Whether you ride your bike daily or only on occasion as a way to have fun, there is nothing quite like the feeling you get hitting the open road on your motorcycle. Whether you are a new or experienced rider, it is essential to ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage to protect yourself, your bike, and any potential passengers.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a motorcycle accident? Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ to receive your free, no-obligation consultation by calling us at (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online.
In the state of North Carolina, all vehicles, including motorcycles, will need to have liability insurance. Liability insurance will cover medical expenses and property damage if you accidentally cause an accident. While the total cost of a motorcycle accident will vary from situation to situation, several studies indicate that motorcycle accident fatalities can cost upwards of $1,000,000 in damages, and even minor accidents can cost at least $5k in property damage alone. Therefore, motorcyclists should consider holding additional coverages beyond basic liability insurance to ensure they are adequately protected in an accident.
While having liability insurance is required by law and is a good step forward in ensuring that you are protected, riders may want to consider holding additional coverage, as motorcycle accident expenses can escalate quickly. At a minimum, it is recommended that motorcycle riders carry underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, and MedPay coverage, which we will discuss below.
North Carolina requires that motorcycle riders meet the following mandatory liability insurance requirements:
These are the mandatory motorcycle coverages required in North Carolina. However, it is important to note that these are the minimum insurance requirements, and it is a good idea to obtain more extension protection to ensure that you are protected. Keep in mind that liability insurance such as the aforementioned is there to protect your assets in the event that you are liable for someone else’s injuries.
To ensure that your expenses are covered should you be involved in a motorcycle accident, consider the following forms of additional insurance policies:
Although liability car insurance is required in North Carolina, it is estimated that around 10% of drivers remain uninsured. Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance (UIM insurance) will ensure that you are adequately covered in the event that you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Additionally, UIM coverage will kick in if your damages exceed the other driver’s liability limits or you are involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Liability coverage protects you against damages for which you may be legally responsible in the event you hit and injure another person. Conversely, collision coverage will ensure that your motorcycle is covered after becoming damaged in an accident, regardless of fault. If an uninsured driver hits you or if you accidentally damage your bike in an accident, collision insurance will cover costs related to repairing your motorcycle up to your policy limit.
MedPay insurance, or medical payment coverage, while not required in North Carolina, will cover necessary medical treatment for yourself and any passengers. This is an excellent option for those with high copays on their health insurance or maybe without health insurance.
Comprehensive insurance will cover damage to your bike that occurred from an event outside of a collision. Comprehensive insurance will cover damages from events such as theft, vandalism, natural disasters, fire, falling objects, civil disturbances, or adverse weather. If you feel that your motorcycle may be at risk for any of these events, comprehensive coverage is an excellent option to consider.
Many insurers will classify motorcycle accessories as separate from the bike itself. Accessory coverage is additional insurance coverage that may be available to you to pay for repair or replacement of things such as luggage racks, saddle bags, custom paint or trip, windshields, fairings, or CB radios. As motorcycle accessories can be very spendy, accessories insurance coverage can help reduce potential out-of-pocket expenses a rider may face.
Roadside assistance is an add-on option to your coverage that can be helpful in the event you get stranded on a ride. In addition, roadside assistance can cover repairs, towing, and related costs should you experience a breakdown.
When referring to full coverage motorcycle insurance, most are referring to a combination of several coverages to protect both the rider and the bike in the event of an accident. Full coverage generally refers to a mix of comprehensive and collision insurance, along with UIM insurance and potentially MedPay coverage.
Life insurance policies will cover motorcycle accident fatalities in which the rider was killed. However, life insurance companies may try to avoid covering the accident if they determine the accident was ruled a suicide due to the considerable recklessness of the accident. Additionally, reckless motorcycle driving may void certain policies. Refer to your specific policy to determine if you may be covered in the event of a motorcycle accident related death. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can review your policy if a loved one is killed in a motorcycle accident.
Medicare can cover motorcycle accidents in certain conditions, such as when:
As each crash involving a motorcycle is unique, it is impossible to predict how much a claim may be worth. The value of a claim will consider the following:
While economic damages such as medical expenses and lost income are easy to calculate, intangible damages such as pain and suffering are more difficult to enumerate. An experienced personal injury attorney can help determine your case’s worth. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. A lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected after an accident so that you can receive the best outcome possible and the compensation you deserve.
Although it is impossible to guarantee safety while riding a motorcycle, ensuring that you take precautions to practice safe riding habits can help protect you and others while riding. However, accidents still occur, and you should never have to pay for another motorist’s negligence. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t delay reaching out to the law offices of Tatum & Atkinson, ”the Heavy Hitters’ today to see what we can do for you. You will receive a free, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys to discuss what your legal options are and what steps to take next. Contact us today by calling us at (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online to receive your free case evaluation.