Operating a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, but there are significant hazards for drivers and passengers on the bike. Just like any other type of vehicle individuals operate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, motorcyclists are required to carry various types of insurance. Here, we want to discuss the types of insurance motorcyclists must carry in order to remain legal on the roadway. We want to be very clear – it is illegal to own and operate a motorcycle without having the required insurance in PA.
The Motorcycle Insurance Requirement in Pennsylvania
Any individual who owns a motorcycle in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is required to carry insurance. Just like insurance for a traditional vehicle, this coverage offers protection for motorcyclists and others who may be involved in an accident. Motorcyclists must understand that they are required to carry both motorcycle accident insurance and traditional auto insurance policies if they have a motorcycle and another type of vehicle. In Pennsylvania, the minimum limits for motorcycle insurance include:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: $5,000
- First party benefits: $5,000
In a moment, we will explain the difference between “limited tort” and “full tort” insurance when it comes to motorcycle insurance in Pennsylvania. However, we do want want to point out that the minimum amount of insurance required in Pennsylvania is fairly low, and most individuals do opt for minimal coverage. We strongly suggest that you increase motorcycle accident coverage to help compensate you for any medical bills, property damage, and out-of-pocket expenses if a crash occurs.
Additionally, Pennsylvania does not require individuals to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage is not terribly expensive and is incredibly beneficial if you are involved in a crash with an individual without any insurance or a person who does not have enough coverage to pay for all of your expenses.
Is Pennsylvania a No-Fault Motorcycle Crash State?
Pennsylvania is one of around a dozen states in this country that follow some sort of “no-fault” system (limited tort) when it comes to car insurance and vehicle accidents. Under this no-fault system, individuals typically turn to their own insurance carrier to pay for their medical treatment and other out-of-pocket losses incurred by anyone under the policy, up to the coverage limits, regardless of who caused the crash. There are various benefits to a no-fault system, namely that you will be able to receive compensation almost immediately and regardless of which party caused the crash.
However, this type of insurance does limit how much compensation an individual can receive if another driver causes the crash. When individuals have no-fault insurance, they cannot step out of the system and file a third-party insurance claim against an at-fault driver unless their injuries meet certain thresholds under state law.
Pennsylvania does allow individuals to opt out of no-fault insurance and go with a more traditional fault-based (full-tort) type of auto insurance coverage. In these cases, all vehicle and motorcycle accidents would be handled just like traditional accidents in other states, where the at-fault driver will be responsible for paying compensation to others involved in the crash.
Speak to a Chester County motorcycle accident attorney to learn more about your legal rights.