As a motorcycle rider, you need to be aware of the potential risks associated with a collision or accident. An accident can affect your health, other people, and your finances, especially if you are found at fault. However, these worries can be mitigated with the knowledge that you have adequate insurance coverage to be fully insured.
That begs the question, though: what is fully insured? How can you make sure that if you do find yourself in an unfortunate situation, you are able to protect yourself and your assets as best as possible through your insurance plan? We’ll walk you through the proper steps to make sure you have a fully-funded insurance plan.
Are you on the proper insurance as a rider?
If a dreaded collision occurs, we want to help make sure you are prepared with the proper coverage and understanding of how to use it. This can be the difference between paying out-of-pocket for medical bills or having everything sufficiently covered.
In Arizona, for example, the minimum amount of liability insurance adds up to $60,000 total between bodily injury per person, per accident, and property damage. However, with the average fatal motorcycle crash costing over $1,200,000, and significant injury cases costing nearly the same, the minimum liability coverage is not enough to protect riders and their families.
It can help to think about full coverage like a full gas tank on your bike. When it is full I can not add any more fuel to it. The bike is prepared to take me to my destination. However, the insurance world has a funny way with words, especially with the term “full.” To them full means the starting point. So in their definition of the word full, we have a tank in which we can put fuel in. It is not full now; we need to fill this said tank with Uninsured, Underinsured motorist coverage.
Do I need uninsured motorist coverage for my motorcycle?
If you do not have Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage, then you will not be protected in the situations where insurance coverage is the most necessary. If the other party is not properly insured, you will be stuck with the bill unless you have the correct policy. Conversely, with UM and UIM coverage, your insurance provider will reimburse your damages including medical bills, lost wages, and any other personal damages incurred.
Thus, we recommend opting for full Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage with high liability coverage – it may be slightly more expensive short term, but the peace of mind and financial protection are well worth the initial cost. If you do have an accident, be sure to also work with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to make sure you get all the compensation you are entitled to.
Motorcycle insurance coverage recommendations
While the minimum insurance is all that most states require in order to operate a motorcycle, all riders should purchase the necessary insurance to protect themselves in the event of an accident After all, we’re not purchasing insurance with a minor scrape on the paint in mind.
Given that, what does proper coverage really look like? We recommend the following:
- A full policy that covers bodily injury, property damage, liability, UIM coverage, and personal injury protection.
- A policy that protects all your assets; this means you should be able to set limits for collision and comprehensive insurance that cover the agreed value of your bike as well as any normal-range medical payments for PIP and medical payments. This will be determined by your agent, but we advise looking for a policy that is usually in excess of $1,000,000.
- Get the best price for your policy. This may sound obvious, but shopping around for comprehensive insurance can go a long way to saving you money. Your quote will depend on the state you live in, your driving record, value of your bike, and your insurance types vs. risk profile. The average full-coverage policy in the United States is around $1,200.
- Know the actual terms of your policy and make sure that if you have region or bike-specific concerns, these are addressed by your agent. Most insurance won’t cover things like track days or off-roading, so if that is something you want covered, ask before committing to a policy. Similarly, make sure the actual terms are what you expect – sometimes insurance companies will offer ‘full’ coverage but it will not accurately represent what we’ve described.
What is the difference between being self-insured and fully insured?
In order to self-insure a vehicle, you must be able to prove to the state that you have a number of cash reserves equal to or greater than the necessary amount that an insurance policy would provide. As we highlighted earlier, this is at minimum $60,000 on average in most states.
Self-insurance is often brought up in relation to motorcycle riding because it relies on an entity or person having enough cash to cover catastrophe damages for their vehicle. Riders may get the idea that this is feasible for their bike because the cost of a motorcycle is often cheaper, and the liability will most often be confined to a singular rider on the personal side.
However, self-insurance only protects as far as your cash allows, and you are always obligated to pay out of pocket for damages to other vehicles. This means you can go into significant debt or bankruptcy if a serious accident happens. We only recommend self-insurance for independently wealthy or uninsurable motorcycle riders.
Conversely, fully insuring your motorcycle will allow you to ride without risk of financial ruin. While you will have a monthly fee, full coverage will never bankrupt you and shouldn’t exceed your limits.
Ride Safe with Law Tigers
You’ll never have to ride alone with Law Tigers by your side. We have decades of experience as motorcycle accident lawyers*, and we’re also riders just like you. We hope this information will help you avoid having a legal case or insurance settlement to deal with. However, if you need us, we’re there to help you – both in and out of the courtroom. We want you to be able to ride stress-free with the knowledge that if something happens, Law Tigers will be by your side.
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