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Minnesota Motorcycle Accident Insurance: What You Need to Know

Matthew E. Steinbrink - SiebenCarey "Know Your Rights" AttorneyNovember 30, 2015

Minnesota Motorcycle Accident Insurance: What You Need to Know

There are a number of stark differences between motorcycle accident insurance and car accident insurance in Minnesota. What most folks don’t realize until it's too late is that their motorcycle policy may not protect them if they are injured while riding.

Here are a few things to look at and review when renewing your motorcycle accident insurance policy.

1. Your car insurance policy will not, in most cases, provide any coverage for a motorcycle accident injury. In most instances, if you are injured on a motorcycle, you WILL NOT be able to utilize any coverages that you may have under your car accident insurance policy. There are a few very limited exceptions to this, but for the most part, you will be limited to the coverage you purchased on your motorcycle.

2. A motorcycle accident policy most likely will not provide coverage for your medical bills or wage loss if you are injured on your motorcycle. Every car insurance policy in Minnesota must contain No-Fault benefits that provide at least $20,000 in medical and disability coverage. A motorcycle policy is NOT required to provide any medical or disability coverage. However, the coverage can be purchased. Be sure to ask your insurance agent or broker about medical and disability coverage for your motorcycle.

3. Carefully review the limits of your motorcycle accident policy. Two coverages that are often purchased by riders are uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM). While purchasing this coverage is an excellent way to protect yourself, unless you understand what it is you are purchasing, and how most policies operate in Minnesota, you may be throwing your money away.

UM and UIM coverages come into play if an at-fault driver of another vehicle causes a motorcycle crash and does not carry either any insurance, or not enough insurance. For example, if a fault driver causes a motorcycle injury and carries no insurance, you can look go to the UM portion of your policy to cover your losses. Likewise, had that same driver carried $30,000 in liability coverage on their vehicle, but caused $100,000 in damages, you can look to your UIM motorcycle policy for additional protection.

Here’s where it gets tricky. Most car accident policies allow for UIM coverage above and beyond what the at-fault driver’s insurance provides. Using the example above ($30,000 liability coverage/$100,000 damages), if you were injured while using your car, and carried UIM coverage of $25,000, you would collect the $30,000 in liability coverage AND the $25,000 in UIM coverage giving you at least $55,000 of coverage. Again, using this same example, but you are injured riding your motorcycle, under most motorcycle accident policies, you would only collect the $30,000 in liability coverage and you WOULD NOT be entitled to an additional $25,000 in UIM coverage. This is because the insurance companies are allowed to write motorcycle accident policies in this manner.

To illustrate further, had that same motorcycle rider purchased $100,000 in UIM coverage he or she would likely have been able to secure the $30,000 in liability coverage, plus another $70,000 from their UIM coverage, e.g. $100,000 in damages, less $30,000 paid by fault driver, and $70,000 from the rider’s $100,000 UIM coverage ($70,000 representing the difference between what the fault driver already paid and the available UIM motorcycle coverage).

Remember to review all of your insurance policies annually and make sure you understand what protections you have purchased.

If you or a loved one are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to consult with an experienced Know Your Rights personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Call or submit your case inquiry online 24/7. We're here to help.

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