Motorcycle Insurance

Why Get Motorcycle Insurance in Pennsylvania
Most people don’t give much thought to their insurance coverage until something happens and they need to file a claim. Motorcycle owners are required by the state of Pennsylvania to carry adequate liability coverage in order to legally operate a vehicle on the road. It’s important to remember that this is for your protection. If you are involved in an accident and have no insurance coverage, it can be devastating financially. And this doesn’t even take into account if there are serious injuries involved. Motorcycle insurance also protects you in case your vehicle is damaged or stolen. Motorcycle insurance coverage includes collision coverage, comprehensive physical damage coverage, accessories coverage, and bodily injury liability. You may want to look into other types of coverage such as medical payments, no-fault or personal injury protection, and property damage liability.

Motorcycle Riding in Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania law, the definition of a motorcycle is:

  • A motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for the rider’s use and traveling with no more than three wheels touching the ground.

By law, all motorcycle drivers must have a Class M learner’s permit or license issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Once a Pennsylvania resident reaches the age of 16, he or she is eligible to apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit. However, the following requirements should be met prior to receiving a Class M License:

Motorcycle License Requirements

  • Proof of Identification and Residence
  • Vision, Written knowledge and On-cycle skills test
  • Fees for Permit: $10, License: $5

In Pennsylvania, a learner’s permit is valid for one year. The permit comes with several restrictions:

  • No passengers are allowed except for the motorcycle instructor
  • Driving is permitted during daylight hours only

A motorcyclist who holds no other class of license is allowed to operate a motorcycle only if accompanied by a licensed motorcycle operator.

After receiving a motorcycle permit, the next step is to schedule a skills test run by any local licensing center or schedule a free training course offered by the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP). Individuals who successfully complete the Basic Riding Course offered by the PAMSP may waive the skills test required at licensing centers.

Minimum Insurance Requirements in Pennsylvania
In order to drive legally in Pennsylvania, state law requires all owners of motorcycles to have minimum liability coverage. These minimum coverage amounts are:

  • $15,000 for bodily injury of one person
  • $30,000 for bodily injury of all injured parties
  • $5,000 for property damage in one accident

Pennsylvania Motorcycle-specific Laws
A motorcyclist who fails to abide by the motorcycle-specific laws listed below may face stiff fines and penalties, increased insurance premiums, and possible suspension/revocation of a permit or license.

  • Always carry proof of insurance.
  • Safety helmets are required except for:
    1. Passengers age 21 or older
    2. Operators age 21 or older with at least two years of motorcycle driving experience
    3. Drivers over the age of 21 who have completed a rider safety course approved by PAMSP or PennDOT
  • Eye protection is required.
  • Daytime headlight use is mandatory for motorcycles manufactured after 1986.
  • Passenger seats and footrests are required when carrying a passenger.
  • Periodic safety inspections are required.
  • A muffler is required. Increasing the sound level via modifications is prohibited.
  • The maximum A-weighted sound levels allowable at 50 feet reference:
    1. not more than 84dBA at 35 mph or less
    2. 88dBA above 35 mph.
  • May operate motorcycles abreast in the same lane.
  • Lane splitting is not allowed.

Insurance companies offer many different motorcycle plans and options. All are designed to meet the various needs of their customers with respect to financial and personal circumstances. Take some time to investigate insurance options over the internet. Contact several companies and compare prices. Ask about discounts. By spending a bit of time looking into your choices beforehand, you can feel confident about purchasing a comprehensive insurance policy that meets both your needs and your budget.