Many Pennsylvania motorists assume that having the minimum amount of auto insurance is the best way to stay compliant with state laws, while at the same time saving a considerable amount of money. But these drivers may not realize Pennsylvania’s state-approved minimums offer little financial benefit in the event of an accident.
Additionally, many drivers are unaware that increasing the state minimum for auto insurance is not likely to increase the amount they pay each month in insurance premiums.
For over five years, Scott Cooper, trial attorney and partner with Schmidt Kramer, has worked diligently with legislators and other state officials in an attempt to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum requirements for bodily injury coverage and property loss following a motor vehicle accident.
Due to Mr. Cooper’s testimonies, one Senate Bill in favor of this increase, SB 928, has already passed the Senate. During Monday’s Auto Limits Bill Hearing, Mr. Cooper testified in support of yet another bill that promotes an increase in Pennsylvania’s minimum auto insurance requirements.
Pennsylvania’s Dangerously Low Auto Insurance Limits
Pennsylvania’s minimum auto insurance requirements are the second lowest in the country. Currently, state-approved coverage consists of a $15,000.00 payout for one injured person, $30,000.00 for two or more injured persons and no more than $5,000.00 for vehicle damage.
During previous hearings, Mr. Cooper discussed the tragic situation of a Schmidt Kramer client who was hit by a truck as she attempted to cross the street at a designated crosswalk. The at-fault truck driver carried the minimum amount of insurance as allowed by law, which did not provide enough money to cover the costs associated with the victim’s surgeries, medications, doctor’s appointments or physical rehabilitation.
Because victims of negligent drivers who only have minimal coverage are often not protected, Mr. Cooper and several other esteemed members of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice testified in support of House Bill 1258 at Monday’s hearing. The Bill promotes increasing the state’s dangerously low limits to $25,000.00, $50,000.00 and $15,000.00 respectively.
Several committee members from the Insurance Federation opposed the Bill, stating higher minimum requirements would increase premiums and make auto insurance unaffordable for too many drivers. Mr. Cooper was able to provide the members with detailed reports from nearby states that revealed insurance premiums did not increase when those states’ initiated an increase in their minimum requirements. Mr. Cooper stated an increase in Pennsylvania’s minimum requirements would likely produce similar results.
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident involving an uninsured or under-insured driver, contact the knowledgeable car accident attorneys at Schmidt Kramer today. We have the experience and resources necessary to help ensure you receive the compensation and justice you deserve.