Arizona state law requires that all motorists carry automotive liability insurance when driving or riding motorcycles in Arizona. Unfortunately, this law does not always work as it is intended, as the minimum coverage drivers are required to carry often does not cover the full cost of an accident, especially in the case of motorcycle accidents. Arizona law requires that motorists carry minimum insurance coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident for personal injuries and $10,000 per accident for property damage. However, in reality, personal injuries and property damage often cost much more than this, especially in motorcycle accidents, where injuries are often more severe and motorcycles are often expensive to repair or replace.
Injuries and Property Damage in Motorcycle Accidents
The legal insurance minimums were set with passenger cars in mind, not motorcycles. Motorcyclists frequently suffer much more severe injuries than passenger car occupants. Due to the lack of protection, even a relatively minor, low-speed accident can cause thousands of dollars in medical bills. More severe accidents can result in traumatic injuries, such as brain and spinal cord injuries, which can require expensive care for years to come. Additionally, motorcycles are expensive and more easily damaged than passenger cars. An accident is much more likely to cause severe damage to the engine and other important parts of the motorcycle and require either thousands of dollars in repairs or complete replacement. When you consider that motorcycles usually cost upwards of $20,000, you can see how the $10,000 minimum for property damage is not sufficient.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
One of the most important ways to protect yourself against underinsured motorists is to add underinsured motorists (UIM) coverage to your motorcycle insurance policy. Unfortunately, many motorcyclists choose to waive this coverage when purchasing their motorcycle insurance. This can be a costly mistake.Underinsured motorist coverage is designed to cover the gap between the responsible driver’s insurance maximums and the actual cost of your accident.
Understanding Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Even if you have underinsured motorist coverage, navigating the insurance process can be difficult. Filing an insurance claim can often result in an increase in your rates, even if you are not at fault. You should contact an Arizona motorcycle attorney to help you deal with the insurance company and ensure that you are treated fairly. Pursuing Action Without Underinsured Motorist Coverage Even if you do not have underinsured motorist coverage, you should still not have to be responsible for the difference between the responsible party’s insurance and the actual cost of your accident. An experienced Arizona motorcycle lawyer can help you pursue legal action against the responsible party, if necessary.