Spring is here! The weather is warming up, the days are growing longer and more motorcycles are hitting the roads. Motorcycle events will be in full swing over the next few months, including rallies, biker parties, rides, charity and benefit events, swap meets and bike shows. As many riders know, being on a bike certainly can be fun, thrilling and give the motorcyclist a heart pounding burst of adrenaline. Our lead attorney, Marc, knows the exhilaration first hand!
Along with that excitement, there are also high risks and potentially dangerous accidents & injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that motorcycle deaths occur 26 times as often as auto fatalities and nearly half of all motorcycle deaths are the result of single-vehicle crashes. When traveling in a car or truck, you are protected by the automobile itself, as well as seat belts, air bags, and other standard safety features. Unfortunately, in regards to safety, that’s not the case with a motorcycle. This makes the rider and any passenger increasingly more vulnerable to injury. Don’t let the odds stack against you. The goal is to cruise the streets on a bike in both an invigorating, protected and safe way.
Many motorcycle enthusiasts experience a lifetime of riding a bike without an accident or injury. One of the keys to optimizing your odds is that it is essential to be prepared even before your bike hits the open road. By being prepared, you will be protected. Although there is no surefire way to predict what happens while riding, we encourage you to educate yourself and understand the types of insurance options available. No form of transportation is ever 100%, but it is extremely important to ensure that you take responsibility by protecting yourself, passengers as well as your bike itself.
If you need assistance with evaluating insurance options or if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Schulze Law today. As a motorcycle rider himself, Attorney Schulze has the experience and the interest in helping other riders. Some motorcycle accidents are the result of the negligence of another driver, while others occur due to mechanical failure.
The team at Schulze Law will guarantee that you receive justice you deserve as the injured rider. IF YOU RIDE…YOU NEED SCHULZE LAW ON YOUR SIDE!
Let’s take a look at motorcycle insurance options and requirements in the state of Massachusetts. Many riders believe that if they have motorcycle insurance, they are automatically covered for medical bills and other types of related expenses. However, this isn’t always the case. Unfortunately, many riders are unaware and underinsured. Motorcycles and automobiles have differing types of coverage in this state, so we will examine the unique insurance situation that motorcyclists are in. Don’t let it take an accident or injury to reveal what type of coverage you actually have.
First, let’s check out auto insurance so we can bring to light some common misconceptions in regards to motorcycle insurance. In Massachusetts, anyone who owns an automobile is required to have auto insurance. Massachusetts requires you by law to purchase what is called Compulsory Insurance. Compulsory Insurance coverage includes; Bodily Injury to Others, Personal Injury Protection, Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Automobile and Damage to Someone Else’s Property. This also means every automobile policy provides Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.
In automobile insurance policies, PIP is designed to provide coverage to the driver, any passengers as well as pedestrians, who are hurt or injured in auto accidents. Massachusetts is considered a “no-fault” state and therefore, PIP coverage is “no-fault” coverage. This means even if the driver caused the accident, they are still covered by PIP. The amount of PIP benefits available depends on whether or not the injured party has health insurance. If the injured party has health insurance coverage, PIP benefits will cover the first $2,000 of medical and related expenses and then the private health insurance will kick in. If the injured party doesn’t have health insurance coverage or has insurance coverage by a publicly funded plan (also known as an ERISA plan), PIP benefits will cover up to $8,000 in medical and related expenses. PIP benefits will grant reimbursement within the first two years of the accident for medical bills, and other types of related expenses no matter who is at fault.
Conversely, PIP benefits are NOT available to motorcyclists like they are to other automobile drivers. The harsh reality is that we too often see it taking an accident for our clients to find out that PIP coverage will not be protecting them. The only time PIP benefits are applicable in a motorcycle accident are if a pedestrian was injured, not if an operator or passenger suffered any type of bodily injury. Generally, annual insurance rates for motorcyclists are relatively cheap. This gap in coverage is a huge factor in why motorcycle insurance rates are much less expensive, then other types of insurance. This is a very misleadingly aspect to insurance policy coverage and insurance forms. A mistake or assumption in benefits can easily be made. This is why it is so important to understand your options before getting your bike on the road. Sadly, it’s far too common and easy for a motorcyclist to mistakenly conclude that they have full PIP coverage when that isn’t the case.
Keep in mind, Massachusetts does require Compulsory Liability Insurance for all registered motorcycles. The minimum requirements are $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident for bodily injury to others and $5,000 for property damage for property damage coverage. But, don’t forget that PIP is not available.
What other measures can be taken to get better motorcycle coverage and protection since there’s no PIP involved? This is where Optional Insurance coverage plans can come into play and can be purchased by a motorcycle operator. Some insurance options are Optional Bodily Injury to Others, Bodily Injury Caused by an Underinsured Automobile, Medical Payments (Med Pay), Private Health Insurance Policies and Personal Disability Insurance. Although these benefits may come at a greater monetary cost, they are priceless in the case of severe accidents and injuries.
The most recommended and helpful Optional Insurance Coverage is Medical Payments. According to DMV.org, Med Pay insurance helps cover the medical-related expenses you incur from a motorcycle accident, even if you’re at fault. It doesn’t cover the medical costs to treat injuries to others you caused when riding your cycle; those expenses are covered by motorcycle bodily injury liability insurance. Medical Payments can be purchased in varying amounts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.
Med Pay coverage does cover a variety of out-of-pocket expenses related to personal injury and other medical bills that may not be covered in your health insurance policy, such as:
- Health insurance deductibles.
- Dental care.
- Psychiatric visits.
- Prescription drugs.
- Home nurse care.
- Funeral costs.
Life can change at a moment’s notice especially on the unpredictable roads. It is imperative that motorcycle operators have adequate insurance coverage and are aware of the insurance options available to them. In the event that medical treatment and related expenses are incurred due to the result of a motorcycle accident, appropriate insurance coverage will be very important and understanding the value of having Optional Insurance Coverage can be crucial.
The Team at Schulze Law sincerely hopes you stay safe and enjoy yourself when operating your motorcycle. Unfortunately, we know that regardless of how many precautions you take and the amount of insurance protection you may have, accidents can still occur. If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, the attorneys and staff of Schulze Law will make sure that you receive justice as the injured rider. Marc Schulze is personally invested in protecting you as a motorcyclist, as he is an avid rider himself.
IF YOU RIDE…YOU NEED SCHULZE LAW ON YOUR SIDE!