Best car insurance in Pennsylvania in 2021

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Bankrate conducted extensive research on the largest car insurance companies in Pennsylvania by market share and determined that Geico and Erie offer some of the best coverage. Nationwide, Progressive and Allstate also make our list of the best car insurance in Pennsylvania.

The average cost of car insurance in Pennsylvania is $1,476 per year, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums. To find the best car insurance in Pennsylvania, Bankrate analyzed 2021 average annual premiums, obtained from Quadrant Information Services. Our editorial team also reviewed third-party rankings, available coverages, discount offerings and customer service scores.

Best car insurance companies in Pennsylvania

If you are shopping for the best auto insurance in Pennsylvania, you may benefit from obtaining quotes from Geico, Erie, Nationwide, Progressive and Allstate. The best auto insurance companies in Pennsylvania were chosen based on a number of factors, including average premiums, J.D. Power scores and available coverages. Our research has determined the following five carriers may offer the best auto insurance in Pennsylvania:

Car insurance company Bankrate Score Average annual full coverage premium J.D. Power customer satisfaction score
Geico 4.6 $916 871/1,000
Erie 4.4 $1,079 881/1,000
Nationwide 4.3 $1,058 876/1,000
Progressive 4.1 $1,278 856/1,000
Allstate 3.6 $1,338 876/1,000

Geico

If you are looking for a company with a robust digital presence, Geico could be a great option. The company’s website and app allow you to handle your policy without talking to an agent. You can call for roadside assistance, file a claim and pay a bill through the app, which has over 2.8 million reviews on the App Store and still has a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0. However, Geico may not be a good choice for you if you want a range of optional coverages to choose from. The company’s policies are relatively basic.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Erie

Erie has the highest customer satisfaction rating of all the carriers on the list. Top-notch customer service is paired with low rates — Erie Insurance is the third-cheapest carrier based on Bankrate’s quote data. Drivers can choose from a number of optional coverages to expand their vehicle-related protection, such as new and better car replacement coverage, first accident forgiveness and pet insurance if a pet is injured in a crash. Erie does not have an online claim reporting tool though, so it may not be the right fit if you are looking for a company with online tools.

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

Nationwide

Nationwide offers basic auto insurance policies with a few options for customization. If you are wanting to add extra coverages, Nationwide offers rental car coverage, gap insurance and emergency roadside assistance. The company also offers an accident forgiveness program. However, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) does give Nationwide a higher-than-average complaint index, indicating that there are more complaints about Nationwide than the industry average.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Progressive

If you have accidents or tickets on your diving record, you may want to consider a quote from Progressive; the company is known for helping high-risk drivers find coverage. The company offers several options to tailor your policy to your needs, like ridesharing coverage, which may be a good option if you drive for Uber, Lyft or any similar company. Progressive did receive a below-average score from claims satisfaction from J.D. Power though, so the carrier may not be a good fit for you if customer service is a priority.

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

Allstate

You may want to consider getting a quote from Allstate as the carrier offers a variety of online resources, including an online quoting tool and car payment calculator. Allstate also offers in-person agents, if you prefer to do your business with a person rather than online. However, Allstate’s average premium is the highest on our list, so it may not be the best choice if you are on a tight budget.

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

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Average car insurance cost in Pennsylvania

Auto insurance in Pennsylvania is generally cheaper than the national average. While the average cost of full coverage car insurance in the U.S. is $1,674 per year, full coverage in Pennsylvania is only $1,476 per year, on average, according to 2021 premium data from Quadrant Information Services. The same holds true for minimum coverage. The average annual cost for minimum coverage in the U.S. is $565, while in Pennsylvania minimum coverage costs an average of $427 per year.

The lower-than-average premiums could be due in part to Pennsylvania’s population density. The state has 48 rural counties and only 19 urban counties. Much of Pennsylvania is rural, which means that there could be fewer cars on the road and less traffic. These metrics could lead to fewer crashes and lower insurance prices.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Pennsylvania Average annual premium for full coverage in Pennsylvania
$427 $1,476

How to find the best car insurance in Pennsylvania

The best car insurance in Pennsylvania will vary based on your own individual rating factors. To find the best car insurance in Pennsylvania for you, consider these tips.

Consider minimum insurance requirements in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania requires its drivers to carry at least certain amounts of car insurance to drive legally. Understanding the minimum insurance laws could help you decide what coverage to purchase. If you cause an accident, your auto insurance coverage can help protect your finances and assets from the expenses. Most car insurance professionals recommend that you purchase higher limits to obtain greater financial protection.

