I have a cautionary tale to share with you about motorcycle insurance in Colorado.

We are working for a motorcycle rider who was driving south on a busy Colorado road at night. A car came out of a side street on the east side of the road and made a left-hand turn, crossing all the northbound lanes. The car hit our client, trapping his leg between the car and the bike. His leg was nearly amputated.

Since the accident, this motorcyclist has had nine surgeries and is facing over $1.5 million in bills.

Our client only had $25,000 in motorcycle insurance and the auto driver only had $25,000. Not only is this poor guy facing huge medical bills, but his career is over and he’s facing an entirely new way of life. And all we can get for him is $50,000.

If you own your home, you need to add an umbrella policy to your homeowner’s insurance.

I cannot stress enough that anyone who owns a motorcycle should purchase the absolute maximum they can afford in insurance. At a minimum, you should have $250,000 in Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage as part of your motorcycle insurance.

Additionally, if you own your home, you need to add an umbrella policy to your homeowner’s insurance that covers UIM for your motorcycle. Get the most coverage that you can get but, at a minimum, you should get $1 million in coverage.

Do you really want to trust other drivers to carry enough insurance to cover your medical bills if they hit you?

Here’s another case we’ve had and this one has a brighter ending…

This motorcyclist was traveling south on Santa Fe Boulevard when a car hit him by making a left-hand turn similar to the one I described above. The impact literally broke every bone in the motorcyclist’s body. Even his face looks completely different.

Luckily, the driver of the car had $2,250,000 of coverage and our client had $100,000 in UIM. He should not face financial ruin due to someone else’s negligence. But he got lucky that he was hit by the right person!

Do you really want to trust other drivers to carry enough insurance to cover your medical bills if they hit you?

Why You Need Underinsured Motorist Coverage

health insurance

Too often, people don’t buy UIM because they think their health insurance is enough. But that’s not true. First, think of your health insurance deductibles and co-pays. In some severe cases, those expenses alone are enough to stress a person’s finances. Second, health insurance doesn’t cover everything that UIM covers.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance covers:

  • Lost wages
  • Future medical expenses
  • Any damage arising from the accident (with the exception of property damage)
  • All economic and noneconomic loss, which includes pain and suffering

Health insurance and UIM insurance are completely different. To learn more about this topic, download my free book here.

UIM Is Different From Liability, Collision, Comprehensive and MedPay Insurance

Liability Coverage

Liability insurance covers damages to another person resulting from an accident that you cause. If you cause an accident, liability coverage will help you pay for damage to another person’s property or for costs associated with their injuries. (Your liability coverage doesn’t pay for any of your expenses related to any accident ever. It pays for damage and injuries that you cause.)

Collision Coverage

Collision Insurance helps repair your motorcycle

Collision car insurance protects your motorcycle when it is involved in a crash with another vehicle or a stationary object. Most motorcycle crashes and accidents fall under this kind of insurance policy. The types of damages include crashing into another vehicle, another vehicle colliding with your bike, or ramming into a streetlight, pole, or some other stationary object. It will cover the cost of repairs or replacements to your own motorcycle (liability coverage takes care of damages to other people’s property). [But remember: this coverage will not pay for any medical bills you incur.]

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive car insurance doesn’t give you complete coverage, contrary to what its name might indicate. Comprehensive car insurance just covers damages to your vehicle not caused by a collision, and you might be surprised by how much this can encompass. Comprehensive coverage generally falls under “acts of God or nature”, that are typically out of your control when riding – a spooked deer, a heavy hailstorm, a bike theft, etc.

MedPay

Medical Payment Coverage, also called MedPay, is a premium that your insurance company must offer you. In fact, in order to forfeit the coverage, you must sign a waiver. The value of the coverage can range from $5,000 to $25,000.

Your MedPay coverage can be used to pay for first responders, such as ambulance companies. It also covers emergency room bills or any other medical bills related to your injury as a result of your car accident, whether or not you were at fault. (Liability coverage only helps if you were at fault.) MedPay can cover co-pays, deductibles, doctor visits and therapeutic treatments such as chiropractors, massage therapy and physical therapy. In essence, it may cover a lot of things that your health insurance may not! But, you can’t buy enough MedPay to cover your bills from a traumatic injury, so you still need UIM.

Call Your Motorcycle Insurance Agent Today

I want you to take action today. Literally, today. Call your motorcycle insurance agent and ask him/her the following questions:

  • Do I have Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
  • Do I have Medical Payments Coverage?

If the answer to either of those is, “No,” tell him/her to add it today. Sadly, your agent may tell you that you don’t need this coverage but you need to insist on it. Insurance agents aren’t bad or dumb people, but I often (very often) hear that they tell their clients not to purchase UIM or MedPay and it makes no sense. I sincerely believe that they don’t understand the interplay between your health insurance and your auto or motorcycle insurance.

A good friend of mine recently called her agent to add UIM and he told her she didn’t need it. This is typical, except that this agent was her good friend! He truly didn’t know why she would absolutely need UIM in the event of an accident. He said, “Do you have good health insurance? Well, then you don’t need UIM.” False. (Re-read the section of this article about the many things that health insurance won’t cover.)

In a nutshell:

  • You should have a minimum of $250,000 in UIM included in your motorcycle insurance.
  • If you own your home, add an umbrella policy of $1 million for UIM on your motorcycle.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact me today.


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Colorado Motorcycle Laws You Might Not Know — Even seasoned drivers forget Colorado’s driving laws because our actions become second-nature. Maybe you need a little refresher in Colorado motorcycle laws.