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Does Car Insurance Cover Damage to Motorcycles After an Accident?

A closeup shot of a woman in a white shirt holding up a cutout of a motorcycle surrounded by a shield.

Many people dream of owning a motorcycle. They sometimes wait for years and even into retirement to get one.

The initial excitement of finally achieving this lifelong dream sometimes clouds what is usually good judgment.

Your car insurance does not cover your motorcycle. You are statistically most likely to get into an accident when you are a new rider and when you are riding a motorcycle that you are not yet familiar with.

Not having the proper motorcycle insurance will leave you personally responsible if you cause an accident.

How Much Is the Insurance For a Motorcycle?

Motorcycle insurance is very affordable. According to Progressive Insurance, coverage can be as low as $75 for an entire year.

Prices are always going to vary by company and location, but motorcycle insurance is typically less than car insurance. Your driving record and level of experience will also come into consideration.

The type of motorcycle you have will also affect your insurance rates. More expensive bikes, and those with more powerful engines, such as sport models, have increased insurance costs because they will cost more to fix or replace.

There are also additional options available for better coverage, but they will raise your rates.

Do All States Require Motorcycle Insurance?

Not all states require riders to insure their motorcycles. Arizona, New Hampshire, and Virginia do not have mandatory motorcycle insurance, but they do hold riders accountable for damages when they cause accidents.

In place of insurance, riders must prove their financial responsibility.

In Arizona, riders must deposit a check with the Department of Motor Vehicles or the state’s treasury. Uninsured riders must pay an annual fine in Virginia.

Not having any insurance is taking a considerable risk. Accidents happen when they are least expected, and if you are found to be at fault, you will be responsible for paying for everyone’s injuries as well as all property damage.

Having the proper insurance is like having another piece of safety equipment; it is meant to protect you.

Are The State’s Minimum Insurance Requirements Enough?

The minimum requirements may be enough for someone who only rides occasionally and for short distances in low-traffic areas where the possibility of an accident is relatively low.

Minimal coverage will not be enough to cover all possible scenarios. Additional coverage is required to protect yourself from being held personally accountable for damages that go beyond your insurance policy.

Major accidents and serious injuries are financially devastating without enough protection. Minimum insurance coverage will not even be enough to cover the costs if you damage an expensive luxury vehicle.

What Is Personal Injury Insurance?

Personal injury insurance provides coverage for medical expenses and lost wages during your recovery time, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

Motorcyclists are more likely to be seriously injured in an accident than other motorists. Insurance companies want to minimize the amount they have to pay out.

This means they may not offer personal injury insurance coverage for motorcycles. Some insurance companies may offer it at a higher price.

This coverage is highly beneficial to motorcyclists, especially new riders who are more likely to fall from their bikes. Unfortunately, personal injury insurance is not always available, so be sure to have quality health insurance as a responsible motorcycle rider.

Why Do I Need Insurance Coverage When The Other Vehicle’s Insurance Company Should Pay For The Accident?

There is an excellent reason why collisions are commonly referred to as accidents. They do not happen on purpose.

Even the most experienced riders get distracted sometimes. Momentarily losing concentration from fatigue or maybe looking at your GPS for too long can lead to you being at fault for an accident.

Even having your knee lock up after riding for hours can slow your reaction time on your foot controls and put you into an unimaginable situation. You do not want to be caught without liability insurance because accidents are not always the fault of someone else.

What Is a Motorcycle Endorsement?

Many insurance companies offer motorcycle endorsements as an addition to your regular car insurance policy for an additional fee.

These endorsements are tempting because they typically come at a low cost. However, they usually offer much less coverage than standard motorcycle insurance policies.

What Does a Good Motorcycle Insurance Policy Include?

Some riders use their motorcycles every day in heavy traffic, while others only ride occasionally on empty streets. There is no such thing as a one size fits all policy.

Careful consideration needs to be given in order to tailor your policy to your specific needs. There are important factors that all riders should consider including in their policy regardless of the minimum requirements:

  • Liability Insurance
  • Comprehensive Coverage For Motorcycles
  • Collision Insurance
  • Medical Payments Coverage
  • Accessories Coverage
  • Gap Insurance
  • Roadside Assistance

Liability Insurance

Motorcycle insurance policies must include liability coverage just like other motor vehicles.

Liability insurance covers medical expenses for anyone injured in an accident that you caused. It also pays for any of the victim’s property damage that occurred during the accident.

Most accidents involving a motorcycle are the fault of the driver in the other vehicle, but not all. Liability insurance is essential for your protection and is also required in most states.

Motorcycles are smaller vehicles, so they typically cause less damage than other vehicles, and therefore, they tend to have lower liability limits.

Pedestrians and bicyclists are also potential victims of collisions with motorcycles. Their injuries could be severe and require very expensive treatment, and they will also have to be compensated for lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.

Motorcycle Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance covers unexpected damages to your motorcycle that are not caused by a collision. For example, you would need comprehensive coverage if your motorcycle was stolen or damaged by hail, flood, or fire.

Comprehensive coverage would also include damage from animals, fallen trees, and vandalism. This additional type of insurance is especially beneficial for highly valuable and customized motorcycles and anyone living in areas prone to natural disasters or criminal activity.

Accessories Coverage

In addition to comprehensive coverage, you can purchase a policy for your accessories as well. These include saddle bags, seats, backrests, sidecars, radios, GPS devices, and more.

These enhancements are purchased to optimize safety, comfort, or performance and are often expensive assets that should be protected.

Collision Insurance

Liability insurance pays for damage to other vehicles when you were at fault for the accident. According to Allstate Insurance Company, collision insurance covers your motorcycle when there is no other liable party.

This insurance coverage is extremely useful for inexperienced riders with new motorcycles because it will pay for repairs even if you merely tipped your bike turning a corner. Older bikes may not benefit from this coverage as much because their value may have decreased.

There will also be a deductible to consider when making the decision to purchase collision insurance.

Medical Payments Coverage

Similar to collision insurance, medical payment coverage will cover the cost of treating your injuries after an accident where you are at fault.

This option is a very important addition to your insurance policy, as many health insurance plans will not cover all of your medical expenses. It is also valuable if personal injury insurance is unavailable but does not cover any lost wages.

Gap Insurance

Imagine buying the motorcycle of your dreams. You have chosen to finance your purchase, and now you cannot be happier.

You feel so alive riding that bike as much as you possibly can before lovingly putting it away for the winter. Nothing can describe your excitement and joy when you finally bring it back out the following spring.

Then you hit a patch of gravel, and your precious bike slides out from beneath you. Your motorcycle is totaled, and your insurance company will only pay the depreciated value, but you still owe more than that amount on your loan.

This situation is where gap insurance comes in to save you. Gap insurance pays for the difference between what you still owe on your bike and the depreciated value that the insurance company pays.

Roadside Assistance

Most insurance companies will offer a roadside assistance service that will also include your other vehicles.

Basic plans include towing services, while others will consist of jump starts, battery delivery, tire repair or replacement, and locksmith services. Some will even bring you enough gas to get you to the nearest gas station.

This assistance can be a helpful resource, especially if you travel far from home.

Contact Goldblatt + Singer if You Have Been Involved in an Accident

The attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer have decades worth of experience working with insurance companies to get injured parties the compensation they are entitled to receive.

They understand the complexities of different policies and how insurance companies will try to minimize what they pay out. Call our personal injury lawyers at (314) 231-4100 for a free consultation to discuss what happened to cause your accident and what you should do next.


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