The best car insurance in Pennsylvania

Laura Gunn

By

Laura Gunn

Laura Gunn

Freelance contributor

Laura Gunn is an insurance expert and writer. As a former English teacher, she made the transition to full-time writing and editing in 2016. Since that time she has written extensively about insurance topics, as well as topics pertaining to education and marketing.

Her work has been published in The Millennial Source, News Hunt 360, Realty Today, HNGN, and other publications.

Published October 22, 2021

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The cost and minimum requirements for car insurance can and do vary from state-to-state. Insurance costs can even vary based on your ZIP code within a state. The average cost of full coverage car insurance across Pennsylvania is $1,476. Even at that price, however, there are ways to lower the cost of insurance and find cheaper rates, especially if you live in a city with higher-than-average prices. 

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Key Takeaways

  • Erie has the lowest average rate in Pennsylvania at $1,018

  • Pennsylvania requires a minimum of $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage and $5,000 in personal damage liability coverage 

  • The average cost of full coverage car insurance in Philadelphia is $3,168

Cheapest car insurance companies in Pennsylvania

Insurance rates vary. Not only do they vary based on location or insurance company, but they vary person-to-person. In the simplest terms, the rate a driver pays for car insurance depends on the amount of risk they pose to the insurance company. 

There are a number of factors insurance companies analyze when calculating your rates. Everything from age, driving history, residential location, and credit history can affect your car insurance rates. 

Company

Average cost

JD Power Rating

Erie

$1,018

880

State Farm

$1,037

881

Nationwide

$1,078

876

The Hartford

$1,194

888

GEICO

$1,232

871

Cheapest car insurance companies by age in Pennsylvania

Car insurance companies factor in a person's age when determining rates and coverage. For young drivers, meaning teenagers and young adults, insurance rates are considerably higher than more experienced drivers, because younger drivers are more likely to get into an accident and file a claim.

As a driver ages and gains more experience, insurance rates can decrease. The milestone birthday, at least where insurance is considered, is 25. It’s not a guarantee, but rates can start to lower after age 25. 

Age

Cheapest company

Average cost

16

GEICO

$3,378

18

GEICO

$2,488

21

GEICO

$1,637

25

State Farm

$1,185

30

State Farm

$1,063

35

Erie

$1,030

45

Erie

$935

55

Erie

$923

Choosing the right car insurance company in Pennsylvania

Choosing an insurance company can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. There are a few factors to consider when selecting a car insurance company. 

  • Cost: Different companies can and do charge different rates for similar coverage. That's why it's important to gather quotes for multiple insurance companies to find the best rate. 

  • Coverage: Insurance policies offer a wide range of coverage options. Make sure the company you choose offers the types of coverage you need.

  • Communication: When you need assistance, having multiple points of contact can make all the difference. 

If you're ready to start shopping, Policygenius can help you compare quotes from top car insurance companies.

Car insurance rates for drivers with driving violations in Pennsylvania

Past accidents or violations can affect your insurance rates. Insurance companies will analyze your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) when determining your insurance rates. This report will include everything from accidents, DUIs, failure to stop at a red light, and passing illegally. 

Any violations can affect your future insurance rates negatively. As a general rule of thumb though, insurance companies look at issues on your MVR from the past five years. How long a violation stays on your report and how exactly it affects your rates varies between states.

Violation

Erie

State Farm

Nationwide

The Hartford

GEICO

At-fault Accident

$1,167

$1,247

$1,885

$1,702

$2,229

DUI

$1,687

$1,155

$2,920

$1,811

$2,543

Driving with a suspended license

$1,687

$1,155

$2,920

$1,584

$1,906

Driving with an open container

$1,167

$1,155

$1,662

$1,533

$2,543

Driving with expired registration

$1,167

$1,155

$1,662

$1,533

$1,757

Driving without Lights

$1,167

$1,155

$1,662

$1,811

$1,872

Failure to show documents

$1,167

$1,155

$1,662

$1,533

$1,757

Failure to stop at a red light

$1,167

$1,155

$1,662

$1,533

$1,872

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with bad credit in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, and many other states, use credit scores as one factor to determine car insurance rates. In general, drivers with lower credit scores will pay higher insurance rates. 

