Every state in the United States has some kind of requirement for motorcycle insurance coverage. The exception to this rule is Florida, but the state still requires a rider to have a minimum of $10,000 in medical benefits, which can come from a medical policy. Motorcycle insurance policies protect motorcycle owners from incurring costs that could be financially debilitating.
Minimum Insurance Requirements For Motorcycle Riders
Most major insurance companies provide some type of motorcycle insurance. Each state has its own minimum requirements for bodily injury and property damage liability. Most states require that motorcyclists have at least $25,000 in bodily injury protection per person and $50,000 per accident. Property damage is usually $10,000 per accident.
To better understand the coverage requirements in your state, they are often expressed by three values:
Value 1/ Value 2/ Value 3
For example, California requires 15/30/5. Value 1 is the amount required for bodily injury protection, or $15,000. Value 2 is the amount required per accident (usually Value 1 times two), or $30,000. Value 3 is the amount that is required for property damage, or $5,000 in California.
Depending on the state you live in, these figures could be higher or lower. Still, it is recommended that your coverage be higher than the minimum as most motorcycle accidents are more expensive.
Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Options
Motorcycle insurance can cover more than just bodily injury and property damage protection. More coverage options may better suit you and your motorcycle riding needs – providing you coverage in areas you didn’t know existed.
- Collision – This coverage pays out for damages to your motorcycle, minus deductible. The deductible is the amount that you select to pay out of your pocket when you turn in a claim on your motorcycle.
- Comprehensive – This coverage pays out if your motorcycle is stolen or damaged by circumstances other than an accident. This coverage is what you would use when you are in an accident with an animal. Your claim would be subject to the deductible that you chose when you purchased your policy.
- Medical Payments – This coverage option is not available in all states. Still, in those that offer it, it is coverage that pays for medical bills if you or a passenger are injured in an accident.
- Personal Injury Protection – Although rules vary by state, most personal injury protection plans payout for you, passengers, or pedestrians that suffer injuries in an accident regardless of fault.
Most insurance companies provide add-on policy options for motorcycle policies, just like they do with automotive insurance policies. These types of add-ons include:
- Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage – This coverage pays for costs associated with accidents where the other party is uninsured or inadequately insured to cover the costs associated with the accident.
- Trip Interruption Coverage – This coverage pays for lodging, transportation, and food if your motorcycle is disabled in a collision when you are away from home. Usually, this coverage goes into effect once you are 100 or more miles from home.
- Coverage for Custom Parts, Equipment, and Accessories – Even though most comprehensive and collision policies cover some type of custom parts or accessories. It may not be enough coverage to cover a fully-customized motorcycle. Some insurance companies allow additional coverage up to $30,000.
- Transport Trailer Coverage – Many insurance companies will allow for motorcyclists to add transport trailer coverage, which offers coverage to trailers valued at up to $7,500.
- Roadside Assistance – Coverages with roadside assistance includes towing and labor at the site of your motorcycle’s breakdown.
Consequences of Driving Without Motorcycle Coverage
There are potential penalties that exist if you take to the road without proper motorcycle coverage. Not only could you face legal implications, but also financial ones. Driving a motorcycle without insurance is not worth the risk that could occur in an accident.
Penalties of Driving Without Motorcycle Insurance
If you choose to take your motorcycle out onto the road without proper insurance coverage, you could be facing penalties such as:
- Appearances in court
- Traffic school
- License suspension or revocation
- Points against driver’s license
- Arrest or probation
You may be required to get an SR-22 form. An SR-22 is a document filed with your state proving that you have car insurance that meets the minimum coverage required by law. Some drivers who are considered “high-risk” may have to obtain this proof.
What Happens If You Are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident Without Insurance Coverage?
There are different scenarios that we see as lawyers when a motorcycle accident occurs. We are often seeing cases where motorcyclists do not have the insurance they are required to have or are underinsured by a policy.
If you were operating a motorcycle without insurance and the accident was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation covered under the other person’s policy. As a motorcycle rider without coverage, you could still be prosecuted for not obtaining insurance coverage.
If you are at fault for an accident as a motorcycle operator and do not have insurance, you could be personally liable for not only your medical and property damage but also the other person involved. You also leave yourself open to additional legal repercussions for not having the required policy.
Ultimately, you have to understand that even though you may be entitled to compensation in an accident, if you choose to drive a motorcycle without insurance coverage, you will still be held responsible for those actions.
Ways to Help Make Motorcycle Insurance Affordable
The most common reason people drive without insurance is that they can’t or don’t think that they can afford it. Finding reasonably priced insurance can require research and multiple quotes before you find the right company. You also need to look at the different discounts that may be available. Many of these major insurance companies promote the “bundle” of different policies, such as a car, motorcycle, home, boat, rental, and other types of insurance.
Other discounts to consider for motorcycle insurance coverage:
- Maintain a clean driving record.
- Complete a motorcycle rider training course.
- Join a motorcycle riders association.
- See if there is a mature rider discount if you are over the age of 55.
Motorcycle Insurance Review Form
Determining whether or not you have adequate insurance coverage is not straight forward. Unfortunately, it is only after an accident occurs, that most people find out whether or not they have adequate coverage.
As a service to the community, TorkLaw offers free reviews of individual’s auto insurance policies.
We encourage all riders to take advantage of this offer, to see if there are places where you may be inadequately insured.
TorkLaw Cares About Motorcycle Riders
At TorkLaw, we handle motorcycle accident cases across the country – helping victims who are seeking compensation when they have been wrongfully injured in an accident. These are not the only cases we handle. We know that sometimes the motorcyclist may cause injury to an unsuspecting party.
We want to share with motorcycle riders the importance of getting a motorcycle insurance policy. Not only does the policy protect you, but also your passengers and others on the road with you. All the TorkLaw offices across the country provide potential clients with free case consultations. If you are having a problem with receiving compensation, we urge you to call our offices today.