When you ride a motorcycle, you need to be properly insured. Chances are that you will be involved in a collision and that you will be injured. Non-injury motorcycle accidents are rare. If you suffer serious injuries in a collision, you will face financial disaster if you are not properly insured.
Being properly insured has nothing to do with the coverage that you carry to protect your bike. It is the coverage that you carry to protect yourself and your passengers that matters.
Start by reviewing our insurance basics section to familiarize yourself with the available insurance options under Pennsylvania law. Then review our recommended coverage section. Most of our recommendations carry over from automobile coverage. But there are some important distinctions and additional recommendations.
Medical Coverage – Under Pennsylvania law, insurers are not required to offer first-party medical coverage on motorcycle policies. If your insurer offers such coverage, carry as much coverage as you can afford, especially medical coverage for you and your passengers. The benefit of carrying medical coverage on your policy cannot be overstated. There is great peace of mind in knowing that you have the insurance coverage in place to pay for the incredible costs you will incur in regaining your health after suffering even a moderate injury. If you have health care insurance and think that you don’t need medical coverage under your motorcycle policy, think again. Many health care insurance policies, health maintenance programs, and health and welfare plans contain provisions which prohibit the payment of benefits when injuries result from use of a motorcycle. Moreover, many such insurers, programs, and plans have a right to recover what they pay for your accident related injuries from you – yes, from you – if you recover any compensation for your injuries. You can easily be left with little if any compensation if you do not have adequate medical coverage under your motorcycle policy.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage – This coverage is critically important on a motorcycle policy. Don’t take a chance that the person who causes your injuries has insurance coverage or has enough insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries. Buy as much of these coverages as you can afford. But be aware that insurers will often try to deprive you of the coverage that you thought you purchased by refusing to place your motorcycle on the same policy with your automobiles, by issuing separate policies for each vehicle in your household, by pushing you to purchase motorcycle insurance through a different insurance company – often with a similar name, by convincing you to carry low liability limits so that you can’t carry very much uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (since you can only purchase an amount equal to the amount of your liability coverage), by convincing you to reject uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, by convincing you to reduce (sign-down) the amount of your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, and by convincing you to waive stacking (the right to add together the amount of your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your various vehicles for any one claim). These are each ways of depriving you of coverage. Insist that all of your vehicles be insured on one policy of insurance, if possible. If you can’t get all of your vehicles placed on the same policy, ensure that the policies are at least placed with the same insurer. Purchase liability limits of at least $100,000 and do not reject uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages, do not reduce (sign-down) your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages, and do not waive stacking.
There is a simple rule that all motorcyclists should follow: prepare to crash. Heed the rule.