety of risks that parents and other caregivers should be aware of when it comes to leaving a kid alone in a vehicle. For example, young children can get hurt while playing around, and they’re also more vulnerable to kidnapping and violence by a passing stranger. If the keys are left in the car, a curious child can set it into motion, possibly causing damage or injuries. Also, interior temperatures can quickly reach dangerous extremes, and this can lead to permanent injury or even death. This is a very real concern for pets as well as for children.

Car Insurance FAQ

Will my credit score be used to obtain car insurance in Pennsylvania?

Yes and, unfortunately, car insurance companies in your state do not have to reveal to you how they are going about setting your rate. Here are a few life events and other things you can do to keep your rate down.

Is there a good-driver discount in Pennsylvania?

It is always best to ask your selected car insurance company about good-driver and other discounts to obtain cheap auto insurance in Pennsylvania! Possible discounts include:

  • Good student
  • Multi-car
  • Homeowner’s
  • Safety features
  • Students with good grades
  • Ownership/title
  • Good driver
  • Anti-theft

Can I use my digital insurance card in Pennsylvania?

Yes! Getting pulled over in Pennsylvania is slightly less panicky since you don’t have to locate the hard copy of your insurance card for the officer. BUT, be mindful of unlocking your phone to access your digital insurance card before the officer has determined whether you were cell-phoning and driving!

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Pennsylvania?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is an optional coverage in Pennsylvania!

What happens if I don’t have insurance or my coverage lapses?

Since liability insurance is a minimum requirement in your state (and most others), there are penalties for being caught driving without it. The fines are as high as $300 and you risk registration suspension, license suspension and an impounded car. Don’t take the chance!

What are Pennsylvania's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentages limits under the driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It is illegal for an individual to operate a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania with the following BAC percentages:

.08%+ @ 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.01%+ @ < 21 years old

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Pennsylvania?

According to Pennsylvania’s implied consent law, you agree to chemical testing upon receiving your driver’s license if asked. Refusal of chemical testing indicates guilt and you will received the highest range of DUI penalties. Your license will be immediately suspended for 12 months upon refusal.

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania?

If convicted of a DUI, say goodbye to being financially savvy, and quite possibly, to your freedom. If arrested, you’ll face varying degrees of jail time, fines, driver’s license suspensions, community service, DUI school and reinstatement requirements. The financial obligations extend beyond the DUI ticket to court costs, attorney fees, higher insurance rates, SR-22 filing and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) to serve as a breathalyzer test each time you start your vehicle.

What does Pennsylvania’s Three Strikes Law state?

According to 42 Pa C.S. §9714, a third strike offender faces a minimum of 25 years imprisonment, and a possibility of life without parole. We know you’ll concur, there is no text message, sandwich or other distraction worth the life of another person, and your own freedom.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Pennsylvania?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is an optional coverage!

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