Car and Motorcycle Insurance Laws

This section provides a state-by-state summary of insurance requirements and optional insurance coverages for cars and motorcycles as regulated by the laws of each state.

Simply click your state's initials to view its auto and motorcycle insurance requirements and/or options.

Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Coverages

Motor vehicle insurance laws vary from state to state. All states, however, require minimum Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Coverages. These coverages provide benefits to pay claims against the policyholder if he or she is found legally responsible for causing the accident. In most states, required minimum bodily injury liability and property damage coverages are the same for cars and motorcycles.

Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) Motorist Coverages

  • UM pays benefits to the policyholder if he or she is injured by a motorist carrying no insurance.
  • UIM pays benefits to the policyholder if he or she is injured by a motorist who has inadequate insurance to pay the claim.

The laws regulating Uninsured motorist and Underinsured motorist optional coverages most often apply to both cars and motorcycles. If special rules for motorcyclists are not specified, the insurance applies to both cars and motorcycles. Additionally, although UM/UIM coverage is usually optional, most states (unless noted) require insurance companies to offer the coverage and an policyholder's rejection must be in writing.

In many states, if a policyholder chooses UM/UIM coverage, state law will require certain minimum amounts of coverage that must be purchased.

Medical Expense

Finally, most states do not regulate Medical Expense coverage - also referred to as First-Party Coverage or Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This coverage generally pays medical, hospital, lost income, and disability expenses on behalf of the policyholder.

The state summaries only discuss Medical Expense coverage when the state is involved in its regulation. In other words, if an optional coverage is not discussed in a state summary, that only means that that particular state deems the matter one of contract law to be negotiated between the insurance company and the policyholder, as opposed to one regulated by statute.

Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.

Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.

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