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By R Daniel Williams

The Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, also called MVFRL, requires all motor vehicle owners to keep their automobiles insured. With all the many different types of coverage available, it could be very difficult to decide exactly what you need to have and what you want to have. To help you sort out the different types of Pennsylvania auto insurance coverage, here is some help with the definitions.

– Liability Coverage. Liability coverage is mandatory under Pennsylvania laws. This means that your insurance policy should include liability coverage before you will be allowed to operate your vehicle. This type of coverage insulates you from claims by other people. For example, in the event that you cause an accident to happen, and you have liability coverage, your insurance will pay for the injury that you caused to other parties. There are also different types of liability coverage, including bodily injury claims and damage to property. The first one applies against injury to other people, and the second one applies to damage that you may cause to the property of other people.

What happens when you are driving and you figure in an accident because of your own fault? Your liability coverage will pay for the damage or injury that you may have caused. However, expect your insurance company to increase your premium rates or impose surcharges on your premium rates.

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– Personal Injury Protection. This is currently referred to as “First Party Benefits” and is also made mandatory by Pennsylvania auto insurance laws. This coverage applies to injuries that the vehicle owner himself suffers from, whether the accident is caused by him or some other party. Under the law, the minimum coverage is $5,000. And because this is a no-fault type of coverage, no surcharge or increase in premiums is allowed in case you avail yourself of this.

– Collision Coverage. Unlike the first party benefits and liability coverage, collision coverage is optional. Most often, insurance companies sell policies with collision coverage as a deductible. Under this scheme, in case of a collision caused by your own fault, you will pay for the limit that you set in the policy, and then the insurance company will compensate the other party the remainder. Setting a higher deductible can mean a lower premium for you. However, this also means that you have to be ready to shell out a higher amount of money in case of a collision.

– Comprehensive Coverage. This coverage is also optional. Under this scheme, your insurance will answer for loss in case of vehicle theft or any damage from any causes. Like the collision coverage, comprehensive coverage is also offered as a deductible.

– Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Both are optional types of coverage. This first one insures against and loss or injury caused by a vehicle operator who is not insured. The second one applies to situations when you suffer from any damage or injury caused by another party, and the other party has a subsisting insurance policy, but is not sufficient to compensate you for the amount of loss or damage that you suffered.

About the Author: 1984 Univ of Pitt Grad Founded Williams Agency in 1986 Am currently active as owner. Happy to serve over 3500 Pa residents with better insurance at much lower prices. Affordable Pa Auto Insurance


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