I love riding motorcycles and living in New England where there are so many great roads to go for a cruise.  For me, the best time to ride is early morning with the sunrise.  It’s quiet on the roadways and seems like you truly own the road.  But even though things seem quiet and unassuming, there is one giant rule when riding a motorcycle - never let your guard down.  You always must be scanning the road ahead.

Motorcycle accidents happen so quickly and, generally, result in more severe injuries as opposed to other motor vehicle crashes. This is why, when reviewing or considering insurance for your motorcycle, you should make sure you have the best coverage available to protect yourself in the event of a serious crash. 

Thinking of Buying a Motorcycle? 

There are three main types of bikes: cruiser, touring, and sport. They all have the same basic mechanics, but they serve very different functions.  For the first time riders, a cruising bike may be the best option.  They are the most common on the roadway and come in a variety of engine sizes that complement each rider.  Touring bikes are usually much bigger in size with more storage options and comfortable seating for two.  These are designed for long distance riding.  Sport bikes are sleek and fast, appealing to the adrenaline junky who enjoys a powerful engine.  Unfortunately, sport bikes are the most dangerous to own for a number of reasons such as the speed of the bike and/or the risks taken by the rider.

You Should Review Insurance for Motorcycles

Regardless of the type of motorcycle you ride, a very important consideration is the insurance coverage you choose to buy.  Insurance coverage for motorcycles differ than the auto insurance you have for a car or truck. For example, you may be aware that passenger cars have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage available.  This is $8,000.00 in coverage that can be used for any combination of medical payments or lost wages.  Motorcycles, unfortunately, do not have PIP coverage.  According to the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (211 CMR 3.00), insurers do not provide Personal Injury Protection benefits for injuries suffered by an operator or passenger of a motorcycle. 

There is motorcycle coverage available to purchase for motorcycles. Given the statistics surrounding motorcycle accidents and injuries you should never take the cheapest way out.  From a personal injury lawyer’s perspective, should an accident happen, there is comfort in knowing you are adequately covered.  And increasing your coverage is surprisingly not that expensive.

Optional Insurance Coverage that Should Not be Overlooked.

Medical Payments:  I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having Medical Payment Coverage (a/k/a MedPay) on your motorcycle.  This coverage is the strongly recommend especially considering PIP coverage is unavailable.  Medical payment coverage will help pay medical expenses not covered by other auto or health insurance.  This coverage may also help with any health insurance liens that otherwise would be paid from your settlement funds. 

Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage:  Uninsured coverage kicks in when a person who causes you injury has no insurance. You can turn to your own insurance coverage for compensation of medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.  Underinsured coverage kicks in when a person who causes you injury has minimum insurance, such as the state minimum of $20,000.00 per accident.  If you have $100,000.00 of underinsured coverage you can collect the $20,000.00 from the negligent operator, then turn to your own policy for a maximum of $80,000.00.  Given the propensity for serious injuries with a motorcycle accident adding additional uninsured/underinsured coverage would seem a no brainer.    

Bodily Injury Coverage:  Should you be found at fault in a serious accident, then adequate bodily injury coverage will help protect you from a personal injury claim or lawsuit.  When purchasing auto insurance (whether for a car or motorcycle) you should seek a significant amount of Bodily Injury Coverage to Others, if not the maximum amount allowed in Massachusetts or even an umbrella policy. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident where you are found at-fault and had a passenger on your bike, this additional coverage is invaluable in addressing your passenger’s medical bill, pain and suffering and so on. 

So, these are just a few examples of the types of coverage available.  You would be surprised at how inexpensive additional coverage is.  You should seek out the advice of a qualified insurance agent for all the options available to motorcycle riders or speak with an experienced injury attorney.   

Lastly, one of the best things I did as a rider was to take the basic riding course at Mass Motorcycle School.  It was a great class and the instructors pointed out basic mistakes I had been making for years.  It not only made me a better rider but by taking the course I was given a discount on my insurance rates.  Always dress appropriately and have a good helmet.  Look out for each other and drive safely.

Joseph M. Mahaney
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Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorney
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