Jun 29, 2022
The risk of injury occurring while operating a motorcycle is fairly higher than other automobile types. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that in 2019 roughly 5014 motorcyclists died in motor vehicle accidents. Based on this statistic and other studies, the ratio of individuals killed on motorcycles is 25.96 for every 100 million miles traveled. For reference, other automobiles have a fatality rate of 1.42 for every 100 million miles traveled.
If you are lucky enough to survive a motorcycle accident, you may have a hefty medical, liability, and damage repair bill to pay. This is especially true for those without motorcycle insurance. However, many individuals don’t insure their motorcycles the way they insure their other vehicles. Why? Well, depending on where you live, it may not be required, and some individuals would instead take the risk than pay another premium.
Is Motorcycle Insurance Required in Florida?
Currently, Florida, New Hampshire, Washington, and Montana are the only states that do not require motorcycle insurance to operate a motorcycle. Nevertheless, there are still legal penalties that uninsured drivers can face when driving through neighboring states if they are caught without insurance. Even though insurance for motorists is not required by Florida law, getting a policy is still an incredibly wise decision.
If an accident occurs, you will still become liable for the expenses following any damage. In the event of a motorcycle accident, there can be hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damages. However, if you have insurance, you can prove your financial responsibility after an accident and get financial assistance for damages.
What does Florida Motorcycle Insurance Coverage?
Motorcycle Insurance is similar to auto insurance, and the coverage you receive is dependent on your policy. Motorists can choose to have collision, comprehensive, liability, or even full coverage on their motorcycle.
Collision: Collision coverage will cover any repair costs that are needed after an accident. Without collision coverage, you will be required to pay the full amount to fix up your bike to new again. Additionally, suppose your bike is totaled in an accident. In that case, collision coverage can provide you with a value-matching check which you can use to purchase a new bike.
Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage is designed to take care of the monetary responsibility of non-accident-related damage. Some examples of these include theft, vandalism, natural disasters, fallen trees, broken mirrors, etc.
Liability: As with auto insurance, liability will cover some of the costs associated with an accident. These coverages will be for any damage that occurs to another person or their property due to your negligence or fault. Additionally, liability often extends from damage repair costs to medical expenses. The exact amount of coverage you receive is based on the specific policy you opt for.
Full Coverage: Full coverage combines collision, comprehensive, and liability. With full coverage, you can guarantee to be covered by your insurance in almost any situation. It is recommended that all auto
and motorcycle owners purchase a complete and full coverage policy to protect themselves from unwanted debt.
Additional Insurance for Those Who Don’t Wear Helmets
In the state of Florida, any individual OVER the age of 21 is not required to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle. However, it is highly advised that everyone wears a helmet. If you get into an accident while not wearing a helmet, your brain damage or death chances are far higher.
When it comes to motorcycle insurance in Florida, any individual that is riding on a motorcycle without a helmet is required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP). It is important to note that even if you already carry PIP insurance for a car, you still must get insured for your motorcycle.
Can I Use Health Insurance as My PIP Requirement?
Yes. If your health insurance coverage provides a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection, then it can count towards your required coverage. However, checking with your healthcare insurance provider is essential because some policies exclude motorcycle-related injury coverage. If your health insurance does not cover motorcycles, you should take that as a sign to wear a helmet because it proves how perilous it can be to ride without headgear.
Differences in Auto Insurance and Motorcycle Insurance
One of the main differences between your standard motorcycle and auto insurance is the risk vs. cost. When you purchase car insurance, you will often notice that your policy includes personal injury coverage by default. However, because the risk of injury on a motorcycle is much higher, many insurance companies do not automatically include PIP in your policy. It is wise to check the fine print of your policy and add additional coverage when needed.
Another way that auto and motorcycle insurance differ from each other is that you can opt for seasonal protection. This type of insurance is known as a “lay-up policy.” Essentially, a lay-up policy refers to coverage that is only applied during the seasons you are using the bike. So, for example, you can choose to be covered in the spring, summer, and early fall while dropping the policy during winter when you cannot ride.
Lastly, when it comes to motorcycle insurance, it will likely cost extra to get a passenger covered. Again, this is because of how accident-prone motorcycles can be. Most insurance companies will make you pay more to have any passenger injuries or potential lawsuits covered in the event of an accident.
How Much is Motorcycle Insurance?
Motorcycle Insurance costs depend on the type of motorcycle you have, how much coverage you wish to have, and your overall driving history. You can expect your motorcycle insurance to range from $70 to $2,000 or more a year.
The type of bike you have can reduce or increase your yearly premium. For example, a standard bike typically has the lowest annual quote, followed by a sports bike. Touring bikes often have the highest yearly rate.
Check out this breakdown of cost based on bike type and insurance company:
Standard Bike Annual Premium:
Sports Bike Annual Premium:
Touring Bike Annual Premium:
You can speak directly to an insurance agent to determine the best coverage for you and your bike. Agents can help you make the right decision for your needs and help ensure that you are not overpaying or underinsured.
Where to Get Motorcycle Insurance in Florida
When purchasing motorcycle insurance in Florida, you have two options. You can choose to get your insurance through a private insurance agency, or you can go through the Florida Motorcyclists’ Safety Association (FMSA).
You must keep the following things in mind if you purchase insurance through a private insurer. First, before you decide, be sure to compare the rates from different companies and shop around. Moreover, it is imperative that you check with the company if the coverage is available in the state of Florida.
Getting insurance from the FMSA requires you to be a member of the organization to qualify for its benefits. A membership to the organization costs $25 per year, including liability coverage of up to $10,000 per accident. Optional coverages can also be added at an additional cost.
What to do in The Event of a Motorcycle Accident
Seeking medical attention is always a priority if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is always a clever idea to be seen by a medical professional. When accidents occur, our bodies naturally fill with adrenaline which can dull the pain of even serious injuries.
Once a doctor clears you, you can begin working on the financial side. If you have an insurance policy, now is the time to file a claim. You can contact your insurance agency directly for help with your claim if you have any questions or concerns. If you do not have insurance or are afraid of potential lawsuits, you should also consider hiring an attorney.
The Bottom Line
Most states require you to carry an insurance policy for all vehicles; Florida is one of the few exceptions to this rule. However, the one requirement that the state of Florida has for motorcyclists is that if you deny the use of a helmet, you must carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection.
Even though the law may not require coverage on your motorcycle, it is highly advised to still get a policy to cover potential accidents. The rate of injuries and accidents occurring when riding a bike is much higher than in a car. Insurance can protect you from a tremendous financial strain that often outweighs the monthly policy payment cost.
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