Motorcycle season is underway and with the increased number of motorcyclists on the road, it is important to make sure that everyone has the proper insurance coverage.
In the state of West Virginia, the insurance minimum required to get a license is liability coverage with a 20/40 limits. Meaning the insurance liability coverage has a limit of $20 thousand per person or $40 thousand for the total accident. Typically, motorcyclists are interested in obtaining just enough coverage to meet the minimum requirements to ride a motorcycle, and they do not think about the need for Underinsurance Motorist Coverage (UIM coverage). Underinsurance Motorist Coverage is insurance coverage purchased by the motorcyclist to cover him or her in the event they are injured by another driver that has inadequate insurance coverage. This is extremely important coverage and UIM coverage is something that every motorcyclist needs.
There is no such thing as a small motorcycle accident. More often than not, the medical expenses for the motorcyclist involved in an accident will be tens of thousands of dollars. We have seen cases where the medical expenses alone exceed $100 thousand. This does not include lost wages or compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. If the person at fault in an accident only has 20/40 coverage, an injured motorcyclist will not receive the money necessary to cover medical expenses or the other damages that go along with these types of injuries. If the medical expenses alone are $75 thousand and the person at fault has only $20 thousand of insurance coverage, how are you going to survive if you are out of work for six months or have sustained a permanent injury? What would happen to your family if you were killed on a motorcycle? These are the difficult questions that need to be answered now before a tragedy strikes. Having Underinsured Motorist Coverage can provide additional protection in the event of an injury sustained from a crash.
Motorcyclists should buy as much underinsured motorist coverage as possible. However, people cannot insure themselves for more than they insure others. Therefore, if they want their underinsured coverage to cover more than $20 thousand for an individual or $40 thousand for a total accident, they have to increase their liability insurance to beyond the 20/40 minimum. Our recommendation is for people to have at least $100 thousand in liability coverage, which would allow $100 thousand in under insurance coverage. Making sure that you have the proper insurance coverage that can protect you in the event of an accident is an important part of saving your financial life if you sustain an injury during a crash.
Finally, in addition to proper insurance coverage, motorcyclists should remember always to obey the rules of the road and wear the proper protective gear. If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident make sure to call our team, we will be sure to assist you in all of your legal needs. From all of us at Colombo Law, we wish you safe travels.