X. Why Motorcycle Riders Need Large “UIM” Coverages
More and more people are buying motorcycles for recreation. The older riders who tend to buy the big Harleys or other cruise bikes are statistically safer riders than the younger riders who tend to buy the racer inspired sportbikes. But even when you are wearing a helmet, full protective gear, your headlight is on, you are driving defensively, and the collision is not your fault, motorcycle riders or their passengers are likely to have a significant injury in a collision with any other full size vehicle.
So if the car or truck driver is at fault, his/her auto liability insurance will pay for all of the motorcycle rider’s lost wages, medical expenses, physical impairment, disability, disfigurement, pain, mental anguish, future damages, etc., right? The answer is “NO.” But why?
The problem is that the majority of the drivers in Bell County carry only the minimum $25,000 level of auto insurance. This means that the maximum that an injured rider can collect from the guilty driver is $25,000. But the injured rider will be able to at least collect that amount, right? The answer is still “NO.” Why?
Under current Texas law (since 2007), your health plan, hospital or other medical providers (including military or government providers) stand first in line to collect the guilty party’s liability insurance. Even when you are a safe rider, the medical treatment from a collision with a car or truck will probably cost more than the amount of insurance carried by the guilty driver. This means that after your medical providers or insurers are paid first, you and the passenger riding behind you get nothing for your injuries.
The only way to protect yourself, your family, and those who ride behind you is to carry significant UIM coverage (Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage) on your motorcycle. The UIM coverages on your autos DO NOT cover you when you are on your motorcycle. To control this risk to you, your family, and your riders, you must purchase UIM coverage specifically for your motorcycle. Based on the medical bills we regularly see for the survivors of motorcycle/auto collisions, we recommend that you carry at least $100,000 UIM coverage on your motorcycle. This is especially important if you are a primary income producer for your family. Please check your motorcycle coverages today.