What Minimum Coverage Do I Need For PA Motorcycle Insurance?

Safety is no accident, but motorcycle accidents need proper motorcycle insurance coverage.
Protecting self before a motorcycle accident.

Being a new motorcycle rider and not wanting to incur more costs with this new hobby, I must nit-pick every detail about owning and riding a motorcycle. So what is the minimum coverage needed in PA for motorcycle insurance? 

In this post, I am not a motorcycle insurance agent, a lawyer, or in any way trying to sell you any professional services. I’m just thinking out loud about how much motorcycle insurance will cost me and how I can meet the legal minimum insurance coverage to operate my motorcycle while getting extra coverage for worse-case situations.  

I am a newly licensed motorcycle operator ( Last Day For Motorcycle Safety Course In Pa) who just got his first motorcycle and am concerned about my and other people’s safety ( Is The Motorcycle Safety Course Worth It?)

Let’s get to the first question that every person asks, and I laugh when I ask myself:

Is Motorcycle Insurance Required in PA?

Yes, I covered the idea of not having motorcycle insurance, but it’s just that, crazy. I briefly covered this with an earlier post: What Minimum Coverage Do I Need For PA Motorcycle Insurance?

So What Type Of Motorcycle Insurance Do I Need?

Again, this was thinking outside the box, which I covered in the previous post: What Are Pennsylvania’s Motorcycle Insurance Requirements?

The previous post where I was trying to figure out if I need motorcycle insurance in Pa was more or less rhetorical. I have friends who believe their auto insurance covers their motorcycle riding habits, but this appears not true.  

The motorcycle owner is responsible for ensuring their bike is insured to operate on Pa public roads. Imagine if you get into an accident and damage, worse hurt someone other than yourself(including your rider), and the consequences.  

Not only were you a lousy motorcycle owner, but you might also have to live with both the financial burden and guild of your poor thinking.  

Get Motorcycle Liability Insurance!

How Much Motorcycle Liability Insurance Do I Need In PA?

If I go into an insurance agent and ask, How much liability motorcycle insurance do I need in Pa? I could walk out paying more than I want to, even worse for insurance services I don’t need.  

So let’s break down my findings:

There is an objective amount, the amount of liability coverage you need at a minimum to meet Pennsylvania state laws to operate your motorcycle on public roads. That is a fixed number and can be changed yearly by the Pa lawmakers.

The Minimum Insurance Coverage Needed In PA For A Motorcycle?

In dollar amounts: 

Under Pennsylvania State law, all motorcycle operators must carry minimum liability insurance coverage, in dollar amounts, to protect others in these events: $5,000 for PIP(Medical Benefits), $15,000 for each bodily injury event, $30,000 for each accident, and $5,000 for any property damage.  

Source: https://www.insurance.pa.gov/Documents/auto_guide.pdf

Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Amounts?

I found that the basis of these liability amounts is to ensure some protection from a motorcycle operator’s accidents. Not to protect the motorcycle rider, but the people the motorcycle rider ‘hurt.’

Again, this amount is a ‘fixed’ minimum by law. What isn’t a ‘fixed’ amount is the cost of restitution if you are found financially responsible for hurting others or damaging their property.  

Restitution, read up what this means: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restitution

As the motorcycle owner, you are responsible for operating your motorcycle. This ‘restitution’ can get real ugly if you make a series of bad mistakes, for example, A poorly maintained bike, under the influence of a medication/drug, let’s say cold medicine, or you let an unlicensed rider borrow your bike.

In my mind, this could get real UGLY fast. So the minimum motorcycle liability insurance could potentially not cover all the damage done, but any ‘pain and suffering’ a jury feels you need to be responsible for as well. Watch TV; lawyer commercials advertise to alleged victims of mistakes how they can get much more than just the cost of the accident.

I hope this thinking scared you; it scares me and has worried me since I first got car insurance. So… I never settled for minimum insurance coverage on my auto insurance, and I’ve been an auto driver for over 30 years now.

What Should I Be Thinking As A New Motorcycle Rider?

Worse case motorcycle accident scenarios.

Back to the “Minimum Coverage Needed In PA For Motorcycle Insurance?” question.

I have to break the minimum coverage insurance requirements into smaller chunks.

Pa’s Bodily Injury Liability Insurance Information I found:

If you hit a person and found at fault, do you think that $15,000 in liability insurance will cover the cost of an Emergency Room visit or an overnight stay in the hospital for that person?

How about only having the minimum bodily injury coverage of $30,000 per accident, and there are multiple people hurt in an accident and all who require an Emergency Room visit?