Consider lender requirements

If you finance or lease your vehicle, there could be car insurance requirements in addition to Pennsylvania’s state minimum limits. Most financial institutions require you to carry full coverage, which includes comprehensive and collision to protect your finances from damage to your car. You may be required to purchase gap insurance as well, or you may want to consider it. Because vehicles depreciate relatively quickly, the balance of your loan may be higher than the total loss value of your vehicle. Gap insurance is designed to pay this difference.

Consider your individual needs

Your life circumstances can also have an impact on your car insurance coverages and discounts. If you have a teen driver, for example, you are likely paying a higher premium than you were before your child was licensed. Looking for a company that offers discounts and safe driving programs for young drivers could help you lower your premium. Or you might have a few accidents, tickets or a DUI conviction on your record. This means that insurance companies are likely to view you as a high-risk driver. Having realistic expectations of your premium and looking for companies that have coverages, discounts and features geared toward your needs could help you find a good fit.

Car insurance discounts in Pennsylvania

Taking advantage of discounts is often one of the easiest ways to save on your car insurance premium. Although every company offers different discounts, some common savings opportunities in Pennsylvania are:

  • Young driver discounts: Many companies offer discounts to help offset the cost of insuring a young driver. Asking your provider about good student discounts, distant student discounts or teen driver programs might result in savings.
  • Safe driver discounts: Driving less can decrease your risk of getting into an accident. If you do not drive your car often, you may qualify for a low-mileage discount. Safe drivers might also want to consider signing up for a telematics program. These typically involve using a mobile app or plug-in device to track your driving habits. You may then be awarded a discount based on your driving patterns.
  • Other discounts: If you have more than one insurance product, bundling them with the same company could save you quite a bit of money. You could also choose to pay your policies in full, which often results in a discount.

You may be able to review a company’s discounts online, or you can talk to an agent or customer service representative to see if you are taking advantage of all the savings opportunities available to you.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company in Pennsylvania?

Although the companies above are some of the best in the state, the best car insurance company will vary for everyone. Your auto insurance needs are unique and the company that can best address your situation is going to be unique as well. Understanding what you want from a company, what kinds of coverages you are looking for and if you want access to digital tools may help you to figure out which company is a good option for you.

What is the cheapest car insurance company in Pennsylvania?

Penn National, Nationwide and QBE are among the cheapest car insurance companies in Pennsylvania, according to our research. But while these companies offer cheap average rates, your rates will vary based on your unique circumstances. Your driving history, the type of car you drive and the coverages you purchase will all impact your rates.

What is the difference between minimum coverage and full coverage?

Minimum coverage refers to having just the minimum coverages and levels of coverage required by your state. Full coverage means that you have added comprehensive and collision coverage, which provides coverage for damages to your own vehicle. However, insurance is typically customizable. You could carry state minimum liability coverages but add on comprehensive and collision coverage for full coverage. You could also carry higher liability limits but no vehicle coverage at all. Talking to an agent about your specific needs may be the best way to determine the right coverage for you.

What do you need to get car insurance in Pennsylvania?

To get an auto insurance policy, you will generally need to have the year, make and model of your car, its vehicle identification number (VIN) and the name, date of birth and driver’s license number for every driver in your household. You may also be asked for your Social Security number. Having an idea of what coverages you want quotes for can be helpful as well, although you can ask an agent to quote several different coverage options if you would like to compare them.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Bankrate Scores

Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry-standard ratings for financial strength and customer experience in addition to analysis of quoted annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services, spanning all 50 states and Washington, D.C. We know it is important for drivers to be confident their financial protection covers the likeliest risks, is priced competitively and is provided by a financially-sound company with a history of positive customer support.

To determine how well the best car insurance companies satisfy these priorities, third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best, S&P, NAIC, and Moodys had the most impact on the companies’ Bankrate Scores. As price is a common consideration for drivers, we analyzed quoted premiums based on 40-year-old male and female drivers with a 2019 Toyota Camry. This profile, assessed across more than 35,000 ZIP codes in the U.S., provided a basis on which drivers may compare each provider.

While coverage options, insurer availability, affordability and customer experience are often the top priorities, Bankrate also analyzed each insurer’s online and mobile resources for policy management and claims handling. Insurance is rapidly evolving to keep pace with our digital world, so these aspects also carried weight in determining Bankrate Scores.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Writer & Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional with nearly a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent.
Edited by
Insurance Editor
Reviewed by
Mark Friedlander
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute