Cheap Car Insurance in Pennsylvania for 2020

  • Nicole Wakelin
  • 7/17/2020

Pennsylvania has car insurance rates that are slightly lower than the national average. Our research found the overall average cost of insurance in Pennsylvania is just over $1,200 while the average across the country comes in at slightly under $1,400. We researched the cheapest insurers in Pennsylvania to see how you can save money on car insurance.

Who has the cheapest car insurance in Pennsylvania?

  • USAA
  • Erie
  • State Farm
  • Geico

We sampled information from a variety of sources and came up with a range of what cheap car insurance costs annually in Pennsylvania. We based these samples on a driver with at least a decade of driving experience, a clean driving record, driving one of America’s most popular, non-exotic vehicles.

Insurance rates can vary widely, and prices can change almost daily. Also, your driving record, years of driving experience, and type of vehicle can significantly impact your insurance rates. Consider these figures a GUIDE to give you a basic idea about the rates insurance companies charge today in Pennsylvania.

DISCLAIMER: There are numerous other factors that are going to impact the cost of insurance on your car, crossover, or truck. We’ll provide info on some of those variables, but your best bet is to read our deep dive on Cheap Car Insurance for 2020 to get a better idea.

Who has the best cheap car insurance in Pennsylvania?

  • Best Large Insurance Carrier - USAA and Erie both had average rates under $700.
  • Cheapest Insurance with Bad Credit - If you’re having trouble keeping up with the monthly bills, then USAA and Travelers offer the best rates
  • Cheapest Insurance with One Accident - USAA and State Farm are good choices for those with an accident history
  • Cheapest Insurance for Higher Mileage - Road warriors should reach out to USAA and Geico who offered the best rates for those who live on the road.

How much does car insurance cost in Pennsylvania?

In Car Talk’s deep dive on affordable car insurance, we found that a national average for auto insurance was $1,361. In Pennsylvania, most people will pay slightly less, unless they call a big city home. The average cost for car insurance in the Keystone State is $1,224.

Rates we found reported as “typical” or “average” (annual) onlineAverage (annual)Adjusted average* (annual)
USAA**$994, $851, $552, $225$656$702
Erie$970, $659, $328,$652$659
State Farm$1173, $1126, $746, $471$879$936
Geico$1654, $940, $708, $635$984$824
Progressive$1914, $821, 1653, $1360$1438$1090
Nationwide$1336, $2994, $5072, $679, $822$2181$1717

(*) The “adjusted average” is computed by eliminating the highest and lowest values and averaging the remaining values.

(**) You may need to be a current or former service member to apply.

What causes rates to go up in Pennsylvania?

A big factor in how much you pay for car insurance in Pennsylvania is where you choose to call home. There’s a wide range of rates across the state with larger cities, especially the City of Brotherly Love, coming in with some of the highest rates. Moving outside the city might help your rates go down, but that’s not always realistic and could mean big changes for your lifestyle that aren’t worth the cost savings.

How do accidents affect rates in Pennsylvania?

If you manage to crash your car, then your insurance rates are going to take a jump. How much depends on how good your overall driving record is, so try to avoid swapping paint with other cars on a regular basis. Pennsylvania is one of around a dozen “no-fault” states. While “fault” states make it possible to avoid some of the increase from an accident by placing the fault for the accident on one driver, in Pennsylvania, each driver’s insurance pays. The upside is this system reduces costly lawsuits.

Here are the best estimates we could find from various sources on how much one accident will raise your policy premium in Pennsylvania;

Range of Rate Increases for One AccidentAverage of Rate IncreasesAdjusted Average of Rate Increases
52%, 45%, 35%44%N/A

This information is just an approximation. Many factors can change how much your insurance goes up after you have one accident. For example, if you’ve paid more in your annual insurance cost to be a part of an accident forgiveness program, your increase for one accident is nothing, but your overall cost of insurance is higher every year than if you hadn’t. Almost all of the insurers on our list above of cheap insurance providers, and many others, offer this option which was popularized by Allstate.

How do traffic tickets affect rates In Pennsylvania?

If you drive it like you stole it, then you’re going to pay more for car insurance. How much more you’ll pay in Pennsylvania varies depending on the exact type of offense.

Here is what we found about the percent increase a ticket will raise your car insurance policy premium in Pennsylvania;

Range of Rate Increases for One Speeding ViolationAverage of Rate IncreasesAdjusted Average of Rate Increases
67%, 38%, 11%, 0%29%25%

How can you get car insurance discounts in Pennsylvania?

The easiest way to cut your car insurance rates is to move out of the city. In larger cities, even moving to a different neighborhood could help bring down your rates. Depending on where you live and where you move, it can be a significant savings. Move from downtown Philadelphia to Hazelton, for example, and you could save as much as 45 percent on car insurance.

