Uninsured Motorist Coverage for Motorcycles
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- 80% of collisions involving a motorcycle result in injury or death to the rider.
- A motorcycle rider is 35 times more likely to suffer serious injury or death from an accident than occupants in a passenger car.
The NHTSA also states that the motorcyclist is rarely at fault when involved in an accident. If you are in a motorcycle accident and the other party has no or insufficient liability insurance, you can face significant costs for an accident you didn’t cause.
Because of statistics like these, it is crucial that motorcyclists carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)
For motorcycle riders, UM/UIM coverage helps pay for your losses when:
- You're involved in a motorcycle accident with another vehicle and the other driver is at fault.
- The other driver either doesn't have insurance or has inadequate coverage (i.e. it won’t cover your costs).
Specifically, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage kicks in to pay for the costs associated with your injuries when the at-fault driver has no insurance at all.
Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage covers the gap between what the at-fault driver’s policy pays and your medical expenses when that driver has insufficient insurance.
UM/UIM coverage is optional in most states. In some states, insurance companies are required to offer the coverage; however, you can waive it if you choose.
Limits for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are typically written to reflect the limit for bodily injury per person and per accident.
If your motorcycle UM/UIM insurance limits are $20,000/$40,000, you’d be covered at $20,000 for bodily or death per person in an accident and at $40,000 per accident (if multiple people are injured in an accident).
The Benefits of UM/UIM Coverage
Car insurance is a legal requirement in most states. So why should motorcycle riders purchase extra uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?
According to a study by The Insurance Research Council, approximately 1 driver out of every 7 drivers does not have a current insurance policy.
In addition, The Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) states that more than 20% of insured drivers purchase only the minimum coverage required by state law.
Because the number of uninsured and underinsured drivers is so high, it can pay off to be prepared for the worst. The cost of this coverage compared to the costs of injuries sustained in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver will be minimal.
Health Insurance vs. UM/UIM Coverage
Consider the following when determining whether to rely on your health insurance to pay medical expenses arising from a motorcycle accident:
- Your deductibles will likely be higher than those for UM/UIM coverage.
- Healthcare insurance won't compensate you for lost wages, pain and suffering, or punitive damages, which are typically covered by uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Getting the Best Motorcycle Coverage
UM/UIM motorcycle insurance can protect you and your family against a potential financial disaster. It can also mean the protection of valuable assets, such as your home.
When you are shopping around for the right uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for your motorcycle, consider what coverage you’ll really need and the appropriate limits. Once you’ve done so, speak to several motorcycle insurance providers to find the best rates.