Massachusetts Motorcycle Insurance

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The state of Massachusetts requires that all riders be able to show proof of financial responsibility when registering a motorcycle or when asked by a police officer. If you are unable to provide that proof, you will be ticketed, facing fines and a license suspension.

Massachusetts is a no-fault automobile insurance state. Interestingly, PIP insurance is required in addition to a minimum liability policy for automobiles, but not for motorcycles. Insurance laws and requirements can be confusing so let’s have a look at how the state defines a motorcycle for law enforcement and insurance purposes, some of the required equipment to make your bike street legal, as well as the motorcycle insurance coverage levels and types you may need.

MA Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Massachusetts General Law requires that riders have a policy with these minimum limits:

  • $20,000 for death or bodily injury to one person
  • $40,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons
  • $5,000 for damage or destruction of property

Of course, this is only liability coverage, which does nothing to protect your bike in an accident, and leaves many gaps in protection.

Recommended Coverage for Massachusetts Riders

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The basic coverages required in Massachusetts are far from sufficient. That is why you should always carry additional coverage. With a bank loan, your lender will require better coverage as a condition of the loan. Even if you own your bike free and clear, you should still consider having additional coverages in place to protect your life savings. Some policy types that you should consider are:

Collision coverage: this protects your bike in an accident under nearly every circumstance. It may or may not include uninsured/under-insured coverage. If it doesn’t, take care to add it.

Uninsured/Under-insured motorist coverage: with nearly 4 percent of the drivers in Massachusetts uninsured, you can see why you need this type of coverage. As if worrying about uninsured drivers isn’t enough, you must also be aware of under-insured drivers. An uninsured/under-insured motorist policy protects you in either case.

Personal injury protection (PIP) may be wise to fully protect yourself in a no fault insurance state. PIP can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

Comprehensive coverage: this protection covers items like fire, wind, water, theft, and vandalism.

Bodily injury coverage: this protection covers certain costs if you injure or kill someone in an at-fault accident. Notably, it also protects your passenger and covers you if the other driver opted out of no fault coverage.

Medical payment coverage: this covers items such as prescription drug payments; dental care; medical co-payments and deductibles from other health coverage policies; home nursing care, or funeral expenses.

Massachusetts Motorcycle Law

It may seems silly to define a motorcycle, but every state must clearly define one for law enforcement and insurance purposes. According to legislation in Massachusetts…

“A motorcycle is any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, including any bicycle with a motor or driving wheel attached. A three-wheeled motor vehicle on which the operator and passenger ride within an enclosed cab may be registered as a motorcycle if the manufacturer indicates it meets the safety standards for a motorcycle on the certificate of origin and it is designed to be operated on public ways. A tractor or a motor vehicle designed for the carrying of golf clubs and not more than four persons, an industrial three-wheel truck, or a motorized bicycle are not considered motorcycles.”

Street Legal Motorcycle Requirements:  MA

The Bay State is a beautiful place to ride. A warm day with the wind in your face can make you forget your troubles, at least until you get pulled over and your bike is not street legal. In Massachusetts, you and your bike must have the following to meet the requirements to be considered street legal:

Eye protection: required for permit holders unless a windscreen is present.
Handlebar height: according to legislation section XIV-90-7J; ”motorcycle handlebars must not rise above an operators shoulders when properly seated on the motorcycle.”
Helmet: required for all riders and passengers, including those in sidecars.
Mirrors: only one is required.
Turn Signals: required for all motorcycles.
Passenger Seat and Passenger Footrests: required if carrying a passenger. No restrictions on a passenger’s age.
Headlight: required; a modulating daytime headlight can be used.
Muffler: required; ”Maximum allowable A-weighted sound levels as measured from 50 feet: 82dBA at 45mph or less; 86dBA over 45mph. Stationary noise levels: Motorcycles required to be registered for operation on the ways of the commonwealth shall not exceed the following noise levels when operated at 1/2 redline speed: 99dBA manufactured after 1/1/86; 102dBA manufactured before 1/1/86.
Safety Inspection: periodic inspections required.