As is the case with most significant purchases, it’s important to protect your car with insurance. While it may be tempting to go for the first offer you see, shopping around allows you to compare different companies and find the best possible coverage options and rates for your budget.
Although PSECU doesn’t offer car insurance policies, we offer car loans with some of the best rates in the state. We’ve also put together this guide to help you figure out which insurance plan works best for you.
Is Car Insurance Mandatory in Pennsylvania?
Yes, car insurance is mandatory if you own and operate a vehicle. Drivers living in the state of Pennsylvania are required to have medical benefits with a minimum of $5,000, bodily injury liability with a minimum of $15,000 and $30,000, and property damage liability with the lowest limit at $5,000. Regarding the bodily injury liability, the $15,000 covers each person, and the $30,000 is the liability for each accident. You can also choose from various optional coverages in PA such as collision, income loss, and extraordinary medical benefits.
Auto insurance protects drivers against monetary loss in the case of an accident as well as injuries to other drivers, pedestrians, and passengers. It’s a contract between you and the insurer. You pay a premium and, in return, the company pays for expenses defined by your chosen policy.
What to Consider When Searching for Car Insurance Quotes
Car owners can often search for car insurance that supports different types of drivers such as:
- Excellent drivers
- Retired drivers
- Young drivers
- Military personnel drivers or family members
- Drivers with one at-fault accident
To begin your quest, do a basic search online for your situation and create a list of companies that offer car insurance in Pennsylvania.
You can take several steps to ensure you choose the ideal insurance agency to cover your vehicle.
- Determine How Much Coverage You’ll Need: Since you now know the minimum requirement, you can choose a plan based on personal preference in assuming a particular level of risk. If you get the minimum coverage as outlined by the state of Pennsylvania, it’ll be less expensive. However, if you get into an accident and the cost is more than what your insurance covers, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for the rest.
- Review Your Insurance: Read through your current policy and determine the coverage you have and how much you’re paying. Note your yearly and monthly payments to give yourself a number to beat when searching for a new policy.
- Check Your Driving Record: If you don’t have a perfect driving record, waiting until your tickets or points disappear could improve your chances of a lower cost of insurance. If you have negative marks on your record, the price of car insurance will likely increase.
- Shop for Competitive Quotes from Various Providers: Use the Internet to compare different insurance agencies and their offerings. Make sure to have your current information on hand, along with your driver’s license and registration. You can even ask family and friends about their providers to get some intel.
- Write Down Company Information: Take down their phone number and make notes about each company to compare prices and coverages such as annual and monthly rates, and their payment policy. Also ask about other benefits. For example, your car insurance company may offer benefits such as free roadside assistance.
- Make Phone Calls: Talking with a representative is often quicker than browsing their website. Call the insurance agency and ask for a confirmation email regarding what you spoke about.
- Always Keep an Eye Out for Discounts: It never hurts to ask what discounts you may be eligible for whether you’re a student, veteran, or have an excellent driving record.
- Assess Each Company: You now have enough information to determine which car insurance policy best suits your situation. Check prices and coverages to see which ones match your needs.
- Review Your Policy: Verify that your policy covers what you expect and that it includes the same price as mentioned when you spoke to a representative.
- Cancel Your Old Policy, If Necessary: End your old policy once your new one takes effect. If you have a loan on your car, you may also need to notify your lender of the change in insurance so they can update their records.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in PA
In Pennsylvania, the average premiums for car insurance remain below the national average, and in 2015, the state’s average premium was about $971. At 3.8% below the national average of $1,009, drivers experienced the second-lowest premiums compared to other states that border PA. There are more than 200 auto insurance companies in the state, creating a competitive market.
Are you wondering if new car insurance rates are higher compared to older vehicles? While it often holds true, sometimes you can find more cost-effective solutions because of increased safety features. Make sure to compare rates between different providers to see if costs change for new and old cars. If you have further questions on car insurance, visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department question and answer site.
How Do Companies Determine Your Rate?
An agent will ask you a series of questions when determining your premium, such as:
- Age and type of vehicle
- Safety features
- Average miles you drive in a year
- Driving history of individuals who will be insured
- Credit history
As such, you will want to have the following information handy when speaking with an insurance representative for each driver or vehicle you want your policy to cover:
- Name, age, and marital status
- Driving record
- Vehicle ID number
- Year of the vehicle
- Special equipment added onto the car
Check Out Our Car Loan Rates
PSECU offers car loans at some of the best rates in PA. Unlike many lenders, we offer the same rates for new, used, and refinanced vehicles. If you already own your vehicle, refinancing could save you significant dollars. See our financing terms and other details.
For more money management tips, visit our WalletWorks page.