If you’re not ready to relocate, then there are still easy ways you can keep your car insurance costs down. These include avoiding tickets and accidents. Use apps like Waze to get a heads-up about speed traps and when you buy a new car, consider one with crash avoidance technologies like automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist.

We also have an entire story on the tens of thousands of discount programs available, based on memberships, military service, and other associations. Some of the more common meaningful discounts relate to low mileage driving, bundling with your homeowner’s policy, and carrying high deductibles. Many insurers will offer good students a discount so consider that before you let your kid blow off studying for your next test. And while college might take a chunk out of your savings, if your student goes to school more than 100 miles away, you may see a savings on your car insurance.

What’s the minimum coverage allowed in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania law requires car insurance. The minimum allowable amounts are $15,000 of liability coverage for each injured person and up to $30,000 per accident, $5,000 of property damage liability per accident, and $5,000 of medical payment coverage per accident. This coverage is called 15/30/5, but almost no one purchases only the minimum, especially homeowners. Coverage is more often 100/300/50, which does cost more, but better protects your assets in the event of an accident.

Nearly every state’s minimum is way too low. If you have a vehicle loan or lease, or own a home, you will find that you are required to carry higher levels of coverage to satisfy other agreements and responsibilities you have. Our focus in this story is on cheap car insurance.

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FAQ

Who has the cheapest car insurance in Pennsylvania?

Insurance rates vary greatly between carriers and even between policyholders. Our research showed that USAA and Erie have the best rates. If you fall into any of the categories that bump up rates, you may be better off with a smaller carrier looking to exploit certain niches. If you are a service member, definitely cross-shop USAA.

How can I get super cheap car insurance?

There’s no tried-and-true rule for getting cheap car insurance. The best rates available to you will depend on where you live, your driving record, the coverage you need, the type of vehicle you own, and other factors like your credit score. Also, make the carrier aware of other memberships or special circumstances you have. If you’re a veteran, active military, senior citizen, or if you have a membership to an organization like AAA or AARP, you may be eligible for discounted or special rates.

What is the cheapest online car insurance?

Years ago, only a few companies offered online applications for their insurance policies, but that has changed in recent years. Almost all insurance carriers offer an online-only option to apply for coverage now, so it’s just a matter of shopping around. Data reported on multiple sources shows that USAA is still one of the most affordable options, but well-known insurance carriers including State Farm aren’t far behind for many people.

What’s important in a car insurance company besides the rates?

Unsurprisingly, some car insurers have been called out by their customers for having poor customer service and in some cases unexpected rate changes. We recommend checking recent online reviews before you switch to a new carrier.

Does credit score affect car insurance?

Unfortunately, yes. The Federal Trade Commission found that low credit scores were relatively accurate predictors of a driver’s risk for an accident. As a result, insurance companies will sometimes charge higher rates and have more restrictive coverage offerings for people with spotty credit histories. Pennsylvania has a dramatic increase in rates for those with poor credit, so keeping up on your bills will have a big impact on your insurance rates.

Is there low-income car insurance?

There is no state law in Pennsylvania mandating low-income car insurance.

Who has the cheapest full coverage?

Full coverage costs vary by carrier. USAA and Erie are among the cheapest full coverage providers in Pennsylvania.

What do you do if you can’t afford car insurance?

Pennsylvania requires car insurance. If you can’t afford to insure your car, then you should use public transportation or opt for a ride-hailing service.

Can I buy one-day car insurance?

One day insurance can be very helpful if you’re buying a car or moving a vehicle from one location or another. You can also buy temporary coverage and supplemental coverage for special activities like track days and off-roading.

How can I get my insurance quote cheaper?

Shopping around is the best strategy to find the best rates. Companies will often compete with each other for your business. You can also take advantage of any other memberships you might have, like AAA or AARP for discounts.

Can you lie about your job on car insurance?

No. Lying about any part of your insurance application can result in lost coverage, uncovered accidents, or legal action.

Why is my insurance so high with no accidents?

Your age, marital status, the city or town you live in, your credit score, and your driving record all have an influence on what you pay for car insurance.

Is an older car cheaper to insure?

An older car is not always cheaper to insure. Insurance companies use complex algorithms with many factors to set a price. The value of the vehicle does matter.

What happens to car insurance after a speeding ticket?

It goes up. A lot. On the order of 20% for minor offenses and DUI convictions can be game changers. The insurance increases will likely be much more of a financial hit than the actual traffic fine.

Why does car insurance cost so much?

Car insurance becomes expensive for people with spotty driving records, poor credit, or for those that live in extremely congested areas with other people that get into lots of accidents. Insurance is a numbers game, and companies are constantly trying to adjust their rates to match their perceived level of risk.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.