Be Alert: Motorcycle season means more
focus on safety and insurance
SEATTLE - Spring marks the beginning of motorcycle season as many bikers pull their motorcycles out of winter storage to cruise Northwest roads and highways. Unfortunately, with more miles ridden and more bikes on the road, that also means more motorcycle accidents too.
Approximately 8.5 million motorcycles were on U.S. roads in 2013 with 88,000 motorcyclists injured in motorcycle crashes and 4,668 deaths. In 2012, 112,000 motorcycles were involved in property damage-only crashes, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
While safety is the best policy, make sure you also have an insurance
policy that protects both you and your motorcycle if you do get
in an accident.
"It's important for other motorists to be on the lookout for motorcycles,” said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. “It's also important for motorcyclists to ride safely and have insurance coverage to protect themselves if an accident happens."
Fortunately, motorcycle insurance is widely available, either as an endorsement to a personal automobile policy or as a stand-alone policy. To determine the best motorcycle coverage for you, it’s important to understand the available options:
- Liability Insurance - Most states require a minimum
amount of Liability Insurance to cover bodily injury and property
damage that you may cause to other people in an at-fault accident.
Liability coverage does not cover you or your motorcycle.
- Collision Coverage - Covers damage to your motorcycle
from a collision, regardless of fault, and usually covers the
resale value of the motorcycle before the loss occurred.
- Comprehensive or Other than Collision Coverage - Pays for damage caused by
an event other than a collision. This includes fire, theft or
vandalism. Most comprehensive and collision coverage pays to
replace only the factory standard parts on your motorcycle.
Additional or optional equipment coverage is needed for accessories
such as chrome parts, sidecars or custom paint jobs.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage - Covers damage
to you and your property caused by a driver or rider who does
not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover
your damages. This coverage typically pays for medical treatment,
lost wages and damage to your motorcycle.
- Discounts - Keep in mind that many insurance
companies offer discounts from 10 to 15 percent for graduates
of training courses, such as the Motorcycle
Safety Foundation (MSF) rider course.
Check with your insurance agent or company to learn more about motorcycle insurance options or to make sure you understand your current coverage.
For more information about motorcycle insurance, call NW
Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You also can visit the Insurance
Information Institute's website.
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education
organization funded by member insurance companies serving Oregon,
Washington and Idaho.