Exposé by Kenneth Hardison
It’s a tragic fact that motorcycle policies aren’t required by law to cover what most people think is pretty basic stuff. It’s not uncommon to ask, “Is motorcycle insurance expensive” However asking what it actually covers needs to be asked more often!
The best motorcycle insurance protects you and your loved ones adequately!
For example, in many states, there’s no requirement that they cover YOUR injuries or damages if you are in an accident unless you know what to ask for! They don’t have to pay for the repairs or protect you from uninsured motorists in an accident either!
The fact is, there are all kinds of options, exclusions, exceptions, and loopholes buried in the ‘fine print’ designed to help the Insurance companies win.
You would be smart to remember…
Insurance Companies are NOT your friend!!
My name is Ken Hardison. As a specialist in biker law, with over 30 years of experience, I built one of the largest Personal Injury Law Firms in the state of North Carolina. I know whereof I speak!
Over that time I have seen way too many, shall we say, “crappy” insurance policies luring riders in with cheap motorcycle insurance options that too often leave victims with much, much less than what they should have gotten from their insurance payouts.
But it doesn’t have to happen to you!
To make sure YOU don’t fall victim to their sophisticated tricks, you should audit your policy BEFORE the unspeakable happens.
You’ll sleep better.
By having a professional look everything over, you’ll rest assured with the knowledge that you’re covered.
Enjoy the ride and remember, shiny side up!
Biker Insurance Specialist
P.S. Just in case you’re interested in the technical ins-&-outs of Biker Insurance, and perhaps wondering about all those potential gaps and other things that can go wrong, read on.
The following Quick-start Guide to Great Biker Insurance covers the important details, aspects, and options found in the typical motorcycle policy. Take a look, I think you’ll find it empowering.
Ken’s Quick-start Guide to Great Biker Insurance
To better understand Motorcycle Insurance policies, let’s look at the various types of coverage offered by most insurance companies.
Liability insurance: Liability coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage for which any individual covered by the insurance policy is held legally responsible. So, if you or anyone else named in the policy, or someone you have given permission to use the bike, is involved in an accident and cause injury, or damage to someone else – this kind of insurance kicks in to pay the other person for their damage up to the amounts specified in the policy.
There are 3 different types of Liability insurance: Bodily Injury Liability, Property Damage Liability, and Supplementary Payments.
- Bodily Injury Liability: This coverage pays for injuries and or damages suffered by others as a result of an accident for which you, or someone covered by your policy, is held liable. Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, disability, pain, and suffering, as well as lawsuit settlement and legal expenses if necessary.
- Property Damage Liability: This coverage pays for damages to property belonging to others involved in an accident for which you, or another driver covered by your policy, is held responsible. These damages may include auto repairs, the actual cash value (ACV) of the other individual’s vehicle or property, and legal expenses.
- Supplementary Payments: This coverage provides payments for accident-related expenses such as bail bonds, loss of earnings due to court attendance, hearing or trials requested by your or another insurance provider, emergency first aid, and other expenses incurred at the request of the insurance company or companies involved. In many states liability insurance is the only type of motorcycle insurance that the state requires you to purchase. Unfortunately, that means many Bikers assume this is the only type of insurance they need, but this assumption often leads to a harsh reality check. To be clear:
If liability insurance is all your policy covers, then it will NOT cover YOUR injuries or damages if you are in an accident!
With liability coverage alone, you will be paying insurance premiums, but if you are in an accident, you will still have to pay for ALL damages and repairs to your motorcycle, as well as any medical bills or other expenses you incur as a result of your accident.
Additional Types of Insurance Coverage that you can purchase include:
Collision Insurance: Collision coverage pays for damage to your covered motorcycle as a result of an impact with another vehicle or object. It typically pays for the lesser of the cost of repair or the actual cash value (ACV) of your covered motorcycle. If your bike is financed, the lender typically requires that you carry collision insurance until your loan is paid off.
Comprehensive Insurance: Comprehensive coverage pays for the cost of repair or the actual cash value (ACV) of your covered motorcycle, minus the amount of your deductible. Comprehensive coverage is just that – comprehensive. While Collision Insurance only covers your bike if it is involved in an accident, Comprehensive covers damage other than collision or impact with another vehicle or object, and may include damage caused by:
- fallen objects
- theft or larceny
- windstorms, hail, and water damage
- impact or contact with an animal, such as a deer or bird
- glass damage or breakage
Custom Parts: If you have a custom bike, with customized parts, pay careful attention to the particular kind of collision or comprehensive coverage that you have. Although Collision or comprehensive coverage may pay for a part of your damaged custom parts, you may need to purchase additional coverage if you have additional non-stock options.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage (UM/UIM): These types of coverage are usually not required but can prove to be VERY IMPORTANT if you are involved in an accident!
Uninsured Motorist’s Coverage ( UM): This coverage protects you when you, or anyone covered under your policy, (like a family member, or someone riding with you) is injured in an accident and the person who caused the accident doesn’t have any insurance.
Remember, just because the law requires people to carry basic liability insurance, doesn’t mean they actually have valid insurance at the time of an accident. Far too many Bikers are injured on the highway by someone who didn’t have insurance. UM is designed to protect you if the person that causes your accident doesn’t have valid liability insurance and kicks in to cover your expenses up to the amount of coverage you have purchased.
Underinsured Motorist’s Coverage ( UIM): This coverage is designed to protect you if the person that hits you and causes the accident has liability insurance, but the amount is too low to cover losses sustained by those injured in the motor vehicle accident. This type of coverage pays a maximum of the difference between the underinsured driver’s liability limits and your UIM coverage limits. For UIM to kick in, the other motorist must be found legally liable for the accident. UIM does not cover property damages.
UIM coverage can make all the difference in the world if you, or a covered loved one, is seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and the negligent driver that caused your accident was only carrying the bare bones minimum of liability insurance. Scary fact:
Many States only require $30,000 of liability coverage. If someone hits you with THAT coverage, then that’s ALL there is to collect from their policy. Yes, even if you have $100,000 in medical bills as a result of injuries you suffered!
Umbrella Insurance Coverage: This is coverage that is designed to act as an “umbrella” of protection for YOU and your assets. So, if you cause an accident, and the resulting damages are enough that your insurance coverage isn’t enough then this kicks in. For example, let’s say you have a minimum limit of $30,000 Liability insurance policy that covers you and your motorcycle, and you have personal assets worth $100,000. If you or someone covered by your motorcycle policy causes an accident, the other person can go after your assets if their expenses (auto repairs, medical bills, etc.) exceed $30,000. So, unless you have an umbrella policy that insures you for liability damages, they can hire an attorney and come after your property.
The REAL question is…
Will Your Motorcycle Insurance Policy Actually Cover What you NEED it to?
Most people learn too late their policy doesn’t cover their injuries and damages after a serious motorcycle accident. That’s why Motorcycle Injury lawyers work on the front line, defending bikers and demanding compensation from insurance companies.
In far too many cases we see insurance agents selling inadequate insurance coverage that won’t pay for medical bills or cover loss of income. So the question needs to change from “Is motorcycle insurance more expensive than it needs to be”, to “Is it enough to take care of the things that matter to me should I have to make a claim against it!”
But it doesn’t have to happen to you!
Find an experienced lawyer in your local market that will review your policy FOR FREE and give you a no-nonsense assessment of the coverage you have.
Remember, it’s up to YOU to make sure your family, bike, and finances are protected. Your future quality of life depends on it, so do it NOW!
So many roads, and so little time. Stay safe my friend.
Ken practiced injury law for over 30 years and built one of the largest Personal Injury Law Firms in the state of NC