Essential Coverage In Motorcycle Insurance

In the U.S., most states require you to have motorcycle insurance, and the types of insurance and minimum coverage limits are sometimes referred to as “essential coverage.”

While the specifics will be different in each state (and with each motorcycle insurance company), below is general information about these basic types of insurance coverage!

Liability Insurance
Most states require motorcyclists to carry liability insurance, which covers injuries and property damage that you cause to other people, in an accident that was your fault.

Liability insurance is usually split into three parts:

  • bodily injury liability per person (amount paid for each injured person’s expenses, not your own)
  • bodily injury liability per accident (total amount paid for all bodily injuries you cause in an accident, not your own)
  • property damage liability (covers property damage to other people’s property, not your own)

The minimums for each of the types of liability insurance listed above are typically represented in a format like 25/50/25, which translates to $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.

Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UM/UIM Coverage)
Some states also require motorcyclists to have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This protects you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver or rider who either doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the damages.

No-Fault Insurance
Some states have a no-fault insurance law, which means that each driver or rider’s insurance covers their own injuries and damages, regardless of who’s at fault in an accident. In states that have no-fault insurance laws, motorcyclists may be required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage or Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage.  Both of these types of insurance cover your own medical expenses, regardless of who’s at fault in the accident.

States with no-fault insurance laws include: Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

Collision And Comprehensive Insurance
Collision insurance and comprehensive insurance might not be required by state law, but they’re often required if you’re leasing or financing your motorcycle. And frankly, they really are “essential coverages,” if you want to be compensated if your bike is damaged, totaled, or stolen.

Collision insurance pays for damages to your bike resulting in a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object.

Comprehensive insurance pays for non-collision related damages to your motorcycle, such as theft, vandalism, natural disasters (and damages from a collision with an animal).

Optional Motorcycle Insurance Coverages
In addition to essential coverage, you might want to explore add-on insurance options. Oftentimes, these extra layers of coverage won’t add much to the cost of your motorcycle insurance, and they could pay off bigtime.

Optional types of motorcycle insurance coverage include:

Check With Your Insurance Agent Or Company
Please note that the information provided above is for informational purposes only. For the most accurate, up-to-date, specific information, check with your insurance agent or insurance company.

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In the U.S., 47 out of 50 states require liability motorcycle insurance. Only Florida, Montana, and Washington don’t mandate motorcycle insurance by law.