Pennsylvania’s minimum auto insurance limits are the second lowest
in the nation, with bodily injury liability coverage at $15,000 per person
($30,000 per accident) and property damage liability coverage at $5,000.
On behalf of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association,
James Haggerty, along with Scott Cooper, Esq. and Ronald Kovler, Esq., testified before
the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Transportation and Insurance
Committees in support of Senate Bill 928 and House Bill 1258. These bills
seek to increase these unjustly low minimums, which have been in place
since 1974. If passed into law, these pieces of legislation would change
auto insurance minimums to $25,000 per person ($50,000 per accident) for
bodily injury liability coverage and $15,000 for property damage liability
coverage. Mr. Haggerty and the
PTLA were joined in support by the Insurance Agents and Brokers Association
(IAB) and the Pennsylvania Insurance Commission.
Jim Haggerty noted that the interests of fairness and justice require that
the limits be increased in order to protect motor vehicle accident victims
in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Other states like Ohio and Maryland
have already implemented similar auto insurance increases successfully
without increasing the percentage of uninsured motorists or premium costs.
However, the Insurance Federation still opposes raising auto insurance
minimums in Pennsylvania out of fear that the changes would make auto
insurance unaffordable for many drivers.
Mr. Haggerty and other testifiers were able to dispel many of the myths
put forth by the Federation by showing detailed analysis the "before
and after" premium costs and UM data from other states that have
recently increased their minimum limits. Most states had no increase in
premium costs and only one state had an increase in their UM percentage.
Furthermore, they were also able to point out the hypocrisy of the Insurance
Federation, which claims a goal of keeping costs down while at the same
time petitioning the Insurance Commission for yearly premium increases.
The PTLA and other supporters of this critical legislation are getting
closer each day to passing these much needed changes to ensure that drivers
have sufficient coverage.
If you have been involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured
contact Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, P.C. to speak with a Philadelphia
car accident lawyer.
Our office can be reached at (267) 419-6422.