Frequently Asked Questions - Whats Included in a Full-Coverage Motorcycle Insurance Policy?
The State of Florida does not require motorcycle riders to obtain a motorcycle insurance policy prior to registering their motorcycle like it does with four wheeled motor vehicles. You can legally ride your motorcycle without insurance coverage but you could end up paying big time if you are involved in an accident with someone who also is uninsured or does not have adequate insurance coverage to cover all of your damages. Full coverage motorcycle insurance in the State of Florida means that you have at least $10,000.00/$20,000.00 in bodily injury coverage and at least $10,000.00 in property damage. This is considered full coverage, but it is hardly adequate for most people.
The State of Florida does not require automobile drivers to purchase bodily injury coverage on their insurance policies. Bodily injury coverage is the portion of the insurance policy that you sue when you are injured in an auto accident by that person. If there is no bodily injury coverage for your to pursue, you can turn to your own insurance policy to pursue your injury claim through your own uninsured or underinsured motorist policy if you have that coverage available to you. Some people do not purchase this coverage on their own policy thinking that if they are involved in an accident due to the fault of someone else, their injuries will be covered. This is not the case in the State of Florida. While the State of Florida requires you to purchase personal injury protection coverage on your policy which covers the first $10,000.00 of your medical bills, prescriptions, mileage and lost wages no matter if you were at fault for the accident or not, this is usually not adequate to pay the entirety of your medical bills and does not compensate you for any pain and suffering and future medical needs. If you are riding on a motorcycle at the time of your accident, you will not be covered under a personal injury protection policy as this is not offered on motorcycle insurance policies and will not roll over from any automobile insurance coverage you may have or may be listed as an insured under. Purchasing uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your automobile or motorcycle insurance policy could be the best decision you ever make if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or someone who has a very minimal bodily injury policy. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage does not cost an arm and a leg, but it does outweigh the cost of having to suffer major injuries from an auto or motorcycle accident with no way to cover any of your damages. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and you have an additional automobile insurance policy which affords uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you can submit a claim through your automobile policy which will cover your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim even if you were on your motorcycle at the time of your accident, regardless if the motorcycle is listed under that policy or not.
Another beneficial coverage to have on a motorcycle which is not included with the state minimum is collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage covers your motorcycle if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or if you have caused the accident yourself. Comprehensive coverage covers your motorcycle if it has been stolen or vandalized. If you do not purchase collision and comprehensive coverage, you will be unable to file a damage claim with your own insurance company and if there is no property damage coverage available to you through the at fault party of the accident, you will be responsible for all repairs and costs associated with repairing or replacing your motorcycle. If your motorcycle is stollen or damaged in some way not being involved in an auto accident, without comprehensive insurance coverage, your insurance company will not be able to assist with any financial costs. Another thing to keep in mind when purchasing collision and comprehensive coverage is the amount of your deductible. Some people choose the highest deductible since this makes your monthly or yearly insurance premium amount lower. Unfortunately, when it comes to using this coverage, people realize their mistake as they are unable to pay their large deductible amount out of their own pocket. If you chose to have a $1,000.00 deductible, you will be forced to pay this amount out of pocket before the insurance company starts any repairs towards your motorcycle. If your motorcycle is deemed a total loss, your insurance company will pay you for the amount your motorcycle is worth, minus your deductible amount. When choosing your coverages, you should always keep in mind the amount that you will be able to pay out of your pocket should you need to use your collision or comprehensive coverage.
Although these coverages are not mandatory in the State of Florida for motorcycles, it is highly recommended that you do purchase them as you never know if you are going to need them and it’s much better to be over insured than under insured. If you choose not to purchase motorcycle insurance coverage or you purchase the state minimum coverage, you always run the risk of causing an accident and being sued personally and losing any assets you own or having your wages garnished due to a judgement. Or if you are involved in an accident where you sustain significant personal injuries and you are hit by an uninsured or minimally insured vehicle, you will find yourself being financially responsible for all or a large portion of your medical bills.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by the fault of someone else, you should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can go over your claim with you and inform you of your rights and benefits. If the insurance company has denied your claim or refused to provide you with benefits you feel you are entitled to, an attorney can fight the insurance company on your behalf to get them to pay you for all of your damages.