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Pennsylvania requires that all riders have motorcycle insurance at all times while riding. The state does not monitor coverage when a bike is in storage. Riders must be able to show proof of insurance when requested by a law enforcement official or they will be required to do so in court.
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On top of requiring a minimum liability policy, Pennsylvania is a ”no fault” state. That means the insurance company of each party involved in an accident is going to pay for damages and injuries to that party. If you do not have coverage, you will have to pay for everything out-of-pocket. As if that is not enough, Pennsylvania requires that riders carry a personal injury policy on top of basic coverage and allow motorists to opt out of the no fault requirements in favor of ”at fault” insurance.
Let’s have a look at motorcycle insurance issues in Pennsylvania, 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 coverage levels and types you may need.
PA Motorcycle Insurance Laws
According to the Pennsylvania Administrative Code, the minimum motorcycle insurance requirements are as follows:
- $15,000 for death or bodily injury to one person
- $30,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons
- $5,000 for damage or destruction of property
- $5,000 for Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
These coverage limits may seem high, but given the cost of healthcare these days, they really aren’t. A single night in the hospital could easily outstrip these caps.
Recommended Coverage for PA Riders
The minimum coverages in the Keystone State can not adequately cover an accident. The caps are shockingly low if you are involved in a major accident that injures you and your passenger. Then there is your bike to consider. That is why you should always carry additional coverage. You may want to consider the following coverages:
- Collision: this protection covers your bike in a collision with another vehicle or stationary object.
- Uninsured/under-insured motorist: at any given time nearly 7 percent of the motorists in Pennsylvania do not have insurance in place. With that many uninsured drivers you can understand why you need this 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.
- Comprehensive: this protection covers non-collision mishaps such as “Acts of God”–fire, wind, storm, flood, etc–and criminal activity like theft or vandalism.
- Bodily injury: this protection covers certain costs if you injure or kill someone in an at-fault accident. It also protects your passenger.
- Medical payment: 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. These expenses may or may not be covered under your PIP policy, so you will want to ask an insurance agent.
PA Motorcycle Insurance Cost and Quotes
The cost of your policy will depend on a vast assortment of variables, from the make/model of your bike to the types and limits of coverage you choose to your age and driving record. We have created an easy to use tool so that you can get quotes for the coverage that you need. All you need have to do is enter your rider and motorcycle information and you can review quotes from reliable companies like Progressive, Geico, Dairyland, and more.
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Pennsylvania Motorcycle Law
It may seem obvious what a motorcycle is, but every state must clearly define one for law enforcement and insurance purposes. In Pennsylvania a motorcycle is defined quite broadly as:
”Any motor vehicle having: a seat or saddle for the use of each rider; not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor; and a combustion engine with a piston or rotor displacement of 50 cc or greater.”
PA Street-Legal Motorcycle Requirements
The Keystone State can be a beautiful place to ride. There is a large amount of open riding to be found, but the congested streets of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia can make for an interesting ride as well. Whether you are in congested urban sprawl or wide open country, you and your bike must have certain equipment in order to be considered street legal in the Pennsylvania. That equipment includes:
- Eye protection: required for all riders and passengers.
- Handlebar height: no restrictions.
- Helmet: required for all riders and passengers 21 years of age or younger. Riders older than 21…a helmet is optional if they have been licensed to operate a motorcycle for not less than two full calendar years or have completed a motorcycle rider safety course approved by the department or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
- Mirrors: two required.
- Turn Signals: not required.
- Passenger Seat/Footrest: both are required if carrying a passenger. No restrictions on a passenger’s age.
- Headlight: required, modulating daytime headlight approved.
- Muffler: required, no alterations to increase sound permitted. Max A-weighted sound levels as measured at 50 feet are: 84dBA at 35 mph or less and 88dBA above 35mph
- Safety Inspection: random periodic inspections required by law.