Auto Insurance Basics

Who Has the Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Pennsylvania?

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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 Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania

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.

This graph shows which companies had the cheapest rates in Pennsylvania to insure our drivers' vehicles.

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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.

RankAuto Insurance CompanyAverage Annual Rates
1General Casualty$959
2Erie$968
3Harleysville$1,127
4Atlantic States$1,144
5Auto Owners$1,157
6State Farm$1,162
7Nationwide$1,309
8Allied$1,360
9Donegal Mutual$1,372
10The Hartford$1,379
11State Auto$1,452
12Allstate$1,461
13Progressive$1,472
14Chubb$1,534
15Mutual Benefit Group$1,601
16GEICO$1,630
17Motorists Mutual$2,020
18MetLife$2,097
19National General$2,105
20Mercury$2,351
21American Independent$2,443
22Safe Auto$2,556
23Sentry$3,163

Cheapest Car Insurance in Pennsylvania: by City

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.

CityAuto Insurance CompanyAverage Annual Rates
AllentownErie$948
General Casualty$948
Harleysville$1,104
AltoonaGeneral Casualty$960
Erie$1,044
Auto Owners$1,104
Beaver FallsMercury$355
General Casualty$876
Erie$912
BethlehemGeneral Casualty$900
Erie$912
Atlantic States$1,056
BradfordErie$900
General Casualty$900
Harleysville$900
ButlerErie$828
General Casualty$888
Harleysville$888
CarbondaleErie$960
General Casualty$1,008
Atlantic States$1,056
ClairtonGeneral Casualty$888
Erie$912
Atlantic States$948
CoatesvilleErie$1,500
Mutual Benefit Group$1,572
Progressive$1,588
ConnellsvilleErie$948
General Casualty$960
Atlantic States$1,008
CorryHarleysville$936
General Casualty$948
Erie$960
DuboisGeneral Casualty$912
Erie$936
Atlantic States$1,044
DuquesneGeneral Casualty$912
Erie$936
Atlantic States$1,044
ErieGeneral Casualty$912
Erie$996
Harleysville$1,068
FarrellGeneral Casualty$948
Erie$984
Atlantic States$1,020
FranklinErie$972
General Casualty$996
Harleysville$1,068
GreensburgGeneral Casualty$936
Erie$948
Atlantic States$1,008
HarrisburgGeneral Casualty$840
Erie$912
Harleysville$960
HazletonErie$996
General Casualty$1,032
Harleysville$1,068
HermitageErie$936
General Casualty$936
Atlantic States$1,068
JeannetteGeneral Casualty$912
Erie$924
Atlantic States$1,044
JohnstownGeneral Casualty$924
Erie$960
Harleysville$960
LancasterErie$852
General Casualty$864
Harleysville$984
LatrobeGeneral Casualty$924
Erie$936
Atlantic States$1,044
MckeesportGeneral Casualty$936
Erie$1,008
Atlantic States$1,044
MeadvilleErie$972
General Casualty$996
Harleysville$1,068
MonessenGeneral Casualty$840
Erie$900
Atlantic States$972
MonongahelaErie$936
General Casualty$936
Atlantic States$1,044
NanticokeGeneral Casualty$936
Erie$960
Auto Owners$1,164
New CastleGeneral Casualty$924
Erie$960
Atlantic States$1,020
New KensingtonGeneral Casualty$924
Atlantic States$960
Erie$996
NorristownErie$1,056
General Casualty$1,056
Harleysville$1,152
Oil CityErie$936
General Casualty$936
Atlantic States$1,068
PhiladelphiaErie$1,200
General Casualty$1,200
Harleysville$1,476
PittsburghGeneral Casualty$912
Erie$1,008
Atlantic States$1,044
PittstonGeneral Casualty$936
Erie$960
Atlantic States$1,056
PottsvilleErie$864
General Casualty$888
Harleysville$1,032
ReadingErie$1,188
General Casualty$1,212
The Hartford$1,380
ScrantonErie$960
General Casualty$960
Auto Owners$1,260
ShamokinErie$864
General Casualty$888
State Farm$984
SharonErie$936
General Casualty$936
Atlantic States$1,068
St MarysErie$936
General Casualty$936
Atlantic States$996
State CollegeGeneral Casualty$948
Erie$960
Harleysville$960
SunburyErie$804
General Casualty$828
Harleysville$948
TitusvilleHarleysville$936
Erie$960
General Casualty$960
UniontownAtlantic States$960
General Casualty$960
Erie$996
WashingtonGeneral Casualty$948
Atlantic States$1,032
Erie$1,104
Wilkes-BarreGeneral Casualty$924
-Erie$948
-State Farm$1,116
WilliamsportGeneral Casualty$864
Erie$912
Harleysville$984
YorkErie$864
General Casualty$876
Atlantic States$912

Philadelphia, PA

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.

This graph identifies the five companies with the cheapest auto insurance rates in Philadelphia, compared to the city average.

Pittsburgh, PA

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.

This graph lays out the five providers in Pittsburgh with the lowest average annual rates for our sample driver, compared to the city average.

Allentown, PA

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.

This graph lists the five companies in Allentown with the lowest rates for insuring our driver's car compared to the city average.

Erie, PA

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.

this chart shows the five most affordable car insurance providers based on quotes in Erie versus to the city average.

Reading, PA

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.

This chart lists the auto insurance companies in Reading with the lowest annual costs compared to the city average.

Cost of Car Insurance in Pennsylvania: by City

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.

this graph ranks the annual auto insurance costs across the insurers we surveyed for 57 cities in Pennsylvania.

Best Auto Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania

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
Liberty Mutual 34 0.42 3% $222,301,066
USAA 44 0.68 2% 176,246,277
Travelers 65 0.84 3% 210,885,340
State Farm 431 0.86 16% 1,368,350,438
Erie Insurance 366 0.94 13% 1,064,679,636
Nationwide 274 0.99 9% 753,262,705
Progressive 156 1.04 5% 409,899,225
Allstate 326 1.13 9% 788,544,424
Penn National Insurance Company 48 1.46 1% 89,742,801
GEICO 258 1.93 4% 363,939,119

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law requires that drivers have at least $15/$30/$5, with some additional pieces as listed below:

  • $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

Methodology

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.

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