Why You Need More Than Just Basic Motorcycle Insurance Coverage

Anyone who rides a motorcycle, or for that matter, any motorized vehicle on public streets, needs insurance.

It’s required by law almost everywhere, but beyond the purely legal reasons to carry insurance,  you’ll need to be covered financially if something happens while you’re out on the road.

You’ll just get the minimum mandated by law if you call insurance companies and select the one with the best price.. You should consider your options before deciding if that’s what you want.

These are the main types of motorcycle insurance coverage to look for while you’re doing your shopping online or on the phone:

So What Kinds of Coverage Do You Need?

  • Liability Coverage – purchase the maximum limit of 100/300.
  • Medical Coverage – Buy as much Medical Expense Benefits Coverage as you are able to. Motorcycle accidents typically result in more than $34,000 in medical costs.
  • Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Coverage – If the “other guy”  makes this mistake, you pay the price, so carry at least 100/300.
  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage – Purchase the maximum of 100/300 to make sure you’re prepared.
  • Medical Expense Benefits Coverage –  Failing to carry sufficient medical expense benefits means you risk running out of coverage. See a hospital bill lately? Don’t go cheap here…

Liability insurance

If you cause damage to someone else’s person or property, you are liable. This means that they could sue you for the cost of repair or replacement of their property or for medical bills. If you don’t have the funds on hand, you could end up paying out of your future earnings. Liability insurance is the part that you are required to have by law. Each state sets its own minimum liability coverage amounts. California requires $15,000 for death or injury of any one person, $30,000 for all injuries in a single accident, and $5,000 property damage. That’s only adequate to cover a small accident. It would hardly begin to cover the costs of a major accident with injuries.

How much liability insurance should you get? The answer probably depends on your own financial situation. How suable are you? You are more likely to be sued if you have money, even if it’s in the form of assets like real estate. Future income can be a target too, so if you’re on your way to a promising career, someone might sue you if your insurance doesn’t cover the damages.

Coverage For You -Medical Coverage

The thing that makes motorcycles scary is not damage to property, or even to other motorists, who are likely in cars. It’s injury to those riding the motor bike. The only thing between you and the road is a helmet and clothing – no driver’s cage or air bags. A car accident that would be considered minor for cars can be deadly if there’s a motor bike involved. If you are injured in a crash, how much would your insurance pay? Would it be enough to cover all of your medical expenses as well as living expenses until you could get back to work?

You also need to think about whether others riding your motorcycle would be covered. Does your policy cover your passenger? What if you loan out your bike and someone else is riding it? You also might want to check your regular health insurance. If you’re covered under that, it might make a difference in whether you choose to address the issue in your motor bike insurance policy.

Coverage for Your Motorcycle

motorcycle insurance can cover repair or replacement of your motor bike if necessary. You need to look at traffic accidents and damage from other sources as well. Many motorcycle insurance policies only cover damage from traffic accidents. If you are at fault, or if the other party is uninsured, your liability insurance won’t cover damage to your property unless you have comprehensive and collision. Your bike could also sustain damage from something other than a traffic accident, like a flood, fire or vandalism. Find out under what conditions your motorcycle would be covered.

The holder of any loans against your motorcycle will probably require you to carry full coverage – to protect their investment. If your bike is paid off, you may consider dropping coverage on it, especially if you could afford to replace it in the event of a catastrophe.

When you’re shopping for motorcycle insurance, you should definitely get a few quotes. Be sure to decide ahead of time which risks you want to insure against, and compare prices of policies that offer similar coverage.

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