Pennsylvania is below the national average cost for average auto insurance premiums according the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) most recent auto insurance survey from 2013. Other recent surveys from sites like ValuePenguin confirm that Pennsylvania is still under this average. Pittsburgh however has the second most expensive auto insurance premiums in the state, only behind Philadelphia. Learn about the insurance system in Pittsburgh and how to ensure you have the cheapest possible insurance.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Insurance Laws
Insurance rates in any city or state can be widely affected by the insurance regulations and laws of the state in question. For example, there are only two states in the United States that do not require mandatory insurance coverage, New Hampshire which still requires you to meet a personal financial responsibility test and Virginia which requires a $500 uninsured motorist fee. In Pennsylvania, auto insurance is mandatory, yet you have the choice between traditional tort law insurance and no fault insurance. Pennsylvania is only one of 12 states that have or offer no fault insurance.
Choice No Fault State
There is a perceived large difference between traditional at fault and no fault states in the cost of insurance. Where in fact, there are states that are no fault with lower than average premiums and states where no fault, such as Michigan, that is currently the most expensive if the United States. In Pennsylvania, the choice between the two options does result in a difference in insurance premiums.
No fault insurance in Pittsburgh does generally increase premiums over the at fault premiums. However, this is natural in the state, as no fault insurance covers your health insurance costs should you be involved in an auto accident, even if it is your fault. Whereas in traditional coverage you would be liable for your own expenses and potentially the costs of the other party, especially if the accident was your fault.
Pittsburgh Driving Laws of Note
Pittsburgh’s stance to fight aggressive driving has resulted in increased citations from enforcement agencies for those that are driving aggressively or are distracted while driving. Excessive speed, texting, using hand held devices and aggressive lane changes are just a few of the items that enforcement officers are looking for when giving citations to drivers. These infractions can lead to higher auto insurance premiums.
When looking for insurance in Pittsburgh, understand that there are hundreds of variables that can have an effect on a quote. Be sure to get a quote that compares the same variables from multiple sources. Also be aware that most quotes are traditional tort law quotes and you will need to opt in to a no fault insurance plan.
The Cheapest Auto Insurance in Pittsburgh
According to Forbes, Pittsburgh is the third cheapest city in the United States for auto insurance at 24% under the national average. State regulations, neighborhood property crime rates, vehicle theft rates and whether state regulations favor insurance companies all factor into insurance premiums, even within a single city. Finding the cheapest auto insurance is a process that should be done with careful precision.
Finding the Cheapest Company
According to ValuePenguin, the average annual auto insurance premium is $494. Yet the five cheapest insurers are between 40 to 54% cheaper than the average. The five cheapest auto insurers in Pittsburgh are:
- Atlantic States, annual rate $225
- Harleysville, annual rate $279
- Chubb, annual rate $288
- Auto-Owners, annual rate $294
- Donegal Mutual, annual rate $300
These figures are comparative within the same set of data provided to achieve the comparison quotes and may differ from your actual situation. You may also consider quotes from the other top ten cheapest auto insurers in the state including:
- Erie, annual rate $316
- Amica, annual rate $405
- General Casualty, annual rate $428
- State Farm, annual rate $428
- State Auto, annual rate $506
Of course getting the lowest rate for your situation may not be from any of these providers either. Different auto insurers target different demographics at different times to increase their exposure to different areas of the population.
Zip Code Differences
According to CarInsurance.com, even within a Zip code prices can be radically different. For example, in the Zip code 15219, in Pittsburgh the highest price of $1,867 is $1,059 more expensive than the cheapest rate of just $808 annually. These prices are for the same personal details given to six different insurance carriers at approximately the same time. If rates can vary that much, within a single Zip code, imagine how far they can vary between high crime and low crime neighborhoods or between high congestion areas, such as downtown Pittsburgh and the outlying suburbs?
This is the reason you should use an online quoting tool first to get a wide range of insurance quotes. Even though Pittsburgh has relatively inexpensive insurance compared to the highest rates in the country, you can get much better pricing, just by doing a little quoting comparisons.