Proper Insurance – An Essential Companion For Any Motorcyclist July 30, 2014
There are many debates in the motorcycling community – is there anything worth riding but a Harley; leather vs. textile; will you get bored of a 600cc sport bike; large group ride or solo stint through the favorite twisty. There is no debate, however, about the essential need for any motorcyclist to have proper insurance.
While most people have some familiarity with automobile insurance, few understand the unique nuances of motorcycle policies. There are significant differences between motorcycle and automobile policies which warrant taking a special look at motorcycle insurance.
First, just like with automobiles, Pennsylvania State law mandates that all registered motorcycles be insured for at least the required minimum bodily injury/ liability limits of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.
Unlike car insurance policies, motorcycle policies in Pennsylvania automatically provide full-tort option. This means that a motorcyclist could seek a recovery for personal injuries even if her injuries, as a result of an accident, are neither “serious” nor “permanent.” However, with motorcycles, insurance companies do not have to provide no-fault or PIP coverage. This means that unlike with the car, the insurance company is not automatically responsible for paying motorcyclist’s medical bills.
Both car and motorcycle policies provide optional Uninsured and Underinsured coverage. However, failing to select Uninsured and Underinsured (“UM/UIM”) coverage in a motorcycle policy, can disqualify motorcyclist from collecting UM/UIM benefits through an auto policy.
While it may be tempting to chase the low cost of a basic motorcycle insurance policy, Galfand Berger strongly recommends taking a long-term view and ensuring that the insurance policy actually does what it is designed to do – protect individuals from potentially devastating economic consequences of a motorcycle accident.
We recommend all motorcyclists have at least the following coverage:
- Sufficient bodily injury/liability limits to protect individuals personal assets ($50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident should be sufficient for most people)
- Property Damage (between $5,000 and $10,000)
- Medical Expense Benefit (at least $5,000 and as high as possible if no private health insurance)
- Underinsured/Uninsured with stacking (maximum possible coverage) – ensures that your insurance steps-in in case of the accident if the other person involved has insufficient coverage or no insurance to cover your damages)
- Income Loss Benefit (provides coverage for income lost as a result of an accident).
Choosing the right motorcycle insurance is important. Making the wrong choice in can turn even the most beautiful ride into misery. Choose the insurance coverage that is right for you. And, if you have questions about choosing the right motorcycle insurance policy or have been involved in a motorcycle accident, call and speak with one of Galfand Berger’s motorcycle accident attorneys at 1-800-222.8792 or contact us online. We maintain law offices in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, and serve clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, including the Harrisburg and Allentown regions.