Anyone who has dealt with a liability insurance company knows its no walk in the park. You would think it would be easy for them to pay. After all, California law requires all motorcycles and cars to maintain and provide proof of a liability insurance bond. Or at the very least, they need a minimum 15/30/5 insurance when their vehicle is on the roads.
The only exception is a motor scooter. Like any other car, if it is leased or financed, a cyclist may also have to buy additional comprehensive and collision coverage. But that covers any total loss of the vehicle to the true owner. (in this case, the bank, finance or leasing company).
Ehline Law answers the frequently asked questions about motorcycle insurance coverage.
Table of Contents:
The Many Types of Motorcycle Insurance.
The dealer you got the bike from may provide you with temporary insurance, so you can ride off into the sunset. But to drive to and from your home to work on a daily future basis, you need to get a regular liability insurance policy or more.
Some dealers get a kick back from insurance companies or even have their in-house. We recommend replacing any temporary binders. In fact, the smart move is to buy insurance from a reputable company. Preferably one vetted by the Department of Insurance of California. The better the coverage, the best your chances are of fewer hassles. Getting paid fast is what we all want.
Bond or Binder?
Paying the $10,000 insurance bond is also an option. But most riders do not choose this route. Dealer and cheaper policies may not even meet the legal requirements. So it is critical to use services like Yelp!, and Google Places to read the reviews. Also, ask friends and comparison shop before you commit.
At the minimum, the law requires you have $15,000 in bodily injury protection, per occurrence, not to exceed $30,000 per event, assuming more than one plaintiff was injured. The minimum property damage is $5000. Sadly, this would probably only pay for the bumper of an expensive Mercedes. So these are just the bare bones requirements.
We encourage you to get uninsured and under-insured coverage. So now you don’t have to hope the other guy has it. Also, it’s a good idea to beef up your basic coverage. That way you can pay for any anticipated damages you may cause to another person or property. Besides that, you can purchase med pay coverage. As a matter of fact, there are still other types of no-fault coverage.
The idea behind the law mandating liability personal injury and PD insurance was to make sure defendants could pay for any minimum harm they caused. So that way, the person or their property was paid off. But this is not always enough money.
Minimum Coverage Offers Minimal Protection of Personal Assets.
Thus, minimum coverage does not protect the insured from lawsuits to recover more than the risk insured. Also, California is a permissive use state. And that means the insurance policy follows the person as well as their vehicle. So if you loan your car to someone, they are covered unless they are an excluded operator.
Normally that is found under the terms of the contract. The policy will also cover the person if they are operating someone’s bike with no coverage. Thus, it “follows the rider.” Get it? But once the coverage is used up that’s it. Now, the personal assets of the rider or other driver are at risk. So they could lose their home and have wages garnished.
What is Med Pay?
Medical payments insurance covers up to a specific dollar amount of no fault injuries. So it could reimburse the medical evacuation and care of you, or your passenger up to a few thousand dollars. Sometimes it’s treated as a general fund to help carry a victim unable to work. Also, it may be used to cover funeral related costs, or even to pay for reimbursable expenses incurred by their lawyers.
Comprehensive insurance, also known as “comp,” covers the risk of loss when your bike gets ripped off. But is also comes into play when the bike is damaged in from earthquakes, and floods. But it usually excludes riots, dog or bird strikes, and explosions not caused by the bike itself.
Typically this would be bundled with the other coverage. So your policy would cover collision insurance, med-pay, UM/UIM, etc. Also, if you purchase it separately, it would have its deductible.
Collision coverage is just that. Similar to liability property damage coverage, it pays the vehicle owner the repair costs for their cycle. So if you hit a stationary object, or another motorist, this policy would hypothetically pay for the damage to your bike. First, you would have to pay your deductible.
The standard deductible is around $500. The more risk of paying a higher deductible, the less the overall monthly premiums to the insured. The less the deductible, the more the insured has to pay per month, for example.
Uninsured (“UM”) and underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage, deals with situations where a non-covered motorist or underinsured motorist hits you or someone on your bike. If defendants don’t have enough insurance, your UIM comes in to make up the difference.
Also, if they have zero coverage, then UM will cover costs incurred by permissive users. This insurance comes into to play in a hit-and-run accident. But many insurance companies require proof the other vehicle made contact with the bike. Otherwise, no UM becomes available. So if you lose control as a result of being cut off, for example, some insurance companies will not take on that dark of a risk.
Millions of Dollars in Results.
In this report, we have discussed the many different types of motorcycle accident insurance. If you are having a rough go of it dealing with an insurance company after crashing your bike, contact Ehline Law Firm. We have recovered millions of dollars for anguishing tort victims in California.
Our job is to help victims of serious accidents get money for pain, suffering and other special damages like lost earnings and compensation for their busted bikes. Call for a no risk consultation. Speak to a contingency fee insurance bad faith lawyer at Ehline Law. (888) 400-9721.