Need to Knows About No-Fault Insurance in Pennsylvania

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For those who have car insurance in Pennsylvania, no-fault insurance is mandatory. Under the no-fault law, every Keystone State driver must carry a first-party medical benefit like PIP on their policy. 

When driving to see the many sights the Quaker State offers, it’s crucial to ensure your auto insurance policy fulfills all the legal requirements, including those of the no-fault law. Let’s take a look at how the no-fault law impacts drivers directly and what it means for your Pennsylvania auto insurance policy

Is Pennsylvania a No-Fault State?

Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, meaning all residents with cars registered in the state must carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) or another first-party medical benefit (FPMB) on their car insurance policies. The minimum amount of PIP drivers must have on their policies in the state is $5,000 of coverage. This coverage will help the policyholder cover their medical expenses should they be injured in an accident.

No-fault laws are enacted to make it easier and quicker for injured victims of car accidents to receive financial assistance for their medical expenses. In tort states, or states where a driver must be deemed at fault in an accident before anyone can receive help from insurance, it may take longer to receive benefits because the claim filing systems get backed up.

When an at-fault driver can’t pay for the expenses they owe the victim, whether because they lack sufficient insurance or because the victim’s expenses surpass their coverage limit, the injured party can sue the at-fault party. This then clogs up both the legal system and the timeline of receiving insurance benefits. 

In no-fault states like Pennsylvania, receiving first-party medical benefits is much quicker because drivers file a claim with their own insurance to receive help from their insurer for their medical expenses. Without the need to place blame or file with another party’s insurance, like in tort states, the process of receiving benefits is much swifter. Drivers can begin to receive the payment for their expenses almost immediately after they file a claim with their insurance once they reach their deductible.

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Why Is Pennsylvania a No-Fault Car Insurance State?

In Pennsylvania, auto insurance laws have a no-fault component for several reasons. States often adopt these laws due to a high population or a high number of uninsured drivers. While Pennsylvania has a low number of uninsured drivers, with only 6% of the driving population lacking sufficient coverage, it’s a highly populous state.

When states have dense populations, especially with several cities or urban areas, there’s an increased number of drivers on the road. With more drivers on the road, there’s an increased risk of accidents.

Then, with an increased risk of accidents, more people file claims with their insurance or sue other drivers for damages, thus clogging up both the legal and insurance systems. Insurers view drivers in highly populated states or cities as higher risk because they are more likely to file a claim and require insurance funds for medical expenses or vehicle repairs.

States with high populations, like Pennsylvania, can mitigate the onslaught of claims and legal filings with a no-fault law. 

What Does No-Fault Insurance in Pennsylvania Cover?

With no-fault insurance on your Pennsylvania auto insurance plan, your insurer may cover your medical expenses up to your policy limit. The laws and regulations in the Keystone State require all drivers to have at least $5,000 of PIP or another FPMB on their policies. PIP or another FPMB may help the policyholder cover various medical expenses they accrue due to a serious injury caused by a car accident.

Failure to follow the no-fault law by lacking sufficient FPMB coverage may result in fines, license suspension, or even registration suspension. Plus, uninsured drivers will be on the hook for their medical expenses, which can tally up fast after an accident.

Pennsylvania’s car insurance laws are unique in that drivers are offered a full or limited tort option on their policies. Drivers who select a full tort option on their policies are still required to carry at least $5,000 in FPMB but otherwise opt out of the state’s no-fault system, allowing them to sue or be sued for damages incurred due to an accident.

Drivers who select a limited tort option on their policies opt into the state’s no-fault system and are heavily restricted from suing or being sued for damages in an accident. Typically, those with a minimum coverage policy opt for full tort, and those with a full coverage policy opt for limited tort.

First-party medical benefits, like PIP or Medical Payments (MedPay), may cover various medical expenses, such as:

  • Doctor or Hospital visits
  • Ambulance rides
  • Prescriptions
  • Diagnostic tests (X-rays, CT scans, etc.)
  • Therapy or rehabilitation
  • Loss of wages
  • Essential services (childcare, housekeeping, in-home care, etc.)
  • Funeral expenses

It’s important to note that drivers who carry the minimum required amount of $5,000 in PIP or another FPMB won’t be covered for extended medical expenses like loss of wages, essential services, or funeral costs. Those benefits are only available to those with more than the legal minimum of PIP. 

It’s also worth noting that PIP may cover these expenses for the policyholder’s passengers. A policyholder’s coverage will typically extend to their passengers if they’re uninsured. It’s always wise to check in with your insurer to go over the details of your coverage so you know what is and isn’t covered. 

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What Is the Pennsylvania No-Fault Statute?

In Pennsylvania, the no-fault law, or statute, states all drivers must have $5,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) or another first-party medical benefit (FPMB) on their auto insurance policies. This means that regardless of who’s at fault in the accident, all legally insured drivers will have coverage for their medical expenses.

The Quaker State’s law has some caveats that distinguish it from other states’ no-fault laws. Let’s take a look at some of the details. 

  • Drivers must have at least $5,000 of PIP or another FPMB but can choose up to $100,000 of coverage
  • Drivers must file a claim within two years of the accident to receive benefits
  • Those filing a claim must have “serious” injuries deemed so by their doctors and insurer to receive benefits
  • Loss of wages coverage will cover 80% of your weekly salary up to your policy limit
  • Funeral expenses may be covered at a minimum of $2,500 and a maximum of $5,000, depending on your policy limit
  • PIP will extend to any uninsured, non-car-owning passengers in your vehicle who are injured
  • PIP will cover any members of your household should they be injured in an auto accident in your vehicle
  • PIP will cover the policyholder if they’re injured by a vehicle as a pedestrian or bicyclist

More About the Pennsylvania No-Fault Law 

In Pennsylvania, the no-fault motor vehicle insurance act, or the no-fault law, allows drivers injured in an accident to speedily invoke their first-party medical benefits to pay for the treatment they need as soon as possible. The law requires drivers to carry at least $5,000 of PIP or another FPMB, but if you’ve ever been to a hospital here in the States, you may know that hospital visits often exceed that limit.

While you may be adequately insured in the eyes of the law with $5,000 of PIP, you may not be completely covered with such a low limit. Here at Clovered, we recommend getting as high a PIP limit as your financial status allows. PIP is often expensive, so be sure only to carry what you can afford, but we recommend carrying more than the legal minimum. In many situations, the cost of higher premiums is far lower than what you may have to cover out of pocket for medical expenses with a low PIP limit. 

The best way to ensure you get the best car insurance in the state with the cheapest rates for no-fault coverage is to get and compare quotes online.

Here at Clovered, we offer a free quoting tool you can use to compare rates from top insurers in Pennsylvania in minutes. If you prefer to speak to a representative about no-fault coverage or your quote, contact us at 833-255-4117 or

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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