So, What Are Pennsylvania’s Motorcycle Insurance Requirements?

Now that I finally bought my first motorcycle, I can get down to getting motorcycle insurance. Before I started shopping around, I first had to find out Pennsylvania’s motorcycle insurance requirements.

An informed consumer is the best consumer. Because of this, I found myself considering numerous questions I hadn’t asked since I first moved to Pa. The last time I thought about Pa insurance requirements was my car insurance policy.

Face it, once you get insurance, you are a customer for life, as long as you aren’t ‘dropped.’ This is the case for me; I picked up an auto insurance policy decades ago and have the same provider today. I might as well do my motorcycle insurance homework now.

Since I might be committing myself to the same motorcycle insurance provider for life, I might as well get to know the insurance requirements for Pa.

Note: I am not a lawyer, insurance agent, or any professional you should ever take advice about insurance, the Law, or the motorcycle operation from. This post, and site in general, is just about how I think and hope it inspires you to do your research in the particular world of motorcycle insurance.

Thinking: Pennsylvania’s Motorcycle Insurance Requirements?
I’m Not A Lawyer! What Are Pa’s Motorcycle Insurance Requirements? What is Required?

So, Is Motorcycle Insurance Required In Pennsylvania?

Overall, this insurance question might be weird, but it’s a great first question. I recall that insurance is proof you can be financially responsible for damage or loss of property or life. Years ago, if you were rich enough, you could become ‘self-insured’ and not require to have a policy.

Well, if you are rich enough to be ‘self-insured,’ you might have made lots of good financial decisions to get rich in the first place. Going without motorcycle insurance might not be an excellent financial decision.

However, even though my new cheap motorcycle: I Got A Chinese Motorcycle In A Box! , poses more of a threat to me than others, it seems I have to have motorcycle insurance per the PennDot:

The Pennsylvania state website states that you need to carry insurance if you want to ride/drive on public roads.  

Summary: Does A Motorcycle Have To Be Insured In Pa?

Yes, insurance is required by the state to ride on public roads.

Now that I am required to have motorcycle insurance, I can answer the following questions. For the record, I figured as much.

What Insurance Is Required By Law In Pennsylvania?

Liability insurance is required for all motorcycles in Pa, and it’s the responsibility of the motor vehicle to have this coverage in place.

What Is Liability Insurance?

It is insurance to protect the policyholder against claims of damage and harm done by the insured.  

More simple: it pays for the mistakes you are responsible for. Read more at:

Is Motorcycle Liability Insurance For Me Or Others?

From what I read, it’s insurance to protect others from injuries and/or damages you do while riding your motorcycle. So… it’s for others.

If Motorcycle Liability Insurance Is For Protecting Others, Why Get It?

Basically, I am asking myself, Why do I need motorcycle insurance?

First is the moral high ground. I am an adult and need to be responsible for compensating others for injuries or damages I am held accountable for. Therefore, since I am not rich, I will purchase motorcycle liability insurance to protect me from lawsuits and others from injuries.

Now the truth for the simple-minded: IT’S DA’ LAW!!!!

I Have Full Coverage On My Cars; What About My Motorcycle?

I had actually to think about 2 seconds on this. But follow along to see the inner workings of my mind.

Motorcycle full coverage ensures I will be financially compensated for any loss on my motorcycle. In theory, I pay an insurance company to guarantee a certain amount(usually market minus the deductible) if I lose my motorcycle for anything, theft, fire, accident, etc.  

Motorcycle full coverage is an additional expense on insuring my motorcycle, and the most I can recover is the ‘value’ of the motorcycle.

Is Motorcycle Full Coverage Insurance Required In Pennsylvania?

From my research, only motorcycle liability insurance is required by law in Pennsylvania.  

So no, motorcycle full coverage insurance is not required by Pa law. 

Money Is always at the top of the list of concerns.
Money Is always at the top of the list of concerns.

Do You Need Full Coverage Insurance On A Financed Motorcycle?

Now, this is where it gets particular. I found that in the past, when I borrowed money to buy a car, the car loan agreement had a ‘full coverage insurance’ section. Even detailed out who was covered and the amount of deductible allowed.

All my car loans said the loan provider was protected against loss. My car, but their money, therefore the loan provider forces me to buy an insurance policy for their protection.

Now not arguing against this; having full coverage on a car, you borrowed money for makes sense.

If I lose the car(accident, fire, theft, etc.), I will continue to owe money to the lender and be out of a vehicle. Imagine looking for another car while due still a ton to your first car loan provider? What I am amazed at, they had me sign this agreement. Are there people who don’t carry full coverage on financed vehicles?

If I finance a motorcycle, I will get motorcycle full coverage insurance and be sure I meet the requirements of the loan agreement. Being sure I met the maximum deductible allowed by the lender.

Am I Getting Motorcycle Full Coverage Insurance Now?

No, for multiple reasons.

  1. My motorcycle is paid in full—nice thing about buying a Cheaper Chinese Dual-sport motorcycle ( Why Buy A Cheap Chinese Dual-Sport Motorcycles? ). I do not have a lender.
  2. My TaoTao TBR7 motorcycle is kind of ‘disposable’. I bought it because I could damage it as my first-time motorcycle. I understood it might not last, so I accept the responsibility for its loss.
  3. Full coverage is an expensive insurance. By keeping my motorcycle in a garage and doing my repairs, I can save money not getting full coverage for this motorcycle.

This decision is a calculated risk of not getting motorcycle full coverage insurance, but I am willing to take that risk with this motorcycle.

Do You Need Insurance On A Dirt Bike / Dual-Sport Motorcycle In PA?

I relapsed and wondered if I could skirt the Law if my motorcycle is a dual-sport that can also be seen as a dirt bike. No, I cannot circumvent the Law and ride on public roads.

I need liability insurance to ride on Pa public roads, and it’s the Law.  

Flight Of Ideas…

Once I get the motorcycle fully road-ready, I was thinking, can I zip around my block until I get the paperwork completed?

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

I imagined just ‘testing’ out the motorcycle on my street but then thought the consequences were breaking the law.

  1. Fines
  2. Loss of driver’s license.
  3. Points on driver’s license
  4. Increases in auto insurance costs.
  5. Public ridicule
  6. Yelled at by spouse
  7. Shaming children

Etc, etc. So please don’t do it!!!! Follow the Law, behave like an adult, and do what you are responsible for.  

I said that with my inner voice. 

It’s settled. I need motorcycle insurance; the next step is where do I get it?

Ride Safe, Ride Fun!!!

For more information about Pa’s Motor vehicle Insurance Laws, I found this PDF produced by the state:

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