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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 4, 2019 04:16 PM
From: Representative Aaron D. Kaufer
To: All House members
Subject: Auto Insurance Limits
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that increases the minimum amount of insurance a person would be required to carry on an automobile policy. Motor vehicle insurance was mandated in 1974. Pursuant to that law, a person is required to carry a minimum amount of insurance: $15,000 for bodily injury per person ($30,000 per accident) and $5,000 in property damage.
Unfortunately, during the forty years since this law was enacted, consumer costs have skyrocketed. In fact, according to the consumer price index, prices have increased 409% since 1974. This means that for today’s dollar to equal the value of a dollar in 1974, the original minimum auto insurance limits of $15,000/$30,000/$5,000 would have to be increased to $76,402/$152,803/$25,467.
To put this information into perspective, when this law was enacted, the average cost of an automobile was $3,750 – the limits of $15,000/$30,000/$5,000 made sense. Forty years later, the average cost of a car is now $35,285. Additionally, in 1974, Kellogg’s corn flakes were 43 cents, a can of Pepsi Cola was 88 cents and a 1.4-ounce Hershey candy bar was only 15 cents.
Almost every other state has increased their limits since their original enactment; several have increased their limits more than once. Pennsylvania’s inaction has granted us the dubious distinction of having the second lowest limits in the entire country (Florida has $10,000/$20,000/$10,000).
My legislation would increase our minimum limits to $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident and $10,000 for property damage.
Several of you have either directly or indirectly seen what happens when an accident occurs with someone who has our state’s horrendously low limits. It is time for us to take action.
I would greatly appreciate if you would join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to increase the minimum amount of insurance a person would be required to carry on an automobile policy.

Introduced as HB1625