Company

Rates for drivers with bad credit

Nationwide

$1,523

USAA

$1,529

Atlantic States Insurance

$1,565

State Farm

$2,269

Allstate

$2,384

Car insurance costs in Pennsylvania cities

Insurance companies consider factors like population density and crime rates when determining insurance rates for different cities and areas within a state. Here's how the ten biggest cities in Pennsylvania stack up:

  • Philadelphia: $3,168

  • Pittsburg: $2,040

  • Allentown: $2,088

  • Erie: $1,920

  • Reading: $2,016

  • Scranton: $1,692

  • Bethlehem: $1,836

  • Lancaster: $1,788

  • Harrisburg: $1,812

  • York: $1,776

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Buying car insurance in Pennsylvania

Every state has different minimum requirements for drivers and their car insurance. Pennsylvania is no different. The required coverages in Pennsylvania are:

  • Medical Benefits: You must have a minimum of $5,000 in medical benefits coverage

  • Bodily Injury Liability: You must have a minimum of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident

  • Property Damage Liability: You must have a minimum of $5,000 per accident

  • Limited or Full Tort: You must choose between limited or full tort coverage. With full tort coverage selection, you have unrestricted rights to sue a negligent driver in an accident. With limited tort, you pay less for coverage but you give up the ability to sue for pain and suffering or other expenses beyond out-of-pocket medical costs.

Pennsylvania is also a "no-fault" state. No-fault means that, in the event of an accident, your insurance company will pay for any medical bills incurred regardless of who caused the accident. Drivers do have the ability to file a third party claim against an at-fault driver, but injuries and damages must exceed the states established threshold. Because it’s a no-fault state, Pennsylvania requires drivers to have $5,000 per person in medical benefit coverage, typically referred to as personal injury protection (PIP).

Where Pennsylvania differs from other no-fault states is that it allows drivers to opt out. Drivers may choose to opt out of the no-fault system when they purchase a car or an insurance policy. 

How to get cheap car insurance in Pennsylvania

Car insurance can be a hefty financial expense, but it does offer drivers peace of mind. Fortunately, there are ways to offset this cost and find cheap auto insurance.

  • Take advantage of bundles and discounts offered by insurance companies

  • Ask for higher deductibles

  • Reduce coverage on older cars

  • Maintain a good credit score or repair low credit

  • Take driver improvement courses

Frequently asked questions

Why is car insurance so expensive in Philadelphia?

Insurance companies understand that heavily populated cities present more risks. There are more people in the Philadelphia area, so there are more cars on the road. This increases the potential for accidents or damages and resulting claims.

Is car insurance required in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania, like most states, does require drivers to be insured. Pennsylvania requires all drivers to carry bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, as well as PIP.

Who offers the cheapest car insurance for drivers with bad credit?

Nationwide offers the lowest rates for drivers with bad credit in Pennsylvania. The average cost is $1,523. The final rate will depend on a number of other factors in addition to credit score.

Will my rates drop every year after I turn 25?

Insurance rates can drop after age 25, but it depends on a few other factors. Things like driving history, type and value of car, and even ZIP code will all be considered when calculating your insurance rates.

Methodology

Policygenius has analyzed car insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:

  • Bodily injury liability: 50/100

  • Property damage liability: $50,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

In some cases, additional coverages were added where required by state or insurer.

Rates for overall average rate, rates by ZIP code, and cheapest companies determined using averages for single drivers ages 30, 35, and 45. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles/year.

Rates for driving violations and “Poor” credit determined using average rates for a single male 30-year-old driver with a credit score under 578.

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.