Motorcycle Accidents and Insurance Coverage Must-Haves
Whether you ride daily on a commute or hit the open road on the weekend as a way to relax and have fun, there’s nothing like the feeling you get when riding a motorcycle. Motorcycle enthusiasts will tell you that life just feels ‘better’ when on a ride.
If you are a new rider or an experienced rider, it’s always good to understand your options when it comes to motorcycle accidents and insurance coverage. Just like any other vehicle, it’s important to have the proper insurance coverage to protect not only your bike but also yourself and any passengers. Not all motorcycle insurance covers every situation, so let’s take a look at different types of coverage available for riders.
- Motorcycle Accidents and Insurance Coverage Minimum Requirements
- Additional Motorcycle Insurance Options
- Stacked Insurance Coverage for Motorcycles
Motorcycle Accidents and Insurance Coverage Minimum Requirements
Most states require bikers to carry motorcycle insurance. Just like auto insurance, there are many different companies that provide competitive rates for coverage, so shop around for insurance quotes to find the best rate for your situation.
In Pennsylvania, all vehicles, including motorcycles, must have liability insurance and property damage coverage. Liability insurance is intended to compensate a motorist, passenger or pedestrian injured by the driver(s) who caused the accident. This compensation can extend to economic losses, such as wage loss and out-of-pocket medical expenses, as well as non-economic losses, like pain and suffering and loss of life’s pleasures.
Property damage coverage is available to reimburse a driver, passenger or pedestrian, who is not at fault for the accident, for expenses related to damage or destruction of their vehicle, motorcycle or other personal property.
Coverage limits vary state by state. The minimum liability coverage amounts for Pennsylvania are:
- $15,000 for injury or death of a person in an accident,
- $30,000 for injury or death of more than one person in an accident, and
- $5,000 for damage to property of another person.
While it is hard to accurately estimate the cost of a motorcycle accident, several studies show fatal accidents can cost more than $1 million in damages, and even small, minor accidents can cost at least $5,000 in property damage. Motorcyclists should consider adding additional coverage to exceed the basic liability limit, so they are better protected.
Additional Motorcycle Insurance Options
Liability insurance is a good start when having a motorcycle, but there are additional coverage options that riders should consider when talking to their insurance agents. Expenses related to a motorcycle accident can climb quickly and additional coverage can help relieve the financial burden after an accident. At a minimum, motorcyclists should have uninsured/underinsured coverage, collision coverage, and medical payments coverage.
- Uninsured and Underinsured: Even though all motorists in Pennsylvania are required to have car insurance, it is estimated that 6% of drivers are uninsured. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects you if you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have liability insurance, or, if they do, their liability limits are not enough to cover your damages and fully compensate you for your losses.
- Collision: Liability insurance protects other people’s property damage and injuries in an accident that was caused by you. Collision coverage, on the other hand, will cover your bike after an accident regardless of who was at fault. This can be very important if your motorcycle was damaged by an uninsured driver.
- Medical Payments: Medical payment coverage pays for necessary medical care and treatment for you and, if applicable, your passenger. This is an extremely important option to add to your basic policy, especially if you do not have health insurance.
There are other options you may want to consider when starting or updating your insurance policy. Not every option is necessary; however, you may want to add some or all of the following coverage options depending on your situation.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive insurance helps cover damages to your motorcycle that were not a result of a collision. It covers events such as fire, vandalism, theft, natural disasters, falling objects, and even civil disturbances. If you feel you are at risk for these events, comprehensive coverage is a good option.
- Accessories: Most insurance companies consider bike accessories separate from the motorcycle itself. Accessories coverage will pay for the repair or replacement of items like windshields, luggage racks, saddle bags, custom paint or trim, fairings, and CB radios. Damages to accessories can be expensive, and accessories coverage can help reduce out-of-pocket costs for riders.
- Roadside Assistance: Roadside assistance is usually an add-on for cars and motorcycles. If you tend to ride alone, roadside assistance can be helpful in case you are stranded on a ride. It covers towing, repairs, and related costs if you break down on the road.
- Full coverage: When people talk about “full coverage” motorcycle insurance, they are really talking about a combination of different types of coverage to protect the entire motorcycle in case of an accident. This is usually a mix of collision and comprehensive insurance along with uninsured/underinsured coverage and medical coverage.
Stacked Insurance Coverage for Motorcycles
One of the biggest financial risks for motorcyclists is getting involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Stacked coverage combines coverage limits for multiple vehicles (cars and motorcycles in your household) and/or policies to increase the amount of coverage available to you.
Let’s say you have two cars in addition to your motorcycle. If the motorcycle and both vehicles have uninsured/underinsured coverage and stacking, you can combine the coverage limits and seek compensation from both/all policies for the combined amount of all three vehicles. Stacked Insurance is a great way to protect yourself and your family in case of an accident. While premiums for stacked insurance coverage can be higher, they are well worth the cost.
Best Motorcycle Rides in Pennsylvania
After you’ve checked your insurance coverage to make sure you are well-covered in case of an accident, it’s time to hit the road. Pennsylvania is absolutely beautiful to see by bike – from the Lake Erie coastline to 21 scenic byways to our own farmlands in Lancaster County, options are abundant. While there are literally hundreds of different rides to enjoy, here are three of our favorites:
- Gold Mine Road to Route 125: Often called PA’s “Tail of the Dragon,” Gold Mine Road to Route 125 is a must for experienced PA bikers. The drive is not for the beginner and includes steep climbs and descents, sharp corners, blind crests, and switchbacks. The ride is particularly beautiful in the fall.
- Ohiopyle Loop: The Ohiopyle Loop is a 95-mile drive through Somerset County in western PA. The ride starts in Somerset and leads to Ohiopyle State Park, known for its waterfalls and rapids. Other stops along the route include Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Fallingwater, covered bridges, and Laurel Hill State Park.
- PA Route 6 Motorcycle Loops: Named one of the country’s most scenic drives by National Geographic Travel, PA Route 6 is a superb ride. Route 6 is more than 400 miles in its entirety and there are 5 different loops to choose from across the entire state.
Are You Suffering from Injuries Suffered in a Motorcycle Accident? We Can Help.
While we hope your rides are safe and uneventful, accidents can happen. If you are in an accident on a motorcycle ride, call Georgelis Injury Law Firm. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have helped countless bikers get the compensation they deserve. Our team has won more than 99% of the cases we handled and recovered more than $60,000,000 for our clients. You can check out some of our cases here. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free discussion and evaluation of your motorcycle accident claim.