At long last the snow is gone, there’s green grass, and temperatures are warming. This is the time that many Valley residents think about getting on that motorcycle and hitting the open roads. You’ve tuned your bike, have your full leathers and helmet on, and you’re ready to go! But wait, you’re not ready unless you also have a state-appropriate motorcycle license endorsement, as well as your motorcycle insurance in place with all the necessary coverages.
Amazingly, Washington law doesn’t require you to have motorcycle insurance like you’re required to have auto insurance. But because it isn’t required, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it. If you don’t have motorcycle insurance, don’t ride that bike!
It’s a fact that even what would be a minor fender-bender in a car can lead to death, loss of a leg, or other serious injury on a motorcycle. You’re highly vulnerable to injury no matter how much protective gear you have on.
If you cause an accident while riding your motorcycle and someone else is injured—either your passenger or someone in another vehicle—your auto insurance won’t protect your home, bank accounts or other assets. The only way to protect what you’ve worked so hard to accumulate is to have bodily injury and property damage liability insurance on your motorcycle. We recommend $300,000 to $500,000 of liability coverage. If you can’t afford that much, buy as much as you can afford.
Your auto insurance also won’t do you any good if you or your passenger is injured while riding your motorcycle. For that protection, you need uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
UIM coverage protects you and your passenger if you or your passenger is hurt as the result of another driver’s fault. It protects you in the event that the at-fault driver has no insurance (is uninsured) or has some insurance but not enough to fully compensate you (is underinsured). At least 25 to 30 percent of all drivers on the road in Central Washington are uninsured and at least 50 percent of those with insurance have only the minimum coverage of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident.
PIP coverage provides a payment source for your and your passenger’s medical bills, a portion of your wage loss, and home services such as household help, yard work, and housecleaning no matter whether you or the other driver caused the accident. You need PIP coverage even if you have medical insurance since PIP is “first dollar” coverage with no deductible, no co-pays, and provides for payment of some of your lost wages that medical insurance doesn’t cover. We recommend a minimum of $300,000 of UIM coverage and $35,000 of PIP coverage. Again, if those limits don’t fit in your budget, buy as much as you can afford.
You can waive UIM coverage and PIP, but that would be crazy. You can also legally ride a motorcycle without any insurance, but that would also be crazy. If you’re involved in an accident, you can’t afford to “go bare.”
So, get ready to hit the open road, but not without motorcycle insurance. Call your agent or go online and make sure you have at least this much motorcycle insurance:
Abeyta Nelson Recommends This Motorcycle Insurance Coverage:
- Bodily Injury Liability: $300,000
- Property Damage Liability: $100,000
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: $300,000
- Personal Injury Protection: $35,000
- Collision: Replacement Value
Don’t be one of those people who wait until after an accident to learn what insurance they should have had to protect their assets and to avoid serious financial loss including piles of bills they can’t pay, lost wages they can’t replace, and even bankruptcy. Abeyta Nelson has handled many motorcycle cases. We know the law and the challenges involved, and have helped many injured riders put their lives back together.
If you or a family member have been injured in a motorcycle collision, call Abeyta Nelson Injury Law for a no-cost consultation. There’s never a charge to discuss your case with us and no fee unless we win your case for you.
-blog written by attorney Terry Abeyta, Abeyta Nelson Injury Law