In Pennsylvania, 1.1 million people are simply unable to afford the automobile insurance that is mandated by the state. A recent report from the Treasury Department looked at ZIP codes around the country and found hundreds of areas where low-income and minority populations face auto insurance premiums that are generally beyond their means. This includes 35 ZIP codes in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania requires a certain amount of auto insurance by law:
- Minimum of $5,000 in medical benefits for yourself or covered individuals regardless of fault.
- Minimum bodily injury liability coverage of $15,000 for a single person or $30,000 for all injuries from a single accident.
- Minimum of $5000 in property damage liability.
Other forms of automobile insurance may be available but are not required by state law.
- Collision insurance covers any time your vehicle hits an object or another vehicle.
- Comprehensive insurance covers things like fire, theft, vandalism and natural disasters.
- Uninsured and uninsured motorist insurance protects you if you get into an auto accident with someone who doesn't have their own insurance.
So, what can happen if you are found to be driving without insurance? If you are stopped by the police and they determine that you are driving without auto insurance, you can face a number of penalties:
- A minimum fine of $300.
- A three-month suspension of your vehicle's registration, your driver's license, or both.
- Fees to restore your license or registration.
Of course, if you get into an auto accident and don't have insurance, your costs could be much higher. According to the CDC, in 2012, the average emergency room visit following a car accident cost $3,300, while the average hospitalization cost $57,000 over the patient's lifetime. About 75% of those costs were incurred in the first 18 months following the accident.
If you are injured in an auto accident, you should consult with an attorney to see what options you can pursue for compensation. At Dugan & Associates, we have the experience to help you with your auto accident injury case. If you have questions, contact us for a free consultation.