In most states, having an active auto insurance policy is the law. The amount you are required to carry varies. The smallest amount required by law is often referred to as the state minimum. In Pennsylvania, there are three mandatory coverages that drivers are required to carry: First Party Medical Benefits, Bodily Injury Liability, and Property Damage Liability. In this article, we will explain the state minimum limits for each, and what they mean.
First Party Benefits – Medical Payments
This benefit pays for reasonable, necessary, and related medical expenses for injuries resulting from an automobile accident. It provides medical coverage, regardless of fault. This benefit may be used towards costs such as medical bills and wage loss.
In Pennsylvania, the state minimum limit is $5,000 per occurrence.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
If you are at fault for an auto accident, bodily injury liability pays benefits to injured individuals outside of your household. This includes drivers and passengers of other vehicles involved, bystanders, and pedestrians who suffer injuries due to the accident. It may cover direct economic loss, and possibly pain and suffering. Property damage liability coverage pays for damage to someone else’s real property as the result of an at-fault accident.
The Pennsylvania law requires that drivers carry bodily injury liability coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Property damage liability state minimum is $5,000.
What Is the Average Cost of a Car Accident?
The severity of a car accident drastically impacts the average cost of the claim. In 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recorded 125,267 car accidents totaling $25,555,242,604 in economic loss.
The average economic loss based on the severity of the accident are as follows:
- Fatal injury: $12,576,411
- Suspected serious injury: $719,099
- Suspected minor injury: $223,407
- Possible injury: $127,346
- Property damage only: $12,543
The total economic impact of reportable traffic crashes in Pennsylvania in 2019 are as follows:
- Fatal injury (990 incidents): $12,450,646,890
- Suspected serious injury (3,932 incidents): $2,827,497,268
- Suspected minor injury (26,791 incidents): $6,253,206,937
- Possible injury (24,829 incidents): $3,161,873,834
- Property damage only (68,725 incidents): $862,017,675
Are State Minimums Enough?
When a state deems a dollar amount sufficient for coverage, many believe it will be enough to protect them if an accident happens. With an average cost of $223,407 for a minor injury incident, minimum coverage leaves the insured with a hefty out of pocket expense. Unfortunately, a single accident may put you at risk for lifelong financial hardship.
Trust the Seltzer team to protect you, your family, and your assets. Our agents will tailor a plan which meets your unique needs. Contact us at 888-366-1000.