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Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Coverage What You Need to Know About Non-Required Coverages

Adams Kearney Law July 13, 2023

All owners of motor vehicles in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are required by law to purchase and maintain automobile insurance.

When purchasing auto insurance, you want to ensure you are sufficiently protected in the event you are in an accident, while being mindful that the cost is not beyond your budget.

Moreover, as an owner, driver or passenger, it is important to understand how automobile insurance affects an individual involved in an automobile accident.

In a previous article, which you can locate on our website, we discussed required coverages under Pennsylvania law. Here, we will discuss non-required coverages.

Non-Required Coverages

The following coverages are not required. They can be waived, or simply not purchased. But you should be knowledgeable about these coverages and make an informed decision in regard to each.

We provide recommendations below, but all decisions are, of course, yours to make. The purpose of this summary is to provide the information you need to make an informed decision.

Collision Coverage. This coverage pays you for any damage to your vehicle. It typically is purchased with a deductible, so that you pay up to the amount of your deductible and your insurance covers the remainder.

Comprehensive Coverage. This coverage provides protection if your vehicle is stolen or damaged in a manner other than in an accident with another vehicle(e.g., falling objects, vandalism). It also operates with a deductible contribution from you.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM). This coverage protects you in case you are injured by a driver and/or vehicle that is uninsured. With the high number of uninsured drivers on the road, we strongly recommend you purchase this coverage. “UM” coverage may be purchased in amounts equal to or smaller than your liability coverage. You should consider purchasing at least $100,000/$300,000 limits. If you are injured by an uninsured driver, this is the only benefit available to you.

Under-insured Motorist Coverage (UIM). This coverage is similar to“UM” coverage. “UIM” coverage only applies if you are injured, it wasn't your fault, and the other party didn't carry enough insurance to adequately compensate you for your injuries. Again, we strongly recommend you purchase this coverage. Typically this coverage comes into play when the responsible party had a minimum policy of $15,000 and your injuries are sufficiently serious to exceed that amount. The “UM” and “UIM” coverages are available to protect you and other insureds in your home from actions of others that did not select sufficient insurance to properly compensate you for injury they caused. This coverage is normally available at a small additional premium and provides you the most protection and benefit under your auto policy.

Stacking” The term “stacking” refers to the option to multiply the limits of your “UM” and “UIM” coverage by the number of vehicles on the same policy. For example, if you have two cars insured for $100,000 per person of “UIM” and “UM” coverage, stacking increases your coverage to $200,000 per person.

There are other coverage options such as, Loss of Income, Funeral Benefits, and Extraordinary Medical Loss, which are available and largely self-explanatory.

Please do not hesitate to contact Adams Kearney if you have any questions regarding auto insurance coverage or if we can be of any other assistance to you. You can also find our other informative articles, Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Coverage : What You Need to Know About Required Coverages and Take Back Control of Your Finances and Life, at