Without the protection of seatbelts, doors, and a roof, motorcycles are, unsurprisingly, far more dangerous than cars. In fact, motorcycles have a fatal crash rate of roughly 60 percent, whereas fatalities in car crashes is only about 15 percent.
If you own a motorcycle or are considering buying one, you need to understand the basics of insuring your bike. Moreover, you need to be sure that your insurance coverage protects you from undue liability in the event of an accident. In this post, Erie Injury discusses the basics of motorcycle insurance, the different types of coverage and add-ons, and how to keep yourself protected in the event of a crash.
Motorcycle Insurance Basics
As with other types of vehicle insurance, motorcycle insurance provides financial protection in the event of an accident, theft, or other damages.
The insurance cost depends on various factors, including coverage options, riding history, type of bike, and driver’s age. Keep in mind that the more coverage you pay for upfront, the more protected you are in the event of an accident. Don’t let monthly payment costs deter you from keeping you and your bike fully protected, and remember to contact a lawyer immediately following an accident to ensure you’re getting the proper amount owed to you.
Most states in the U.S. require you to ride with a minimum amount of liability coverage. It helps cover damages to other vehicles and objects, injuries to drivers and passengers, and any lawsuits that may be filed as the result of an accident.
Though liability coverage is the only required insurance for motorcycle riders in most states, various additional coverage options can keep you financially protected in the event of an accident. You’ll want to consider:
- Comprehensive Coverage
Comprehensive coverage protects against any events beyond your immediate control, including theft, vandalism, windshield damage, fire, acts of nature, and more. It’s typically required for bikes that are being financed or leased.
- Collision Coverage
Like comprehensive coverage, collision insurance is often required by your lender. It will protect you if you’re in an accident with another vehicle or object or if you crash your bike on the road without third-party involvement.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) help pay for damages if you’re involved in an accident with someone lacking adequate insurance to cover the cost of the accident.
*Pro-Tip: If you’ve been in an accident and the at-fault driver is underinsured, be sure to contact a lawyer right away. They’ll help determine what additional assets and insurance the other party has, which could be the difference between partial and total coverage for your resulting damages.
It’s critical that you work with a lawyer immediately following an accident to better understand your insurance plan and that of the at-fault driver. They’ll help you handle the difficult conversations between insurance companies to ensure maximum coverage and a minimal financial burden.
What to do After a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents are scary, and knowing how to handle them can lead to many unanswered questions. Your first step should, of course, be to ensure the safety of you and anyone else involved. When everyone is out of harm’s way, contact a lawyer immediately so they can get working on your case and contact all relevant parties, such as insurance companies and law enforcement.
The other party’s insurance company will likely try to contact you right away. Do not speak with them. They’ll likely try to get a recorded statement, and what you say could result in a dismissal of your case. Let your lawyer handle all communication to ensure you aren’t saying anything you shouldn’t.
Take photos of your bike and your injuries. If you need medical attention, be sure to save your hospital and doctor bills, as well as any written reports from your attending physician. Additionally, keep any receipts from the damages you covered if you take your motorcycle for repairs before settling your case. Your lawyer will include them when negotiating a settlement amount with the other party involved.
Don’t Go Through It Alone
Owning a motorcycle is exciting, but you’ll want to ensure you take all necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. Having a comprehensive insurance policy and an educated lawyer on standby is critical for comfortably cruising through town on two wheels.
If you’ve recently been in a crash on your bike, you’ll want to work with an experienced injury lawyer like those at Erie Injury. They’ll help you understand your insurance policy, handle all communication with the insurance companies, and help you win the settlement you deserve.