Are you FULLY Insured? By Law Tigers

January 15, 2017 at 2:27 am  •  Posted in Insurance Insights by

If you are in a motorcycle accident, even though it is NOT your fault, you can end up footing a lot of the medical bills.

Watch the short video in our Digital Issue of Wheels of Grace from Scootin American on what happened to Adam Sandoval after he was injured in a motorcycle accident. The accident was NOT his fault. But he was still left with the ‘bill’.

If you are a motorcyclist, you are probably aware of how quickly your life could change in the blink of an eye if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. In an instant, you may be left with debilitating injuries and in chronic pain. You may also erroneously believe that all of your medical expenses and long-term care expenses will be covered by the at-fault driver. After all, isn’t that what insurance is for? And it wasn’t your fault! This is far from the truth.

While the state of Arizona and California, for example, does require individuals to carry liability insurance on their vehicles both two-wheeled and four-wheeled, this insurance is often painfully inadequate after a serious motorcycle accident. Even worse, many auto drivers are underinsured or not insured at all. When this happens – who pays for your expenses? Who takes care of your injuries? Who takes care of your family?

Photo Credit: KOIN News 6

You are in a motorcycle accident and it is not you fault. Are you protected? And, just how much insurance is enough? Using Arizona and California as an example, the minimum amounts of liability coverage required to legally operate your motorcycle in the Grand Canyon State are as follows:

  • $15,000 bodily injury per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $10,000 property damage per accident

Yet after a catastrophic motorcycle accident, medical bills and rehabilitation expenses can quickly exceed your insurance limits. Remember, even a relatively small accident can rack up some substantial damages. Recent statistics show that a fatal motorcycle accident can cost around $1.2 million in damages and the average cost of an injury motorcycle accident can range from $2500 to over $1.4 million. Unfortunately, if your injuries and medical expenses exceed your insurance limits or the insurance limits of the negligent driver, you may be forced to pay for your medical expenses on your own. This can result in crippling financial debt and even bankruptcy for many families.

But what happens when you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver? If you do not own Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Insurance coverage, then you won’t have enough money to cover your expenses. UM (Uninsured Motorist) and UIM (Underinsured Motorist) coverage will protect you, and your passenger, for any bodily injury that you may sustain in an accident involving a driver with no liability insurance, or a driver with insufficient insurance to cover your injuries, respectively. With UM and UIM, the insurance company will reimburse you compensatory damages for bodily injury caused by the uninsured driver. These damages include your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, in addition to other personal injury damages.

Even though states like Arizona and California allow motorcyclists to opt out of IUM/UM coverage, all motorcyclists should purchase this insurance to protect themselves. In many situation, the only recovery to be made in a serious motorcycle accident will come from the UM and UIM coverage.

The Law Tigers see it happen all the time and it can be devastating. A motorcyclist feels its all going to be ok because, after all, it was not your fault. Make sure you speak to your insurance broker about as much UM/UIM as you can get. A few additional dollars now can be the best money you have ever spent protecting yourself.

Ride Safe!
Audrey Nesbit
Law Tigers

Photo Credit: Clarksville TN Police Department