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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Pennsylvania (2019)

If you are one of the 8.9 million licensed drivers in Pennsylvania, you’ll probably want to find the cheapest car insurance you can. 

By comparing rates, and understanding other factors which insurers use to determine costs, you can find the best insurance for your Pennsylvania car. 

This article will explore how to find those low cost auto insurance products.

Cheapest Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

The average auto insurance rate in Pennsylvania is $1,190 a year.

But these companies beat that rate in the state:

  • Nationwide: $1,138
  • State Farm: $1,105
  • Travelers:  $904
  • Geico:      $907
  • USAA:       $854

Cheapest Car Insurance in Pennsylvania by Age

One of the biggest factors in determining rates is something you have no control over: age. And the highest premiums are for the youngest drivers, 17-20 years of age. 

In Pennsylvania, an average 17-year-old girl will pay $5,036 a year alone. If she is added to her parent’s policy, the entire family will pay $3,147

Rates for a 17-year-old PA male are almost the same as a girl, at $4,958 for sole boy and $3,147 with parents.

Here are some other average rates for yearly Pennsylvania auto insurance by age and provider:

COMPANY25-year-old male35-year-old female60-year-old male
GEICO$857$765$746
Travelers$947$817$832
USAA$992$765$692
State Farm$1,164$1,063$948
Nationwide$1,180$1,053$1,036
Allstate$1,752$1,597$1,476
Progressive$2,120$1,593$1,380

Between your mid 30s and early 60s, most drivers pay a gradually decreasing cost of yearly auto insurance.

Families who own a home and a car can bundle their insurance needs through one provider, which may also help reduce costs. 

Senior drivers, 65 and over, who purchase full coverage in Pennsylvania, can expect to pay these annual rates:

COMPANYAGE 65AGE 75AGE 85
GEICO$834$1,012$1,110
Erie Exchange$935$1,088$1,357
Progressive$1,066$1,254$1,524
State Farm$1,101$1,286$1,578
Nationwide$1,207$1,311$1,544

Pennsylvania drivers 55 and older are eligible to receive a 5% discount on auto insurance by taking a “Basic Mature Driver Improvement Course.” Courses are inexpensive, as low as $19.95.

Insurance companies offer discounts for drivers who have lower yearly mileage, which sometimes applies to part-time workers or retired seniors.  Membership in AARP can also bring reduced costs for older drivers.

Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers with DUIs in Pennsylvania

Conviction for DUI (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol) carries serious legal and financial consequences. 

A blood alcohol level of .08% or higher is the starting point for official intoxication. PA has three tiers of DUI, from lowest to highest: 

  • General impairment (BAC .08%-.09%)
  • High BAC: (BAC.10%-.15%)
  • Highest: (BAC.16% and higher)

And with each increase, penalties, fines, and even jail time are added onto the punishment.

In PA, a single DUI will increase your annual auto insurance premium by about $632 a year, which is 44% higher than without a DUI.  Your yearly premium could average $2,064 after a DUI, as opposed to $1,432 with no DUI.

Here is a list of average Car Insurance Rates with a DUI in PA:

  • State Farm: $2,485
  • Progressive: $2,166
  • Allstate: $1,759
  • Erie: $1,282
  • GEICO: $1,113

>>MORE: Best Cheap Insurance For Drivers With DUI Tickets

And for underage drivers who are caught in a DUI, there is mandatory jail time of at least 48 hours and a fine of between $500 -$5,000 as well as a suspended license, 150 hours of community service, mandatory safety school, and drug or alcohol treatment. Learn if you need SR-22 insurance in Pennsylvania after having DUI(s).

The penalties are severe so, above all, without exception, drive sober!

>>MORE: How to Get Car Insurance After DUI?

Cheapest Car Insurance for Drivers with Bad Credit in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania drivers with bad credit pay some 79% more, on average, for auto insurance, than those with good credit scores. Drivers in Pennsylvania may pay an average “penalty” of $1,259 extra in costs, each year, for being in the worst tier of credit.

Even worse, if you have bad credit and live in a high crime area where there are a lot of claims made due to theft and accidents, your rates will also be even higher. Bad credit and high crime rates are two penalizing factors that insurers use to raise rates.

But by comparing rates between companies, you can still find some better priced auto insurance in Pennsylvania for those with poorer credit.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Progressive Advanced: $2,751
  • State Farm Mutual Auto: $2,069
  • Nationwide Property & Casualty: $2,047
  • GEICO Cas: $1,642
  • GEICO General: $1,498

Five Cities in Pennsylvania for Cheaper Car Insurance

Cheap Car Insurance in Philadelphia, PA

Sitting on the banks of the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, “Philly” is the sixth most populous city in the US (1.5 million) and the largest in Pennsylvania. The site of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia played a vital role in the establishment of the United States and is named after William Penn, an English Quaker.

