It is my hope, that after you read this article, you will contact your insurance agent and make sure you have the correct type of coverage in a sufficient amount to protect yourself and your passenger if something “bad” happens on the road.
MATTERS OF INTEREST
The following are general legal concepts. They are not legal advice. A person should always contact his/her attorney for specific legal advice. However, it is my hope this information will alert motorcyclists to important matters, which should be further evaluated with an attorney and your insurance agent.
The Declaration Page of an insurance policy lists the type and amount of insurance a motorcyclist has. That coverage is in force on the accident date. After the accident, a motorcyclist may not increase insurance coverage for that accident.
A. LIABILITY COVERAGE
If you run a red light and hit a car and injure someone, your liability coverage will pay to fix that person’s car, pay their medical bills, pay their lost wages and pay the person for pain and suffering. If you are injured, your liability coverage will not pay you a dime.
B. UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED COVERAGE
This coverage protects us. If a motorist runs a red light and does not have sufficient liability coverage or no insurance at all, our insurance coverage will pay to fix or replace our motorcycle, will pay our medical bills and lost wages and pay for our pain and suffering.
THIS IS MY MAIN POINT. It is advisable for a motorcyclist to have a high dollar amount of uninsured and underinsured coverage. In a motorcycle accident, we generally get badly hurt. We must have sufficient insurance to pay us for what happens to us. It is advisable to call your insurance agent and make sure you have sufficient insurance to protect yourself. After an accident, it is too late to check your insurance coverage.
II. PHANTOM VEHICLE
This is a hypothetical situation.
We are riding down the road and a motorist comes into our lane and pushes us off the road. We are badly hurt and our bike is totaled.
The motorist keeps going. We do not know the name of the motorist, who pushed us off the road. We do not know his/her license plate number.
What do we do?
If we have uninsured and underinsured coverage our insurance company will pay for our damaged bike, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
In Washington, the accident MUST be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency within 72 hours of the accident AND the facts of the accident must be “corroborated by competent evidence.”
With this type of accident, a skilled motorcycle attorney should be contacted immediately.