Except for Florida, every state requires motorcycle riders to carry insurance. However, the minimum required coverage amounts vary. You might be wondering if you can get by with your state-mandated minimum or opt for more comprehensive coverage.
In this article, we’ll shed some light on how you can find a balance between coverage that offers sufficient protection at a price that’s reasonable.
Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Options
Typically, when you get insurance quotes, your agent (or the online system you’re using) will recommend a combination of coverage to allow you to meet your state’s legal requirements while providing you with adequate financial protection in the event of an accident.
The types of coverage you may select include:
This insurance would pay for the other party’s injuries if you were at fault for the accident. The expenses can add up because they include not only medical bills, but also lost wages and other associated expenses.
Often lumped into bodily injury coverage, this insurance follows the same premise. It’s available when you’ve been found to be at fault for the accident. Here, instead of paying for the other driver’s medical bills, your insurance pays for damage to their vehicle and other property.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Not all states offer this insurance coverage, though some states require it. Personal Injury Protection (referred to as MedPay in some states) reimburses you for medical bills and lost income, whether you were at fault or another party caused the accident.
Having collision insurance can give you peace of mind because you know that you’ll be covered no matter who was at fault.
Not all damage to a motorcycle comes from a collision. Comprehensive coverage will reimburse you for other incidents such as fire, flood, theft, vandalism, and more.
Also referred to as underinsured motorists, this coverage is helpful if you’re in an accident with someone who has no insurance, or their policy doesn’t cover your damages. When that happens, your insurance will kick in to help cover damages that may not have been covered before.
GAP Motorcycle Coverage
If you bought a new motorcycle and you’re financing it, you could become vulnerable if you owe more than the market value of the motorcycle. This period typically spans the first several months of ownership, where the value of the bike drops once it’s left the lot, but you haven’t yet made a significant dent in the amount you own.
If your bike is stolen or destroyed during this timeframe and you’re “upside-down” on the value (meaning you owe more than the bike is worth), this insurance will make up the difference.
Though not a legal requirement, roadside assistance can be valuable if you’re stranded on the side of the road with an empty fuel tank, a flat tire, or a mechanical issue.
The cost of accessories, ranging from helmets and saddlebags to custom parts, can add up. If you’ve invested a lot in these items, it might be worth insuring them.
Do You Need Full Coverage Insurance?
One of the most common questions motorcycle riders ask about insurance is whether they need full coverage or they can get by with liability-only insurance.
Liability insurance covers any of the damages you cause in an accident. The way it works is that your insurance pays the other party for their property damage and physical injuries up to the limit of your policy. It does not give you any money to replace or repair your motorcycle. If you’ve already paid off your bike, you might prefer this option.
Full coverage, on the other hand, includes everything a liability-only policy covers with the added benefits of both comprehensive and collision coverage. Here, you’ll get reimbursed for damages or the value of your bike in the event of an accident, theft, fire, vandalism, or other incidents, regardless of who was at fault.
Determining the Amount of Coverage
You’ll often see insurance policies expressed as a series of numbers separated by slashes. For example, 25/50/10 represents the policy limits for three areas of coverage:
1. Per person
2. Per incident
3. Property damage
So, the numbered reference above means that you would have $25,000 in coverage for each person’s injuries up to a total of $50,000 for an accident, and a total of $10,000 coverage for property damage.
The cost of motorcycle insurance will vary between insurance carriers, and the price you pay for motorcycle insurance will also depend on factors like your age, driving record, where you live, and the type of bike you ride. As you might imagine, higher coverage limits are more expensive than less comprehensive coverage. Further, you can lower your monthly premiums by agreeing to a higher deductible.
There is one final important thing to keep in mind before wrapping up. If you are at fault for an accident and the amount of damages exceeds your insurance limits, you could be personally liable for paying the difference. If you have assets worth protecting, you may want to get higher coverage limits to protect yourself from being on the hook for someone else’s bill.
What to Do If You’ve Been in a Motorcycle Accident
Regardless of what insurance you have, if you were in an accident, we recommend speaking with an attorney right away to explore your options. At Law Tigers, we are a team of passionate motorcycle riders who are on your side. Visit our website to learn more. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please give us a call at 1-888-863-7213. We’re here to help.