The Motorcycle Protection You Might Be Missing

motorcycle insurance

As featured in the February 2017 issue of ThunderRoads Pennsylvania Magazine.

Depending on when the cold weather lets up, riding season could start as early as next month. With all the routine spring checklist items (check the tires, change fluids, and so on), you might not think twice about reviewing your insurance policy.

We get it – insurance is boring. Taking a moment to review your policy is the last thing you want to do when you're thinking about hitting the road. But having enough coverage could protect you and help you get back on your feet if you're ever in an accident. February is the perfect downtime to consider: Is your insurance coverage protecting you as much as it could be?

Coverage for When an Accident is Your Fault

Let's review: In Pennsylvania, motorcyclists are required to carry Bodily Injury Protection and Property Damage Protection coverage options that protect you when you're found at fault in an accident.

Bodily Injury Liability protects you when you're in an accident and an injured person files a claim against you. Pennsylvania requires that motorcyclists carry at least $15,000 worth of coverage per person and $30,000 for more than one person. But medical bills can pile up fast, especially if that person's injuries are serious. If the medical bills exceed the minimum coverage, you may be forced to pay the difference. To protect your financial interests, Snyder's Riders recommends you carry a minimum coverage of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence.

It's a similar story for Property Damage Liability, which covers the cost of property damage your motorcycle causes in an accident. Pennsylvania requires a minimum of $5,000 in coverage, but Snyder's Riders recommends coverage of at least $25,000. Think of it this way: If you cause an accident that bangs up a luxury car or bike, the minimum $5,000 might not cut it.

Coverage for When an Accident Isn't Your Fault

Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability protect you when you're at fault for an accident. But what happens if an accident isn't your fault? The simple answer is that the at-fault party's insurance will cover your injuries and property damage. But a problem is posed if that person doesn’t have any insurance, or doesn't have enough.

To be prepared in a situation when the at-fault party doesn't have insurance or doesn't have enough, Snyder's Riders recommends selecting Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage on your policy. For each coverage option, we recommend having coverage of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence.

Note that Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage isn't required under Pennsylvania law, but it can be worth thousands of dollars in your benefit if you're ever in an accident caused by someone without insurance – an estimated one in seven drivers on the road.

Put All Vehicles on the Same Policy

Our most important tip – and it's extremely important – is to make sure your motorcycle is on the same insurance policy as your other vehicles. We can't stress this one enough.

If you have other vehicles in your household on the same insurance policy as your motorcycle, you can "stack" your coverage. Stacking of limits isn't required or automatically added to your insurance policy, but it's the best way to get more bang for your buck.

Stacking the limits of coverage takes your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage and multiplies it by the number of vehicles in your household. Here's how it works: Let's say you have two vehicles – your motorcycle and maybe a car – and you've taken our recommendation for $100,000 Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. If you stack your limits, your $100,000 is multiplied by your two vehicles. Now, you have $200,000 in coverage.

Now let's say you're hit on your motorcycle by a driver who only has $15,000 in liability limits. You may have suffered serious injury and your bike is beyond repair. With stacking, you're looking at $215,000 of coverage – instead of just $115,000 without it. So we'd say it's well worth a couple extra dollars a month.

Want to stay up-to-date with similar motorcycle safety information and have the opportunity to win motorcycle gear and other prizes? Join Snyder's Riders today for free at – We Ride Alongside.

PA Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Options


Minimum Required

Minimum Recommended

Bodily Injury Liability

$15,000 per person
$30,000 more than 1 person

$100,000 per person
$300,000 per occurrence

Property Damage Liability



Underinsured Motorist

Not Required

$100,000 per person
$300,000 per occurrence

Uninsured Motorist

Not Required

$100,000 per person
$300,000 per occurrence

Stacking of Limits for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists

Not Required

Choosing stacking is essential to maximizing your family's protection:
$100,000 x the number of vehicles in the household