Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Coverage – "First Party Benefits"

Pennsylvania auto insurance requirements are very unique when it comes to the first party benefits portion of the policy. Unlike many other states, Pennsylvania’s first party benefits are the only “no fault” portion of the coverage that is required by the state’s laws. These coverages apply to you and you household family members, thus the “first party” designation. I will try to explain these coverages in a way that I hope will help guide you toward making a better informed decision on what limits will best cover your family.

Medical expense coverage is required in the amount of $5000 for each automobile you insure on your policy. This coverage is considered primary in Pennsylvania and will pay before any other insurance when you are injured in an automobile accident. You and any of your family members will be covered for up to $5000 in medical expenses each. Pennsylvania auto insurance law requires each company to offer up to $100,000 in medical expense coverage. For clients who do not currently carry major medical insurance I would advise carrying a higher limit of medical expense coverage.

Income loss coverage is not mandatory in Pennsylvania but it is a very affordable coverage. Consider adding this coverage to protect your potential lost wages in the event that you are injured in an automobile accident. I’d like to remind you that this is also a “no fault” coverage which means that irregardless of who is at fault your lost wages will be paid by your insurance policy. Limits up to $100,000 and as low as $5,000 can be added to your policy for very minimal cost.

Funeral benefit and accidental death benefit coverage are both available as add-ons. Neither of these coverages are mandatory but are relatively inexpensive to add. If you think a dollar or two is worth covering yourself and family for these unforeseen expenses, you’ll want to add this coverage.

Extraordinary Medical Expenses is a coverage that was assigned to the insurance companies when the state of Pennsylvania decided its CAT fund could no longer afford to exist. This coverage covers the medical expenses beginning at 100,000 and up to 1,000,000. If you are adding this coverage to your policy you need to be sure that you are carrying $100,000 on the medical expense portion or you will have a huge gap in coverage.

Review these coverages with your agent and be sure to get price comparisons between the coverages that you have now and the coverage you really should have. You’ll be surprised at how affordable the right coverage can be.