How to Protect Against Financial Disaster
If you have ridden for any period of time, you have likely had at least one close call. Statistically speaking that close call is probably someone turning in front of you. Motorists can, in a sense, become blind to motorcycles because they’re not looking for anything other than cars and trucks.
The problem isn’t as much that someone’s negligence has wrecked up your bike and put you in the hospital. The problem is that state minimums might not be enough to cover all of your expenses. To make matters worse, when there aren’t assets to collect, you may be out of luck.
Let’s take a look at how the Car Crash Captain sees these situations play out.
What Happens if You’re in a Wreck that isn’t Covered?
Here’s the scenario: you’re hit by another motorist who does the right thing and stops. Your brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle is destroyed, and you’re in the hospital with severe injuries. That other driver has insurance, but it’s just the state minimum coverage. Currently, in Texas, that’s $30,000 per person for injuries (a total of $60,000 per accident) and $25,000 for property damage.
That means their insurance company will pay you up to $25,000 to replace the motorcycle that was destroyed… a brand new motorcycle that you just paid $45,000 for.
And their insurance will pay up to $30,000 for medical bills. But if you’re in the hospital for a week, and your injuries require surgery, rehab, and more, you’re going to blow on past that limit quickly. Your medical bills could soar past $100,000, and they could keep going as rehab, physical therapy, and chiropractor visits continue for years to come.
What happens when the other driver’s insurance stops paying, and they have no assets to cover your expenses?
Understanding how Uninsured Motorist Coverage Works
Insurance companies are required to offer uninsured motorist (UM), and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. If you don’t want it, you can save a few bucks on your premiums, but you have to specifically decline it… something nobody (especially those on a motorcycle) should do.
When someone hits you, and they don’t have insurance (an uninsured motorist) or their insurance maxes out before your medical bills are completely paid for (an underinsured motorist), your insurance will kick in and make up the difference. Since it’s pretty cheap to increase these amounts (usually just a few dollars per year to double your coverage), it’s generally recommended that you max out these amounts.
Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you’re on the right track.
But that still leaves the issue with your motorcycle. That insurance will cover the rest of the damage too, right? Maybe. UM/UIM, with most insurance companies, does not cover personal property; it only applies to medical bills and injuries.
To make sure that your motorcycle is fully protected, you need to opt for uninsured property damage (UMPD) coverage. This will pay out in the event that the negligent party’s insurance isn’t sufficient to completely pay for the damage they did to your ride.
Whew, that sounds exhausting. Your insurance agent should be able to clear these things up for you. If you have multiple motorcycles, vehicles, houses, ATV’s, and more, it might be worthwhile to look into an umbrella policy that can wrap all those things up into one.
Your Biggest Mistake as a Motorcycle Rider
So, what’s that mistake we’re talking about? What’s the biggest mistake motorcyclists make?
It’s thinking that when they get hit, the other party will have sufficient coverage to take care of the damage to property and body.
In reality, minimum coverages are so low (some states are even lower than Texas limits) that many accidents exceed those limits.
The second biggest mistake that motorcyclists make is not protecting themselves with the right coverage for when the at-fault driver’s insurance stops paying out.
Visit with Herbert Law Group to Collect What you Deserve
Insurance companies are designed to collect as much in premiums as possible, and to pay out as little as possible. Sometimes they need a little extra encouragement to do the right thing.
That’s why you need a motorcycle accident attorney on your side. Like those found at Herbert Law Group. We have helped a lot of motorcycle accident victims in the DFW metroplex collect the compensation that they deserve to sufficiently pay for the financial loss they suffered in an accident.