Frequently Asked Questions - Why You Should have Motorcycle Insurance in Florida?
The State of Florida does not require motorcycle riders to obtain motorcycle insurance coverage prior to registering a motorcycle unlike automobiles. Although it is not recommended to ride a motorcycle without insurance coverage, it is not illegal in Florida. If you do obtain motorcycle insurance coverage in Florida, your minimum coverage would include $10,000.00 worth of bodily injury coverage for one person, $20,000.00 worth of bodily injury coverage for two people and $10,000.00 worth of property damage coverage. If you cause an accident while riding your motorcycle, your bodily injury coverage covers the injuries sustained by anyone else involved in the accident and your property damage covers damage to any other damaged vehicles or property such as a stop sign or shrubbery. Even though you are not legally required to carry motorcycle insurance in the State of Florida, if you cause an accident, you will be held financially responsible. Sometimes this includes depositing a surety cash bond with the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department in the event of any future accidents or be required to show proof of motorcycle insurance coverage prior to re-registering your motorcycle.
Because motorcycle accidents are typically more serious than motor vehicle accidents, personal injury protection coverage is not afforded on motorcycle policies. In the State of Florida, personal injury protection coverage is a mandatory requirement by law for all four wheeled motor vehicles intended for road use. You are unable to register a motor vehicle with the state until you purchase a valid Florida insurance policy which affords $10,000.00 worth of personal injury protection coverage. This covers you, your immediate family members and anyone riding in your vehicle at the time of an accident if they do not have their own source of personal injury protection coverage. The maximum amount of personal injury protection coverage on a motor vehicle is $10,000.00 which covers your medical bills, lost wages, mileage and prescriptions after an accident. Because your injuries will likely be a lot more serious after you are involved in a motorcycle accident, insurance companies do not offer personal injury protection on motorcycle policies. Even just falling off your bike is likely to cause injuries which the insurance company would be responsible for paying if there was personal injury protection coverage available.
Because the State of Florida does not require bodily injury coverage as a mandatory coverage on automobile insurance, it is important to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy. If you can afford it, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is an excellent coverage to carry, whether on your automobile or motorcycle insurance policy because if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured vehicle, you can turn to your own insurance policy for compensation for any injuries you sustain. If you are injured by a vehicle which carries bodily injury coverage but only a very minimal policy and your injuries are more severe, you can settle your claim with the bodily injury carrier and if you are successful in obtaining the entire policy limit, you can then move on with your injury claim with your own carrier through your underinsured motorist coverage. If you do not carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your policy, you are only able to obtain the limits for the bodily injury policy from the at fault insurance company.
Collision and comprehensive insurance is a valuable coverage to also carry on your own motorcycle policy. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident with someone who is uninsured and you do not carry collision coverage on your policy, the only way to fix your motorcycle or replace it will be to do so out of your own pocket. If you motorcycle is stolen or vandalized, your comprehensive coverage will kick in to pay for the repairs. You can choose a deductible amount that you are comfortable with paying in the event of using your collision or comprehensive coverage. The higher your deductible, usually the lower your monthly payments will be but you must keep in mind that if you need to use your collision or comprehensive coverage, you will be required to pay your deductible before the insurance company makes any repairs to your motorcycle so you should always choose an amount you will be able to easily pay out of your own pocket.
If you cause an accident while riding your motorcycle and you do not carry any insurance coverage at all, you run the risk of being sued personally by the person you injure. If this happens, you could lose your assets and your wages can be garnished along with other fines and judgements. It is much easier to make small monthly payments for insurance coverage than to undergo a lengthy litigation claim in which you could be left paying for the rest of your life.
If you own both a motorcycle and an automobile, you can purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your automobile policy which in most instances kicks in if you are riding your motorcycle and are involved in a motorcycle accident that is not your fault. You should always be sure to check your insurance policy language but most insurance companies will apply your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to your motorcycle accident and you could file an injury claim against your own policy if needed. This is usually not the case with any passengers on your motorcycle at the time of an accident. They would need to check with their own insurance carrier if they have an insurance policy to see if their uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage would cover them in this situation. Personal injury protection does not apply in the same instance. No matter if you own an automobile with valid insurance coverage, your personal injury protection coverage does not apply in a motorcycle accident, even if your motorcycle and automobile are insured under the same policy. Some insurance companies allow motorcycles and automobiles coverage to be written under the same policy; however, other insurance companies require separate policies due to the policy language.
If you are confused with regard to any type of motorcycle coverage that may apply to you, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who will be able to sit down with you and explain your rights and benefits in detail. An attorney will be able to answer all of your questions and if you hire the attorney to represent you for your motorcycle accident, you can rest assured knowing that your claim is in safe hands and is being handled correctly.