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Motorcycle Insurance in Pennsylvania – What Every Rider Should Know | Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Phil Blackman-Pennsylvania New Jersey Personal Injury LawyerPublished on behalf of Philip Blackman, an experienced personal injury lawyer who has devoted his entire career to helping individuals and families who have been injured due to medical malpractice, car accidents, fall accidents and more. FREE Consultations: 215.925.4451

Three Things Pennsylvania Motorcycle Riders Should Know About Motorcycle Insurance

1. Select UIM and UM insurance coverage

UIM stands for underinsured motorist coverage and UM means uninsured motorist coverage. They are slightly different, but basically protect the motorcycle rider from other people’s negligence and in cases of serious injuries. UIM coverage allows claims when the other party does not have enough insurance coverage. UIM will apply in situations where the other, negligent driver only has a small or minimal insurance policy. For example, if a negligent driver had a basic $15,000 liability auto policy, then in most cases, the motorcycle rider is limited to obtaining the $15,000. For serious injuries like head/brain injuries or broken bones, $15,000 is barely enough to cover the medical expenses. If the rider has UIM coverage on his or her own motorcycle insurance policy, then the rider can make a claim for that coverage, in addition to making a claim against the negligent driver. UIM is extra insurance.

UM coverage allows claims when the other party does not have any insurance. UM will allow a rider to make a claim for injuries against their own motorcycle insurance policy when the other, negligent driver did not have any applicable insurance coverage.

UIM and UM coverage are very important sources of financial recovery in the event of serious injuries, and motorcycle accidents often lead to very serious injuries. For motorcycle riders who get into accidents, these two kinds of coverage are a must.

2. Riders Get Full Tort Status

In Pennsylvania, motorcycle insurance differs from auto insurance with respect to “tort election” status. Under Pennsylvania motor vehicle insurance law, drivers can elect either full or limited tort status on their auto insurance policies.

The tort election affects what the insured driver can recover in any subsequent auto accident lawsuit.  Electing full tort status means a driver can recover pain and suffering damages against a negligent driver who causes an accident. Electing limited tort status means a driver cannot recover pain and suffering damages against a negligent driver unless there is a permanent injury.

Motorcycle riders who have Pennsylvania motorcycle insurance policies are deemed to be full tort which means injured riders can recover for pain and suffering damages regardless of whether they suffered a permanent injury or not. The limited tort election status is generally unavailable on Pennsylvania motorcycle insurance policies.

3. PIP Benefits are Generally Not Available

By statute, motorcycle insurance companies do not have to provide PIP (personal injury protection) or medical benefits on motorcycle insurance policies. They do on car/auto insurance policies. This means that motorcycle riders who need medical treatment after a motorcycle accident will need to use their own private health insurance. Read more about making claims for medical benefits after a motorcycle accident in Pennsylvania.

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Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Schwartz & Blackman handles motorcycle accident cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:

  • PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
  • NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities

*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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