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Is the Minimum Car Insurance Coverage Enough if You Are in an Accident?

minimum car insurance coverageEvery state has different auto insurance laws and requirements regarding a driver’s financial responsibility for operating a motor vehicle. In Pennsylvania, all drivers must carry a certain amount of car insurance to protect them from being injured or hurting someone else in the event of an accident. However, many policyholders often wonder: how much coverage is enough?

Schmidt Kramer further discusses the mandatory requirements and other coverage available that could help protect you from incurring out-of-pocket expenses for damages. If you have been involved in a crash, an initial consultation with us is free of charge without any obligation to move forward.

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements

Under state law, drivers are required to carry three different forms of coverage: medical benefits, bodily injury liability and property damage liability. You must have at least $5,000 in medical benefits, which helps cover your medical bills and anyone else covered under your policy after a car accident. This coverage is issued regardless of who was at fault for the crash.

Bodily injury and property damage liability works a bit differently. Either coverage is issued to whoever was not responsible for the crash. You must have at least $15,000 in bodily injury per person and at least $30,000 in bodily injury per accident. You must also carry a minimum of $5,000 for property damage.

Why You Should Get More Than the Limit

Many drivers choose to carry higher limits because the minimum is not sufficient. Simply meeting the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements can be quite expensive following an accident. If the policyholder is found at fault and the expenses exceed his or her policy limits, he or she may be found personally liable to pay the difference.

It is important that you have enough coverage to protect you and your assets and do some research to figure out the best policy for you. Although you may likely pay a higher premium, having more coverage is better than having less coverage that could impact your finances even more.

An experienced Harrisburg car accident lawyer from our firm is prepared to review your coverage limits to help you obtain the compensation you need after a crash.

Other Types of Insurance Coverage to Consider

In addition to obtaining more than the minimum, you may want to consider getting other types of coverage. The coverages below are not mandatory and could help provide additional protection:

  • Collision coverage – This coverage helps pay for damage to your vehicle, including vehicle repairs or vehicle replacement, whether you were at fault or not.
  • Comprehensive coverage – This coverage helps pay for repairing or replacing your vehicle if it was damaged by something other than another vehicle in an accident. This could include damage caused by theft, a fire, a collapsing tree, and so forth.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage – This coverage helps pay your medical bills and other damages if injured in a crash caused by a driver without insurance coverage.
  • Underinsured motorist coverage – This coverage helps pay for your medical bills and other damages if you are injured in a crash caused by a driver without enough insurance coverage.

Other coverages available include income loss, which helps pay a portion of your income if you are unable to work and funeral benefits, which helps pay for funeral costs if a loved one dies in a crash.

Penalties for Failing to Insure a Vehicle

If a driver is found operating a motor vehicle without being insured or with the right amount of auto insurance, he or she could be fined up to $300. Other penalties under Vehicle Code 1786 (d)(1.1) could include the following:

  • A three-month suspension of your vehicle registration and/or driver’s license
  • A restoration fee to restore your vehicle registration and/or driver’s license
  • The vehicle cannot be driven by anyone while registration is suspended

Get the Legal Help You Need After an Accident

If you or someone you care about has been involved in a car accident, our lawyers at Schmidt Kramer are here to help. We are prepared to pursue fair and full compensation under the law on your behalf. You could be eligible to cover costs associated with medical expenses and damage done to your vehicle.  

Contact us for a free consultation to get started. You are not obligated to hire us and there are no upfront fees for our legal services. You only pay us at the end if we help you obtain compensation.

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