I am sure that everyone is aware of the motorcycle insurance term “uninsured motorist” which means the party that hit you on your motorcycle did not have auto accident insurance, but what about the underinsured motorist? the California Department of Insurance stats that over 14% of drivers do not even carry auto insurance, and many more are inadequately or under insured, which brings rise to many motorcyclists seeking clarification of the terms of their motorcycle accident insurance policy, and what is really covered.
Depending on what state you live in, there are motorcycle insurance minimums, with additional coverage for both uninsured and underinsured motorists. These coverage additions will protect you and your motorcycle in the event you are involved in an accident with either an underinsured or uninsured driver. The uninsured motorist does not carry any form of auto accident coverage, and any damage or medical claims would require filing a claim with your insurance company, which could become complicated and in most cases means you will need to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to help protect your interests.
In California, every automobile insurance policy must include uninsured motorist coverage unless the insured waives the coverage in writing. It protects you when driving a car and you are injured by an uninsured driver or a hit and run driver. It also protects you if you are a pedestrian or bicyclist and are hit by an uninsured driver or hit and run driver.
The policy will cover all damages that the uninsured driver would be legally responsible for. For example, it will cover damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, time off work etc. The coverage will only be limited by the amount of your coverage. In California the minimum coverage is $15,000.00. However, to protect yourself you can purchase a much higher limit (before an accident occurs).
The State of California has statute of limitation that states a lawsuit must be filed against the uninsured driver or arbitration must be formally demanded within two years of the date of the accident, or the claim will be barred by law. When demanding arbitration, you should be familiar with and follow the procedures set forth in your policy.
The underinsured motorists does carry accident insurance, but his policy coverage limits are far below the amount needed to cover the damages incurred in the accident, which means you will again have to file a claim with your own insurance company in an effort to take care of medical bills, and repairing or replacing your motorcycle.
Many motorcyclists i have talked with on this issue have said, “I already have full coverage motorcycle insurance, so why do I need to be concerned with an underinsured motorcycle accident claim?” just because you presently carry “full coverage” motorcycle accident insurance, doesn’t mean you and your motorcycle will be covered beyond the coverage limits of your insurance policy; and should you be hit by either a underinsured or uninsured driver without those coverage additions on your policy, you would have to sue the driver directly to recover monetary damages.
Another issue involves being hit in State that has low minimum liability limits. Should you be involved in a serious life threatening accident, even though the driver that hit you was fully insured with his states minimum coverage, your only recourse will be sue the driver to recover all damages not covered within his policy.
You should know what is and is not covered in your motorcycle accident policy and what each limit is. You can easily get this information from your motorcycle accident insurance agent if you find reading and understanding your policy confusing or complicated, and if there are any gaps in your coverage you should not hesitate to make changes to your policy. Protecting yourself before you are involved in a motorcycle accident is important and you should put off making sure you are adequately covered!
Don’t let a motorcycle accident kill your spirit to ride, if or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident you need a tough and experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who not only knows the laws, but also rides! Call 1-800-4-BIKERS to speak with Russ Brown today!
Note: We do not sell motorcycle insurance