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Do Not Buy The State Minimum Coverages! Protect Yourself & Your Family! Avoid “Coverage Tragedies”!

Discover the auto insurance requirements in Pennsylvania. Learn what it takes to ensure you are legal when on the road.

Minimum requirements

Every vehicle registered in Pennsylvania must be insured for bodily injury (liability) coverage for the minimal amount of $15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident. Additionally every policy must provide a minimum of $5000 in medical coverage. You can purchase the minimum and comply with the law – BUT this could seriously limit the rights of you and your family to recover full and adequate compensation if injured by the negligence of another driver. Let’s see what can happen when another driver either fails to purchase insurance or only purchases the state-required minimum coverages.


If you are injured by an uninsured driver, you will probably obtain no recovery from the uninsured motorist – even if you were paralyzed or a family member were killed. If the person has no insurance to begin with, what assets would he have to satisfy a judgment entered against him? It is estimated that 20% (one out of every five) cars on the road are uninsured. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to purchase UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE (UM) in order to protect you and your family in such a circumstance. With uninsured motorist coverage, you can recover compensation for losses including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your own insurance company (you paid the premium – your rates do not go up when making such a claim).

Suppose an insured driver injures you or a family member, but the negligent driver only has the state – mandated minimum coverage of $15,000. Now suppose that the value of your claim is $100,000.00. The driver’s insurance company may pay the minimum coverage which that driver purchased in full compliance with the law. Where do you obtain any additional compensation for the remainder of your losses? Chances are you will not be able to collect a penny from the responsible driver. This is why you must purchase UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE (UIM). You can then make a claim against your own insurance company up to the limits you purchased (again, your insurance premiums will not rise for claiming benefits which you contractually purchased).

Why You Should Purchase More than the Minimum Liability Limits of $15000…

The amount of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage you can purchase cannot exceed the amount of liability coverage purchased. Therefore, if you want to purchase $100,000.00 in UM and UIM coverage, you must purchase at least $100,000 of liability coverage.


If you own more than one vehicle, you should purchase “stacking” of UM and UIM coverages. This allows you to collect compensation for damages under multiple policies (for example, 2 cars with $100,000 of stacked coverage = $200,000 in potential coverage; 2 cars with $250,000 of stacked coverage = $500,000 in coverage). You must purchase Um and UIM coverage on all vehicles in the household, otherwise stacking may be excluded under the terms of your policy.

Why You Should Purchase More than the Minimum Medical Coverage of $5000…

After your auto insurer pays the amount of medical coverage under your policy, you are then responsible for payment of any additional medical expenses. If you have a high-deductible medical plan, you may be facing thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses. You may not be able to collect those payments if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. Additionally, certain health plans have a right of subrogation or reimbursement, and if medical expenses are significant, may take a large portion or possibly all of any settlement from the other driver or even from your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. You should purchase higher medical payment limits (up to $100,000 along with Extraordinary coverage of $1 million) in order to make sure medical bills are paid and to be able to recover full and complete compensation for your injuries and losses.

Always Buy the “FULL TORT” Option

If you purchase the limited tort option, you will be precluded from seeking damages for pain and suffering if your injuries are not considered “serious.” Your own insurance company which sold you a limited tort policy can raise your selection of “limited tort” as a defense and possibly deny you coverage, even if you purchased 100’s of thousands of dollars in stackable UM and UIM coverage.

In order to avoid COVERAGE TRAGEDIES:

  • Always buy UM & UIM coverage equal to your liability coverage
  • Always buy “stacked” UM & UIM coverages on all vehicles in your household
  • Always buy the “Full Tort” option
  • Always buy additional medical benefits coverage.

Call the Ches-Mont Personal Injury Law Center if you have questions concerning your auto insurance coverages.