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No Pennsylvania Car Insurance = Suspension

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 09/28/2014

Even with ridiculously low liability requirement, Pennsylvania isn’t playing around when it comes to requiring Pennsylvania car insurance.

State Regulator Information 877-881-6388
Insurance Premium Avg. Annual Premium: $ 1440 National Average: $1,503
Mandatory Car Insurance Coverage Bodily Injury Liability:$15k/30k
Property Damage Liability: $5k
MedPay: $5k
Pennsylvania Car Insurance

Don’t be caught without Pennsylvania car insurance or you will lose your driving liberties.

Pennsylvania car insurance requirements are so low that one wonders why they are even required. But, it isn’t recommended to go without the required Pennsylvania car insurance, even once. When it comes to penalties for violating the Pennsylvania car insurance requirements, they are one of the least forgiving states in the nation.

Scarily Low Pennsylvania Car Insurance Requirements

Pennsylvania car insurance requirements are partially one of lowest in the nation. To be able to drive in the state legally you must carry at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for a single person and $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for the accident total. But, you only have to carry $5,000 in liability coverage for property damage to be able to drive.

5,000 dollars! That’s all!

That amount would barely buy you a clunker, let alone having to try and fix a decent vehicle with it. What would you do if you totaled the other parties’ vehicle and it was a high-end model that was worth $35,000 at the time of the accident?

I will tell you exactly what will happen. Your insurance company will pay the $5000 that they are responsible for. That leaves you with a $30,000 bill that the other insurance company is going to make sure that you pay.

May we offer the suggestion to purchase more than the state minimum requirements when it comes to property damage liability coverage?

Reporting Pennsylvania Car Insurance

Pennsylvania doesn’t have an electronic reporting system to keep track of your new insurance like California does. Instead, it sends out letters to vehicle owners that they are required to respond to. The letter requests information on insurance that should be in place, about any lapses in coverage and the status of the vehicle if the person no longer owns it.

It also requires that a “Statement of Non-Operation of Vehicle” be signed by the owner if there was a lapse in coverage for less than 30 days. This is for the owner to legally state that they did not drive the vehicle in that time period. If the state finds out that you did, you are in trouble.

On the flip side, Pennsylvania car insurance companies are required to report to the state whenever an insurance policy is cancelled. So don’t bother trying to lie in the letter that you have insurance, they already know that you don’t.

Don’t Go Without your Pennsylvania Car Insurance

If you drive without Pennsylvania car insurance not only is your vehicle registration suspended, your driver’s license is also. There is no first time “teaching you a lesson” in Pennsylvania, it goes straight to a 3 month suspension of both your registration and your license. Plus you could see a fine of at least $300 if you are caught driving without insurance.

Also keep in mind that your suspension does not officially begin until you have surrendered your driver’s license, your vehicle’s plate, sticker and registration card. If you fail to turn these in, you could be suspended indefinitely.

To get your license and registration back, you have to pay a $50 restoration fee for both your license and registration ($100 total) and provide proof that you now have Pennsylvania car insurance.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele's first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she's earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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