We studied car insurance quotes across 23 companies in 57 cities in the state to give drivers a feel for the best auto insurance rates in Pennsylvania. Based on our analysis of a benchmark driver, we determined that the average annual premium was $1,644 for their coverage. The most expensive carrier quoted about $2,204 more than or 2.3x the cost of the cheapest car insurance company in Pennsylvania. Seeing how there's such a wide variation, consumers should shop around for multiple quotes to find the best rates in their town. Enter your zip code in the form above to see a list of companies to begin quote comparison shopping at, or read more.
- Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
- Cheap Auto Insurance Rates in PA: by City
- Average Cost of Auto Insurance: by City
- Best Car Insurance Companies in PA
- Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Requirements
In order to determine which companies had the cheapest car insurance rates in Pennsylvania, we researched quotes for a sample driver across 23 carriers in 57 cities in the state. Based on this benchmark, here are the five providers with the best auto insurance quotes: General Casualty, Erie, Harleysville, Atlantic States, and Auto Owners.
Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
The average annual rates were based off a single 30 year old man who served as the benchmark we used to compare the providers against each other. Your actual quotes will differ based on your own driving background and need for coverage.
The Most Expensive Auto Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania
On the other hand, Sentry, Safe Auto and American Independent ranked with the highest overall average annual rates for our benchmark driver. They quoted our profiled drivers $2,721 per year on average for coverage. In context, that's about 66% more expensive than the 23-company composite of $1,644 for the same group of motorists in PA. For the full list, the table below ranks those insurance companies from those with the best auto insurance rates to the most expensive ones.
|Rank||Auto Insurance Company||Average Annual Rates|
|15||Mutual Benefit Group||$1,601|
Which companies have the best rates in your hometown for insuring a car? We were able to parse our Pennsylvania data by city and town to identify at a more hyperlocal level who the three cheapest insurers were. Coatesville, Levittown, and Philly ranked as the three most expensive places to insure a car based on our benchmark profiles, but drivers living here can still knock off hundreds of dollars from their annual car insurance costs by comparing quotes. As the table below shows, Lebanon ranked with the lowest rates for our sample drivers, but take a look as well at the 2nd and 3rd for inclusion in your shortlist of companies for cheap auto insurance quotes. Bear in mind that your quotes will differ; these composite rates are based on our benchmark driver with a clean driving record and good credit score.
|City||Auto Insurance Company||Average Annual Rates|
|Mutual Benefit Group||$1,572|
|New Castle||General Casualty||$924|
|New Kensington||General Casualty||$924|
|State College||General Casualty||$948|
Philly earns the distinction of having one of the most expensive auto insurance in the state. Annual rates here can run about $2,093 when you get a basic insurance policy, which is nearly 1.3x the cost of the statewide average. Residents may find living in the City of Brotherly Love to be well worth it, however, with sports franchises such as the 76ers, Eagles, or Phillies. History buffs will know that Philadelphia is home to Valley Forge, Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell, among others.
If you're looking for cheap car insurance in Philadelphia, then be sure to include Erie, General Casualty, and Harleysville in your search, as these had the three lowest quotes in our study. On average, annual rates for our sample driver's full coverage were $1,292 a year, which made them $801 or 38% cheaper compared to the citywide average. Throw State Farm and Mutual Benefit Group onto the list as well - they're the next two lowest cost insurers in Philly. They average $1,530 per year, or 27% less versus what the typical insurer in Philly would charge our sample motorists.
As drivers in Pittsburgh may know, the city was once home to the longest artificially ventilated tunnel for road traffic: the Liberty Tunnel. Today's motorists traveling through the Liberty Tubes, however, may not be aware that auto insurance rates in the Steel City were close to average with the rest of the state at $140 per month or $1,681 annually. General Casualty's rates were the cheapest in Pittsburgh on average at $912 a year for our benchmark driver's full coverage, which makes the company about 46% cheaper for this demographic compared to the rest of the city. Close behind was Erie, which ranked as the second cheapest ($1,008), as well as Atlantic States ($1,044). The three most affordable companies had a composite rate that was 42% lower versus the Steel City average. That translates into an average of $693 back in our sample consumers' wallets every year, so we recommend that consumers include these three companies in their search for the cheapest car insurance rates.
Fun fact related to cars about Allentown: a former chairman of Chrysler, Lee Iacocca, attended William Allen High School here. Allentown finished a little above average in terms of costs with average annual rates for our profiled driver at $1,662 (for full coverage). If you're looking for the cheapest rates in Allentown, Erie and General Casualty tied at at $79 per month outranked Harleysville by $13 per month. The composite annual premium of these three providers was $1,000 a year, which was $662 or 40% less versus what the typical insurer charged our benchmark drivers in Allentown. Atlantic States and Auto Owners rounded out the top five best rates.
Erie ranks below average for all the cities we surveyed. At $1,599 per year, it cost our sample drivers 3% less to insure their vehicles here compared to the typical city in Pennsylvania. Based on our data, cheap auto insurance in Erie could be found at General Casualty, Erie, and Harleysville. Motorists would also do well to include Atlantic States and Auto Owners when getting quotes for car insurance, as these two companies rounded out the five providers with the best rates in Erie. The second cheapest company, Erie, is especially fitting and poetic, as the carrier shares the same name as the town, and is headquartered within the city at 100 Erie Insurance Place. Average rates for our driver benchmarks averaged $1,042 a year for coverage which, when compared to the citywide average of $1,599, represents a discount of 35% and savings of $557.
Reading is one of the most expensive cities on our list of PA cities for auto owners, averaging $2,033 a year for full coverage of our driver. For low-cost auto insurance quotes in Reading, PA, we recommend that drivers in the area consider Erie, General Casualty, The Hartford, Harleysville, and State Farm in their research for the cheapest rates. These were the five providers with the best rates overall for our sample motorists, and on average cost $699 less a year - a discount of 34% - compared to what the typical insurer would charge in Reading.
Residents of the 57 cities and towns covered in our Pennsylvania study can look to the graph below to see how their hometown stacked up to other locations based on our benchmark drivers' average rates there. From Aliquippa to York, here are the various places displayed from those with the cheapest rates to the most expensive.
One way to determine the best companies in Pennsylvania for auto insurance is by reviewing complaint index numbers. These numbers measure the share of complaints a company gets compared to its share of premiums in the market. A company with an index number of 1, such as Progressive, is right around the average for the state. Any company with a number below 1 is performing better than average compared to other insurers.
Out of the 10 largest auto insurance groups, which make up 65% of the market, Liberty Mutual, USAA, and Travelers were three of the best companies in Pennsylvania since they receive the lowest share of complaints. At the other end of the spectrum GEICO had the highest complaint ratio, 1.93, of the top car insurance companies. Here's a peek at the 10 largest auto insurer groups (as measured by total annual premiums written in the state) and their respective complaint indices in 2012.
|Insurer||# of Complaints||Complaint Index||Market Share||Premiums|
|Penn National Insurance Company||48||1.46||1%||89,742,801|
Pennsylvania Car Insurance Requirements
Pennsylvania law requires that drivers have at least $15/$30/$5 in coverage, along with some protection for personal injuries. If you have auto insurance, here is the minimimum you're required to have:
- $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident of bodily injury liability insurance
- $5,000 of property damage liability insurance
- $5,000 of Medical Payments Coverage
In our analysis, we looked a single male driver with a good credit score and clean driving history for the last 5 years. He owns a 2011 Toyota Camry which he drives for 12,000 miles per year. Average premiums are for illustrative purposes only. Consumers' actual quotes will vary based on their physical residence, driving history, vehicle, and other factors.