With some high crime areas and crowded living conditions all around, Philadelphia has the highest premiums in the state, averaging $2,093 a year. But State Farm ($1,488), Harleysville ($1,476), General Casualty ($1,200) and Erie ($1,200) all beat the average.

Cheap Car Insurance in Pittsburgh, PA

Eccentric, and innovative Pittsburgh is a packed and historic city full of vibrant neighborhoods, pubs, restaurants and an energetic base of sports fans who root for such teams as the Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers and Penguins.

Walk able, but hilly, tightly knit Pittsburgh is not an easy city to drive around.

But car insurance here is around average for the state of Pennsylvania, at $1,681 annually. Beating that are: Harleysville ($1,116), Auto Owners ($1,104), Atlantic States ($1,044), Erie ($1,008) and General Casualty ($912). 

Cheap Car Insurance in Allentown, PA

Pennsylvania’s third largest city (118,000) and its fastest growing, Allentown benefits from being in the far eastern part of the state, and a long day’s commute from the New York City metropolitan area. It’s located on the Lehigh River, and in recent years has been transforming its old historical downtown and winning awards for doing so.

The average auto insurance policy costs $1,662 a year here. But Auto Owners ($1,140), Atlantic States ($1,128), Harleysville ($1,104), General Casualty ($948) and Erie ($948) are all good alternatives.

Cheap Car Insurance in Erie, PA

Way up in the NW corner of Pennsylvania, Erie sits on the banks of Lake Erie and is the fourth largest city in the state, with just under 100,000 residents. Some 20% of the population is refugees from other nations. Formerly industrial, the city has struggled with crime, racism and other problems related to economic decline.

The average policy in Erie is $1,599, about 3% less than average in the state. But Auto Owners ($1,128), Atlantic States ($1,104), Harleysville ($1,068), Erie ($996), and Casualty ($912) are cheaper choices.

Cheap Car Insurance in Lebanon, PA

Once industrial, small town and historic Lebanon has only 25,770 people, which is about 1,000 more than it had in 1920 when 24,643 people lived here. Bethlehem Steel used to operate here, but they went bankrupt in 2001. The population is not particularly affluent and the cost of living is also low.

The average auto insurance policy is ranked the lowest in the state at $1,403. A 40-year-old male with a full 100/300/100 policy can pay as low as $588 a year in Lebanon.

Minimum Car Insurance Coverage Requirement in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania state law has these minimum requirements for auto insurance:

  • Bodily injury: $15,000 per person, $30,000 per crash
  • Property damage: $5,000
  • Medical payments: $5,000

Pennsylvania insurers offer drivers “Full Tort” or “Limited Tort” auto insurance meaning you can choose at fault or no fault depending on which tort you pick. 

“Full Tort” gives you the right to sue for pain and suffering, just as one can in a “fault state”. But “Limited Tort” is what one has in a “no-fault state” where suing is restricted.

Limited Tort is one of the best ways to save money on auto insurance because you are giving up the right to sue, but it may hamper you in recovering damages in court if you are severely injured in a crash.

Insurers offer both optional underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage which is bundled with your liability coverage. Minimum Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist is $15,000 per driver, $30,000 per crash.

Some 7% of PA drivers have no car insurance at all.

Bare bones, minimum annual car insurance can be found at Geico ($373), State Farm ($346) and Erie ($217). But ask yourself if you can risk the costs of having a policy that will not pay for vehicle replacement, and will not pay more than $15,000 for your severe medical injuries which may require hospitalization, medication, surgeries and out-patient care.

>>MORE: What are the State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements?

Summary

  • Pennsylvania offers “unlimited tort” and “limited tort” choices in auto insurance. Limited puts limits on your right to sue for damages, but will also lower your insurance premium costs.
  • You can choose not to buy uninsured/underinsured motorist protection to save money but it may be disastrous if you are in a crash with an underinsured or uninsured driver.
  • Teen drivers can be put on their parents’ policies to save money. Teen drivers with their own policies are the most expensive.
  • Homeowners can bundle auto and house insurance with one provider to save money.
  • Older drivers can save 5% with online refresher courses for safe driving.
  • If you drive less than 5,000 miles a year, ask your broker for a low mileage policy. 
  • If you are a senior with AARP you may qualify for additional discounts.
  • A DUI will cost you dearly in higher premiums so drive sober.
  • Poor credit and living in a higher crime area will cost you in higher premiums.
  • Compare rates from several providers to get the best and most economical policy for your needs.
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