Drivers who do not have adequate insurance or who do not have insurance at all are a serious problem. State laws usually require all motorists to have some form of insurance, but ensuring compliance is difficult. As a result, there are many motorists on the road who will leave you holding the bag if they cause an accident with you while you are out on your motorcycle.
An uninsured motorist is one who does not have insurance, does not have insurance that meets the minimum liability limits set by the state, or whose insurance company is unwilling or unable to pay the claim. Hit and run drivers are considered uninsured motorists, as well.
Other drivers might have some insurance, but it is either not enough to meet the state’s requirements, or even if it does, it is not enough to cover the costs of injuries and other damages they cause. These are called underinsured motorists.
The Insurance Research Institute estimates that 14% of drivers nationally are uninsured. Could you have a run-in with an uninsured or underinsured driver while you are driving your motorcycle? Who would pay for your injuries and damage to your bike?
Motorcycle owners need motorcycle insurance to protect themselves and others. Your motorcycle insurance should include liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Your motorcycle liability coverage provides financial protection in case you cause an accident. Comprehensive and collision coverage pay for damage to your motorcycle under various circumstances. But where will you get protection if you are in a serious accident with a driver that has no coverage? This is where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage play a vital role.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage provides coverage if you are in an accident and the other driver is both legally responsible for the accident and is not insured. Uninsured motorist coverage is required in some states, and is optional in most others.
There are two types of UM coverage.
- Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage pays for covered damages to your motorcycle.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage pays for covered medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.
Underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance extends coverage for bodily injury and property damage caused by a motorist with insufficient insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage provides the injured party with compensation beyond what is available from the at-fault driver’s insurance.
UIM protection pays you for damages that exceed the coverage limits carried by a driver who is underinsured and is at fault for an accident. It will pay only up to the limits of your policy after the amount paid by the other driver’s insurance; the amount listed as your UIM limit is the total amount paid by both insurance companies—not an additional amount your insurance company pays after the other driver’s insurance pays.
Both UM and UIM apply to you and any passengers.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are essential to ensuring financial protection for you in the event that you are in an accident with an insufficiently insured driver. UM/UIM coverage adds only a small amount to your motorcycle insurance premium.
Have you ever thought about how you would pay for damages caused by an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver? Do you need to add UM/UIM coverage to your motorcycle insurance policy?