There are many ins and outs when dealing with motorcycle insurance coverage. Attorneys Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough of Mazow McCullough law offices discuss what motorcyclists need to know to stay fully insured. Listen or read more to find out what you need to know.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough of the law office of Mazow McCullough, a personal injury law firm with offices in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Today we’re talking about motorcycle accidents and insurance coverage. Rob and Kevin, welcome.
Robert Mazow: Thank you.
Kevin McCullough: Thank you, John.
John: How is insurance coverage different in a motorcycle accident versus a car accident?
Kevin: John, the coverages that come into play for a motorcycle collision or incident or injury can be much different than the coverages that come into play for a car accident. Just like when you’re insuring your motor vehicle, you want to sit down with your insurance agent and go over the different potential scenarios to make sure that you have the proper coverage in place. You certainly want to do that with a motorcycle.
And the reason why it’s so important to do that with a motorcycle is, here in Massachusetts, when you insure your car, you are required to have a certain line of coverage to have your car lawfully on the road. And that coverage is called personal injury protection benefits. Those benefits will protect you if you’re injured in a car accident and provide some coverage to you for medical bills and lost wages. But, that personal injury protection coverage is just not available to you as a motorcyclist. Whether you want it or not, you just can’t get it.
When you are an owner of a motorcycle and you go to insure the motorcycle, step one, you want to make sure you get the right coverage and you let your insurance agent know that. And what we suggest or recommend to our clients who operate or drive motorcycles is to be sure to get what’s called medical payments coverage. And that will protect you as a motorcyclist if you’re injured in a motorcycle collision, whether it’s with a motor vehicle or some other object. It’s a layer of coverage that’s there for you to provide coverage to you for medical bills or medical treatment.
And, oftentimes, clients may not know that unless they’re involved in an incident or a collision and they start to have medical bills adding up and they’re just not sure what to do, and they assumed that certain coverage was in place. So, we have health insurance requirements and even if you have health insurance, it’s great to have a benefit of protection to pay for medical bills and treatment. But, here in Massachusetts it’s heavily regulated and you’re obligated to have medical bills from a car accident processed a certain way. And just like with a motorcycle, you’re obligated to have medical bills processed a certain way.
Those coverages — and how they interplay with each other — can be tricky and you want to make sure you start to answer those questions before there’s an incident.
Motorcycle vs. Auto Insurance in an Accident
John: Okay. And then how does the motorcyclists own insurance and the car driver’s insurance, if there’s an accident between them come into play in the relationship between those two different insurance companies?
Robert: Well, I think to answer that question, let’s assume that the motorcycle was not at-fault for the crash . . . that it was the fault of the car. Let’s say it struck the motorcyclist. Kevin said there’s no personal injury protection available to the motorcyclist, so the motorcyclist’s medical bills have to be taken care of, hopefully by their own health insurance. The insurance of the vehicle that struck them would be responsible for compensation for pain and suffering and loss of future earning capacity — the sort of special damages that we see in those instances.
Now, just to drill down a little bit about what Kevin said. Sometimes a motorcyclist might be struck by a vehicle that doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to cover for what could be a very substantial injury or a death. Among the other coverages that would be important for motorcyclists to have would be a high option of bodily injury coverage, which would allow them to have a high under insurance motorist coverage, which would provide an extra layer of protection if the vehicle that strikes them does not have enough insurance coverage.
John: Okay. That’s all really great information Rob and Kevin thanks again for speaking with me today.
Kevin: Thank you, John.
Robert: Thanks, John.
John: And for more information on personal injury cases and motorcycle accidents, visit the firm’s website at helpinginjured.com or call 855-693-9084.