Motorcyclists should carefully assess their motorcycle bodily injury & liability portion of their insurance policy
There’s no doubt that the rising cost in fuel is throttling the motorcycle industry. Sales were up 7.2% in the first quarter of 2011 so says the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Retail Sales Report. These increased motorcycles on the road have resulted in increased injuries and fatalities. According to the Indiana State Police, the total number of collisions involving motorcycles increased in the year 2010 nearly 5% over 2009. Last year there were 3,721 motorcycle accidents reported — 2,712 injuries including operators and passengers—and 110 fatalities (100 operators and 10 passengers.) The average age of motorcycle fatalities—40.9 years old.
These statistics are dismal but as more people take their hogs to the road—as a necessary form of transportation or for the pure pleasure of riding the highway—the enthusiast should have in place a sound motorcycle policy adequate to cover any medical injuries and or deaths that could occur as a result of an accident.
The Declarations page of your motorcycle policy outlines your coverages and the insurance company’s limits of liability. It reads very similar to your automobile policy. Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability covers a maximum amount per person and a maximum total amount which will be paid per accident. For example: a $100,000/$300,000 policy coverage means an injured party could potentially receive up to but no more than $100,000 for injuries to their person but no more than $300,000 could be recovered by the total number of persons injured in the accident. That is, if a carload of people were injured in an accident which was determined to be caused by you as the operator of your motorcycle, your insurance company would not pay more, in this instance, than $300,000 total for injuries and or deaths which occurred.
If a string of cars and/or motorcycles were involved in an accident, such is often seen in freeway pile-ups, and it was deemed to be a result of your actions, more than likely $300,000 would not be sufficient to cover the medical expenses and wrongful death suits which could follow. That’s why it’s so important to balance your liability needs with your assets. In other words, where would injured victims look for compensation after your insurance policy limits were exhausted? Many learn this lesson the hard way—after the fact. Many consumers don’t realize that the price of coverage per unit goes down as the amount of coverage goes up. In other words, it’s cheaper to buy in bulk.
As more people take to the road using alternative forms of transportation, I think we can unfortunately expect to see motorcycle accidents rise. Get the coverage you need. And discuss your existing policy with your personal injury lawyer. Ward & Ward Law Firm lawyers can help you assess your policy needs.