Unfortunately, thousands of bikers are struck each year by other motorists. If you are one of the unlucky riders who get hit, you could obviously be seriously injured and your motorcycle could quite easily sustain a serious amount of damage in the process. If however, the at-fault driver has enough liability insurance, your hospital expenses would be covered, and the cost of having your motorcycle fixed would be reimbursed.
However, an alarmingly high number of people are either insured at their state minimums or are driving around without insurance. If you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you may not have recourse to recover monetary compensation. It’s definitely worth it, to investigate how uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage works and learn more about why it’s important to consider this coverage carefully.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Works Like This:
It was created to bridge the gap between the amount of the at-fault party’s liability and their level of coverage. Here’s an example: assume you’re involved in a collision where the other driver is at fault. You’re injured and your motorcycle is damaged. The cost of your hospital treatment totals $39.000, and it is $9.000 to repair your motorcycle. To compound your problems, it turns out that the at-fault driver is only insured to the minimum requirements of their state.
The minimum car insurance requirements in California (at the time of writing), allow up to $15,000 for each injured person and $5,000 in property damage. This would not be adequate. It would not be enough to cover both your hospital expenses as well as the costs to repair your motorcycle. Without uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you may have a serious financial problem on your hands. But by having uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can be more certain that the your bills and expenses related to the accident will be paid even if the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured.
Compensation For The Impact To Your Earning Capacity
Being injured in a traffic accident can result in costs far in excess of just your hospital bills. Your injuries could prevent you from returning to your previous job. In some cases, the impact to your earnings may be temporary, but, it could also be a permanent or long term consequence of the4 accident. An at-fault driver’s health insurance and comprehensive car insurance will pay for your medical bills (assuming the driver has sufficient coverage), but, they often don’t pay for the loss of earning capacity. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will usually fill the gap and compensate you for your lost income going forward.
Protect Yourself And Your Motorcycle As Well
Firstly, motorcycles can be expensive items. A really nice bike can cost $20,000 or more. Secondly, bikes are much more easily damaged than cars, and are more likely to be totally wrecked than cars. You may even need to scrap your motorcycle after a low speed, minor accident, under the right circumstances. What’s worse, a fairly large percentage of drivers out there don’t have any insurance. So, if they’re at fault, and they hit you while you’re riding your motorcycle, it could be a tremendously severe blow to your finances. In the event that this happens, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can be a massive safety net. You won’t be vulnerable to the consequences of the at-fault party not having sufficient insurance to cover your expenses.
Be Sure To Review Your Personal Circumstances Carefully Before Deciding What To Do
The primary drawback to increasing your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is that most states require you to boost your liability coverage as well. Your liability insurance coverage has to either be equal to, or greater than your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Because motorcycle riders are typically in more danger of sustaining injury than causing injury to others, this clause does seem rather odd. Keep in mind though, each situation is quite different and you should always take into account your own unique personal situation, before deciding on how best to proceed. Consider your family, if you own your home, operate your own company, or own other significant assets, make plans to protect them. You’ll want to limit your exposure to financial risk if an underinsured or uninsured driver hits you while you’re riding your motorcycle.
Don’t take chances and enjoy your ride!
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