Everyone has car insurance, but no one really knows why they have the limits they have. Unfortunately, drivers often choose whatever coverage keeps their premiums the lowest. The legislature does not help matters either. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires that all PA drivers carry both Medical Benefits and Liability insurance on their vehicles (An easy way to think about the difference between these two is that in Medical Benefit insurance, you have been injured and in Liability insurance, you have caused an injury). Though these limits are woefully inadequate.
Regarding your Medical Benefit coverage, the minimum amount you must carry is $5,000. When it concerns Medical Benefit coverage, Pennsylvania is considered a “no fault” state – meaning, insurance will help pay medical bills incurred by the driver and passengers regardless of who caused the accident. Considering any injuries from a car accident will likely require a hospital visit, or several visits to various healthcare providers, that $5,000 will disappear quickly. Buying as much Medical Benefit coverage as possible may raise your premium, but you will not have to worry about being saddled with what could be tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills.
Liability coverage is probably even less understood than Medical Benefit coverage. The minimums are $15,000 per person, per accident and $30,000 total per accident for bodily injury coverage and $5,000 in property damage coverage. You can – and you should – add coverage beyond these amounts. The amount you may supplement varies by company, but I would suggest buying as much insurance as practicable, because you do not want to not have it when you need it. If you injure an individual while operating an automobile, you can alleviate a significant amount of stress by knowing that any settlement or judgment can be paid from your car insurance coverage rather than your personal assets.
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