Liability insurance is mandatory for all motorcycle riders in the state of New York. Even if you have an auto insurance policy, you’ll need similar coverage for your bike. However, insurance isn’t just about complying with liability laws. It can also provide damage protection, especially if you’ve invested a lot in your bike.
Here’s what you need to know when looking to purchase motorcycle insurance in NY:
Motorcycle injury coverages include:
Bodily Injury Liability
This coverage pays for injuries you cause to others. In New York, the minimum injury liability limit for riders is 25/50. So, if you cause a single accident, your coverage pays a maximum of $25,000 for one person injured and a maximum of $50,000 for everyone injured. You can increase your limits to avoid coverage gaps. Advantages of having higher bodily injury coverage limits include:
- Your assets or income won’t have to be garnished to pay liability claims against you.
- The coverage pays your defense attorney fees (as much as $50,000 or more) if you’re sued for causing injury by negligence.
You also need sufficient coverage in case someone is killed in a motorcycle accident caused by you. The minimum requirement per accident in New York is:
- $50,000 per fatality
- $100,000 if more than one person dies in an accident
Uninsured Motorist (UM)/ Supplementary Underinsured Motorist (SUM)
Insurers offer uninsured and SUM as a single package. The coverage reimburses you for bodily injury costs when the at-fault driver has no liability insurance or has less liability protection than you.
It can pay for your accident-related losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
These protections work as follows:
- Uninsured motorist: This coverage is activated when the motorist that hit you has no liability coverage or “hits and runs.”
- UM/SUM: Consider a scenario where your medical bill is $45,000, but the at-fault driver has only the minimum coverage for bodily injury liability per person, $25,000. If you had UM/SUM coverage of $50,000, your coverage would reimburse the difference, which is $20,000 (or $45,000-$25,000).
Property Damage When You’re at Fault
Your motorcycle liability insurance includes a property damage component. The coverage can pay for damage you cause to other people’s property in a motorcycle accident. In New York, you should carry at least $10,000 in property damage liability coverage if you own a motorbike.
Damage to Your Own Motorcycle
There are two optional insurance policies you may purchase to cover your motorcycle against damage or loss. These are:
If your motorbike got damaged after crashing into a car or a wall, collision coverage would pay for its repair or replacement. You’d be reimbursed for the property loss, whether you or another motorist is at fault. Having this coverage makes financial sense when you own an expensive motorcycle. In case your valuable bike is totaled after an accident, the required property damage coverage of $10,000 in New York may not be too small.
A comprehensive policy can pay to replace or repair your motorcycle if stolen or damaged in covered events other than auto accidents. These hazards may include flooding, fire, storm, or vandalism. Typically, you need collision insurance to purchase comprehensive coverage.
Accessory Coverage for Motorcycles
Some insurers offer optional accessory coverage for motorcycles to cover high-end customizations like chrome parts.
Different Collision/Comprehensive Coverage Types
The type of collision or comprehensive coverage you purchase determines the dollar amount you can receive in compensation after a total loss. Since most motorcycles are totaled after an accident, you should have a proper sense of the level of loss protection you’re getting with insurance.
Here are the coverage terms worth your attention:
Actual Cash Value
With ACV, you’re paid an amount equivalent to the motorcycle’s worth after accounting for depreciation at the time of the covered incident. The figure is usually less than the asset’s actual replacement cost.
With this policy, you’re covered for a specific preferred amount, which can be less than your motorcycle’s replacement value. While the coverage costs less, it may leave you without enough to buy a new bike after a total loss.
This type of comprehensive and collision coverage is common among high-end motorcycle owners or collectors. The policy lets you and your insurer agree on a specific coverage amount for your asset. This value isn’t subject to depreciation and won’t change in the future. It gives you the assurance that you can replace or rebuild your high-value motorbike if totaled in an accident, even after many years.
Your Options Without Collision Damage Protection
If another motorist is responsible for the damage to your motorcycle, their liability coverage can pay for the repair work. You can file a claim against them if you don’t have collision coverage.
What If My Motorcycle Gets Totaled?
When your bike is totaled after an accident, you’ll receive insurance compensation to replace it. If you wish to keep the totaled bike, you should keep the following in mind:
- You’ll get a salvage title for the totaled bike, lowering its value.
- It may cost you more to insure the salvaged motorcycle. Some insurers may not sell you coverage for such a bike.
- Your insurer will deduct the salvage value of the bike from the compensation amount.
Choosing the Best Motorcycle Coverage Options
As a motorbike owner, you should have a proper grasp of the various protections available with motorcycle insurance coverage in NY. This way, you can assess and meet your coverage needs for maximum protection in the event of a bike accident or theft.
For an in-depth assessment of your motorcycle insurance requirements, contact us at 01 Insurance today. We’re happy to help you get the coverage you need for your bike.