Motorcycles, while fun to drive, can be very dangerous. With the driver and any passengers exposed to the outside environment, the people on the motorcycle have very little protection should they get into an accident. Motorcyclists are far more likely to end up in accidents than typical four-wheel vehicles as motorcycles are not only far smaller than other vehicles (making them harder to see), but also because they are easier to throw off balance or off course. Having extra insurance for your motorcycle is a good way to prevent losing your savings when you get into an accident.
Motorcycle accident statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, In 2021, there were 5,932 motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents, accounting for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. This marked the highest number of motorcyclist fatalities recorded since data collection began in 1975. The number of motorcyclist fatalities in 2021 saw an eight percent increase from the previous year, rising from 5,506 to 5,932. That same year, 36 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes did not possess valid motorcycle licenses.
Additionally, an estimated 82,686 motorcyclists sustained injuries in 2021, representing a five percent increase from the 78,944 motorcyclists injured in 2020. These statistics highlight the concerning trends and risks associated with motorcycle accidents and fatalities in 2021.
What’s the minimum motorcycle coverage I need, legally?
Almost every state in the country requires some level of insurance coverage:
- Florida, Montana, Texas, and Washington don’t require it at all.
- Arizona, New Hampshire, and Virginia don’t require it, either, but they do require that you can “prove your financial responsibility” in the event of a crash.
For the other states, the minimum amount of coverage you need varies, but it usually mimics what you’d have for your car. If your car insurance is 25/50/25 (meaning $25,000 in bodily injury per person, $50,000 in total bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage), then you would need the same coverage for your motorcycle.
Any injury lawyer will tell you that if you can afford to buy more insurance, you absolutely should. Even just increasing your liability limits is a good idea. The costs and expenses associated with a motorcycle accident will almost always exceed these minimums, so it’s smarter to purchase more than just what is required.
What types of extra insurance are there for motorcycles?
There are several compelling reasons to consider getting extra motorcycle insurance coverage beyond the minimum requirements. Additional coverages can provide greater protection and peace of mind in various situations.
Several types of extra insurance to get for your motorcycle include:
- Comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your motorcycle that occurs outside of accidents, such as theft, vandalism, fire, or damage from weather events like hail or floods.
- Collision coverage. Collision coverage pays for repairs to your motorcycle in case of an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This can be especially valuable if you want to ensure your bike is repaired or replaced in the event of a collision.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If you’re involved in an accident with a motorist who lacks insurance or has insufficient coverage to pay for your damages and injuries, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can bridge the gap. It ensures that you’re financially protected even when the other party is not adequately insured.
- Medical payments coverage. This coverage helps pay for your medical expenses resulting from a motorcycle accident, regardless of fault. If you don’t have health insurance or have high deductibles, medical payments coverage can be invaluable for covering your medical bills.
- Accessory coverage. If you’ve added custom parts and accessories to your motorcycle, accessory coverage can protect these enhancements in case of damage or theft. This ensures that your investments in customization are financially protected.
- Towing and roadside assistance. Towing and roadside assistance coverage can be a lifesaver if your motorcycle breaks down or you find yourself stranded due to a flat tire, dead battery, or other mechanical issues. It provides a sense of security when you’re on the road.
- Legal defense coverage. This coverage provides assistance with legal expenses if you’re involved in a lawsuit resulting from a motorcycle accident. It can help cover attorney fees and court costs.
- Loss of use coverage. If your motorcycle is damaged and needs repairs, loss of use coverage can help compensate for the cost of alternative transportation while your bike is out of commission.
- Gap insurance. If you financed your motorcycle and owe more on it than its current market value (common with new motorcycles), gap insurance can cover the difference in case your bike is declared a total loss.
These additional motorcycle insurance coverages offer added protection, ensuring that you’re financially prepared for a wide range of situations, from accidents to theft and beyond. The right combination of coverages depends on your individual needs, the value of your motorcycle, and your budget. Consulting with a motorcycle accident attorney can help you to know what insurance is best for you. Together, you can tailor your coverage to suit your specific requirements and provide comprehensive protection for your motorcycle.
The risk for motorcycle accidents is high, and it is important that even if you have never gotten into an accident on your motorcycle, there is a high chance that you may at some point in the future. When that happens, having the appropriate insurance will save you a lot of hassle and stress, as well as money.