This bodily injury liability coverage information concerns me. Is the minimum too low? I believe this level of protection is dated and does not match the cost of medical treatment in today’s dollars.

Pennsylvania PIP (Personal Injury Protection) Medical Coverage Information I found:

Pa’s minimum motorcycle liability insurance shall include coverage for personal injury protection (PIP) to cover medical benefits that pay medical bills for you and others covered by your policy, regardless of fault. The state’s minimum limit is $5,000 of coverage.

Do you believe $5,000 is enough money to cover you as a motorcycle rider involved in an accident? Imagine not being able to afford initial treatment from an injury or any extended term care for rehabilitation after a motorcycle accident. Think about this; think about this amount of coverage real hard.

Note: I have received feedback from people who say your health insurance will cover post motorcycle accident care. This insurance information is good news. However, there is one thing your health insurance might not cover, your rider. If you have a rider on the back of your motorcycle, they might not have the same health insurance coverage; they might not have health insurance.

Do you want to be responsible for your rider’s injuries in a motorcycle accident with only $5,000 of (PIP) medical coverage?

You decide. This PIP coverage information truthfully scares me.

Pa’s Property Damage Liability Insurance Information I found:

Pa has a property damage liability insurance requirement. If you are at fault for damaging another person’s property in a motorcycle accident, this coverage is designed to pay for it. The state minimum coverage is $5,000.

Curious, how much of a car’s bodywork is less than $5k? Is $5,000 enough in today’s dollars to have your insurance fully cover an accident involving you, your motorcycle, and someone’s property?

Again, these state minimum requirements, which don’t seem based on today’s dollars. Be concerned.

Worried about enough motorcycle insurance coverage?
Is my motorcycle hobby going to cost me my future earnings? I need good motorcycle insurance.

Who Covers Accidents When You Don’t Have Enough Insurance?

Regardless of insurance status or amount of insurance coverage, it is your responsibility if you are found at fault for hurting another or damaging their property. Meaning insurance is only there to provide minimum protection for others, not you!  

The Truth I Found and makes sense: So if you are at fault for an accident, you are responsible for complete restoration. Be prepared to pay for what your insurance policy doesn’t.

Please ride safe.

So What Is My Minimum Motorcycle Insurance Coverage And Why?

My minimum coverage is as much as I can afford up to the max. Some insurance companies I’ve dealt with in the past offer up to like $500,000 bodily injury, $1,000,000 per accident, and some related property damage coverage for auto insurance policies.

This year we have seen significant spikes increases in food, material, and services. So we see how much it costs to buy a new, or even a used, car. Imagine you had to buy a new car for another person, could you afford it? I can’t.  

Now imagine being a new motorcycle rider, newly licensed, and injuring someone because I failed to maintain safe control of my motorcycle. Imagine having to pay someone’s salary while they recovered; again, I can’t afford that.  

Truthfully, I can’t imagine replacing my salary if I hurt myself, let alone another person.

The Motorcycle Insurance Cost Truth.

Motorcycle insurance check list.
Have a check list of needs and wants for motorcycle insurance. Keep track of quotes and make comparisons.

Compared to what I pay for my auto insurance, liability, and full coverage, I believe just getting good motorcycle liability insurance will be much cheaper, and I can ride with some peace of mind.  

Therefore, I will be searching for a motorcycle insurance policy that mimics the protections I have for my auto insurance.

Now I hope I inspired you to get the motorcycle liability insurance coverage required by Pennsylvania or the state you reside in and to research what amount of coverage best meets your peace of mind.  

If this doesn’t help, let me share with you this additional information I found in my research:

What Happens If You Get Caught Driving Without Insurance In PA?

Extract from Pennsylvania’s Automobile Insurance Guide:

If you are stopped for a moving violation, and it is determined that you are operating your vehicle without insurance, you could face the following penalties and expenses: 

A minimum of $300 fine for driving uninsured, A three-month suspension of your vehicle registration, A three-month suspension of your driver’s license, Restoration fees to restore your vehicle registration, Restoration fees to restore your driver’s license, and/or vehicle impoundment.

Pa’s Automobile Insurance Guide.

Thanks for following along with my thinking-out-loud process, and get assistance from your insurance professional to:

Ride Legal,

Ride Safe,

Ride Fun!

Again, not a lawyer, not a motorcycle insurance agent, just an insurance consumer trying to get educated about the new world of motorcycle insurance:

For further reading, check out this Pennsylvania Motorcycle Insurance Handy Source:

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

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