Choosing Motorcycle Insurance

Mar 09, 2012 View Comments by

If you’re a biker, there’s a good chance that you or someone you know has been in a motorcycle crash. In 2009 alone, more than 90,000 motorcyclists or passengers were injured in accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unfortunately, law-abiding and careful motorcycle operators become victims to careless automobile drivers every day.

One of the most important ways you can protect your legal rights as a biker is to have adequate motorcycle insurance. As you gear up for the start of another riding season, review your motorcycle insurance policy.

Consider the Options Available to You
Motorcycle insurance can be tricky. Your state may require you to have certain amounts of coverage, but not all coverage options are available in all states or in every situations. In some cases, motorcycles are written as a separate policy from your other vehicle(s).

Also, keep in mind that some states may not allow you to have medical benefits on your motorcycle insurance policy, so it’s critical that you have other medical insurance.

If available in your state, consider adding or increasing your coverage for the following:

Bodily Injury Liability – Many states have minimum coverage amounts for Bodily Injury Liability, which is used to cover any claims against you if you’re found legally responsible for causing an accident. Minimum recommended coverage: $100,000 per person, $300,000 per occurrence

Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage – These two types of coverage will protect you if you’re in an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist. It’s very important to have this type of coverage.
Minimum recommended coverage: $100,000 per person, $300,000 per occurrence

Motorcycle Insurance and Stacking – If possible, have your motorcycle insurance on the same policy as other vehicles in your household. Then you can request stacking, which gives you coverage per person or per occurrence equal to the total number of vehicles on your policy. For example, if you have $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence limits on each vehicle, and you have three vehicles on your policy, with stacking you are entitled to coverage in the amount of $300,000 per person and $900,000 per occurrence.
Recommended coverage: stacking

While choosing an insurance carrier other than the one that insures your cars may save you some money, doing so will usually eliminate any possibility of using the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your automobile policy to give you additional protection. If at all possible, keep your motorcycle on the same policy as the other cars in your household.

Being Proactive Could Save You Thousands
Having adequate motorcycle insurance is necessary for all bikers. Even seasoned veterans can’t control what other drivers do on the road. Your best bet is to review your motorcycle insurance policy and make updates to protect you, your passengers, and your family.

State-by-state guide: motorcycle insurance laws

Tags: , , Categories: Touring & Safety Tips

About the author

Attorney Michael H. Rosenzweig has over 20 years of experience helping bikers injured in motorcycle accidents. He is a partner and litigation manager at Edgar Snyder & Associates. The Edgar Snyder & Associates Harley-Davidson makes appearances at bike nights and rallies throughout the riding season.