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Why You Should Double-Check Your Motorcycle Insurance Policy

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on December 12, 2020

In Washington State, all motorcycle riders are required to have liability insurance before they register a hog and hit the road, but many are not aware that they can add on other policies. Coverage for medical bills, property damage, hit-and-run accidents, uninsured drivers, and underinsured drivers can all prove extremely valuable if you are in an accident. Given the many dangers motorcycle riders face in just Seattle alone, reviewing and updating your insurance policy may be to your benefit.

Insurance Laws for Washington Motorcyclists

Washington state laws require that all vehicles on the road have liability insurance to cover the medical bills and property damage of other people in the event of an accident. You must have a minimum of:

  • $25,000 for injury or death for a single person
  • $50,000 for injury or death for two or more people
  • $10,000 for property damage

These laws also require auto insurance companies to offer personal injury protection (PIP), uninsured motorist coverage (UM), and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) to car owners. These policies are typically included in a standard Washington state insurance policy and can only be rejected in writing.

That being said, insurance companies are not required to extend these same offers to motorcyclists when discussing insurance options. In fact, most riders may not even realize they are an option unless they research it themselves. While it is up to you whether or not you wish to pay out the extra fees for this coverage, these extra policies offer numerous benefits in a motorcycle accident.

Optional But Useful Insurance Policies

The two main policies that motorcyclists should consider adding to their insurance are PIP and UM/UIM.

PIP Insurance: PIP coverage is no-fault medical coverage for any injuries you suffer in a motorcycle accident. As no-fault insurance, if you are injured in an accident, you do not have to go through the claims process to receive compensation. Instead, these funds can immediately be accessed to cover any emergency treatment. It also does not stop you from filing an auto accident claim against the driver who injured you later on. These policies generally start at $1,000 and go up to $5,000 for a small monthly fee.

UM Insurance: One of the great dangers on Seattle roadways is uninsured motorists. Despite the fact that it is illegal, many drivers cancel their insurance policies or let them lapse to save money. Whatever the reason, if they injure a motorcyclist, that can make it extremely hard for the rider to receive compensation. However, with a UM policy, the rider can file a claim against his own insurance policy. UM insurance is designed to match the rider’s own liability policy, which means you can receive, at a minimum, up to $25,000 for your injuries. These policies also apply to hit-and-run accidents, making them one of the most valuable policies you can have as a motorcyclist.

UIM Insurance: Similar to UM insurance, UIM claims are filed with your own insurance company. These policies kick in when the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries. Let’s say both you and the other driver have the minimum policy of $25,000. If your medical bills are $50,000, you can file both an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company and your own to pay for your bills.

Speak With a Lawyer About All of Your Options

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are rarely ever minor, often leaving riders with painful disfigurements and lifelong injuries. If you were injured by another driver, you need all the help you can get. Not only should you consider filing a claim against the other driver, but you should also take a look at your own insurance policy to see what other forms of compensation you can receive. At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., our Seattle motorcycle accident attorneys have represented hundreds of clients in serious auto accidents and have an in-depth understanding of Washington’s insurance standards. If you work with us, we can review both the other driver’s insurance policy and your own to determine how much compensation you can receive for your injuries. To discuss your case in a free case evaluation, call our office at (425) 228-3860 or toll-free at (888) 228-3860.

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