Simply stated, auto insurance is a contract between you and your insurance company that protects you against financial loss if you have an accident. Auto policies contain a variety of coverages that can be purchased depending on your needs and wants. You agree to pay the premium, and in return, the insurance company agrees to pay for certain expenses as defined in your policy.
The department has put together a list of resources to help answer your questions and help you understand your options. Feel free to browse the following publications and resources. For a complete list of consumer brochures and fact sheets, you may click here.
Pennsylvania Insurance Department Zip-Code Auto Insurance Study – In October 2016, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department embarked on a zip-code based study of personal auto insurance premiums and losses. The purpose of the study was to determine whether personal auto insurance premiums were commensurate with insured loss experience in zip-codes with:1) large minority populations; 2) low household incomes; 3)low percentages of college graduates.
The study found that premium to loss ratios in these zip-codes (i.e. comparisons of the premiums charged to actual insured loss experience) were not higher than the state as a whole. A report of “Significant Findings” from the study is available here.
Pennsylvania is currently participating in a national zip-code based study of auto insurance affordability and availability being conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The Insurance Department anticipates that the NAIC will release information on its study after it is completed.
NAIC 2014-2015 Auto Insurance Database Report – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners 2014-2015 Insurance Database Report features state-by-state auto insurance data based on date through year-end
2014 and 2015. It is the most current compilation of automobile insurance costs
throughout the United Sates. The report also contains a summarization of the
2015 average expenditures and combined average premiums for each state.
factors affect a state’s expenditures and premiums, including underwriting
costs, driving locations, accident rates, traffic density, auto theft
statistics, repair costs and state laws. There are also differences in state
requirements for insurance coverage, limits and benefits. These variances make
direct state-by-state comparisons difficult. Data contained in the 2014/2015
report may differ from previous reports, as updated information from insurers
is periodically obtained and included in the most recent report.
New WreckCheck App for Smartphones – The NAIC has developed WreckCheck, a new, free mobile app for iPhone® and Android® smartphones (and a printable PDF). The new app outlines what to do immediately following an accident and walks users through a step-by-step process to create their own accident report. The app directs them to capture photos and helps document and share only what is necessary to file an insurance claim. Users can even email their completed reports to themselves and their insurance agents. The video below demonstrates how it works.