Auto Insurance Rate Increases in Pennsylvania: Up 22% Since 2011

In the last six years Pennsylvania has experienced above slightly below average rate increases for its auto insurance premiums. In this article we give an overview of car insurance rate hikes in PA as well as explain what Pennsylvanians can do to save money on their premiums.

The past six years have seen Pennsylvania auto insurance rates increase slightly below average compared to other states. In this article we breakdown which insurers are raising rates the most, and how Pennsylvanians can prepare for rising insurance costs.

Car Insurance Rate Increases in Pennsylvania

Auto insurance rates have increased an average of 22% in Pennsylvania among the largest insurers in the state. That was slightly below the national average of 25%. Farmers imposed the steepest hikes in the past six years, while Erie and USAA raised rates the least.

Company201220132014201520162017*Total Inc. Since 2011
Allstate1%0%3%3%10%0%17%
American Family8%3%3%1%14%4%37%
GEICO3%3%0%7%6%0%21%
Erie0%0%1%1%4%1%7%
Farmers7%10%3%10%8%10%57%
Liberty Mutual6%8%6%5%10%5%46%
Nationwide8%5%3%6%11%5%42%
Progressive7%0%3%1%10%2%25%
State Farm1%1%6%3%5%0%16%
Travelers9%5%2%2%2%0%21%
USAA1%-1%-4%0%4%4%5%
Average3%2%3%3%7%2%22%

*Until May 2017

The graph below shows how each of the insurers above stacked up against each other in terms of rate increases.

Image shows cumulative car insurance rate hikes in Pennsylvania by company since 2011

Auto Insurance Rate Increases in Pennsylvania Compared to Other States

As we say above, rate hikes in the Quaker State were slightly above average compared to the average state to state. They were slightly greater than New Jersey's rate hikes, but smaller than New York's.

Map shows how states compared for car insurance premium hikes since 2011

Pennsylvania auto insurers generally raise rates slightly lower compared to the national average every year. The main exception was in 2016 when Pennsylvania auto insurers raised rates by 7% against a 6% national increase. In that year all 11 insurers raised rates by at least 2%.

YearPA Increase Per YearNational Increase Per YearDifference From National Increase
20123%4%-1%
20132%3%-1%
20143%3%0%
20153%4%-1%
20167%6%1%
2017*2%3%-1%

*Until May 2017

What Can Pennsylvanians Do If Their Auto Premiums Go Up?

Even if you are a safe driver your rates can go up. Luckily there are numerous things you can still do to keep your rates as low as possible.

Changing Your Auto Insurance Company

Most drivers would be surprised to know how much they can save by switching companies every few years. As we show above, some companies will raise rates more than others, as well as having more expensive rates. Drivers who neglect to shop around won't realize their company may be overcharging them or raising rates more than other local companies.

We always recommend that you shop for a new auto insurer at least once every year or two. The best way to go about it is to get quotes from as many insurers as you can. We found for Pennsylvania auto insurance that Erie, Harleysville and Atlantic States were the cheapest companies for our sample drivers living there.

Reducing Your Coverage

Sometimes you do not need all the insurance coverage you are paying for. Many drivers have invaluable cars they do not need to equip with collision and comprehensive insurance for example. We usually recommend drivers have both, but when you're car is who own cars that are worth less than $3,000 and/or are older than 10 years old, you likely will end up paying more for the insurance than what the car is worth. Collision and comprehensive insurance can cost anywhere from $300 to $2,000 per year--depending on your car. When you calculate the cost over five years, it is likely the cost of the insurance will be greater than the value of your car, making the insurance not worth the cost. By going to websites like Edmunds.com or Kbb.com, you can easily determine the value of your car.

Another reasonable way to reduce costs is by making sure your liability limits reflect amounts you actually need. Liability limits should be about equal to the assets under your name. If you have $500,000 in assets for example you should have at least $500,000 in liability coverage. If you can only claim $50,000 worth of assets on the other hand, you would be better off with going with $50,000 to $100,000 worth of coverage.

Auto Insurance Discounts

Applying for auto insurance discounts is another great way to save money on your premiums. By going here you can see how mature drivers can take defensive driving course in Pennsylvania to qualify for certain discounts upwards of 10%. Other things you can do is installing an anti-theft device, or making sure your child gets good grades in school. You can see a larger list of discounts most auto insurers offer in this piece and see how Pennsylvania stacks up against other states for cheap car insurance here.

Sources
Nielsen iClout data
Ratefilings.com

Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick is a Research Analyst at ValuePenguin focused on the insurance industry. He previously worked in Country Risk Management at State Street Corporation.

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