The law is the law. You must follow it, or else you will face consequences. Among most states' codes are requirements for most or all drivers to carry car insurance. The same goes for motorcycle riders. If you operate a motorcycle, you'll probably have to carry insurance on the bike. What might happen if you fail to do so?
Motorcycle insurance protects not only the policyholder and their bike, but also others. It helps states create a degree of consumer protection for motorists. Don't hesitate to get insurance. You'll likely need it from the time you drive off the lot.
Why States Require Motorcycle Insurance
When you ride your motorcycle, you put yourself in a risky position. Even for safe bikers, the risks of accidents, injuries and property losses still exist. They could happen at any moment. They could even happen when you are not even using the bike.
Whatever the cause of the accident, the results might be the same. Picking up the pieces will likely cost money, and no one wants to face unaffordable losses.
Motorcycle insurance is a financial contract. If you have a mishap involving your bike, then the bike and other parties might sustain costly losses. Your policy can help you cover some or all the costs related to your losses.
Common Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
Your own solvency is not the only reason you need to carry motorcycle insurance.
When you ride your bike, you'll also pose risks to others. Thus, if your actions harm them, you might have to pay for that party's losses. Your insurance policy can help you do so.
Paying for someone else's losses might prove helpful to them. However, it is also a cost to you. That's why most states require bikers to carry motorcycle liability insurance. This coverage can help you repay a third party for their losses if the accident was deemed your fault.
Most states are at-fault states. This means they assign fault for accidents to those judged responsible for causing the crash. The at-fault party likely must pay for some, or all, of the losses others sustain. However, a few states — the no-fault states — do not assign fault. Their insurance requirements and driver responsibilities will often vary from those of at-fault states.v
The most common insurance requirements are:
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage to pay for someone's injuries.
- Property Damage Liability Coverage to pay for someone's property losses. Fox example, you can pay for damage to their vehicle.
Some states also require drivers to carry other coverage, such as:
- Uninsured or Underinsured Insurance: This coverage pays for damage to your own vehicle if another driver, without appropriate liability coverage, hits you. You won't have to rely on them alone to cover your costs.
- Personal Injury Protection: This coverage can help you and your passengers cover your medical bills following an accident.
Speak to your Auto Insurance Discounters agent about the coverage you need to carry on your policy. Most states require minimum levels of coverage. Remember, you can usually increase the required coverage to make it a better fit for your cost risks.
What Happens If You Drive Without A Policy?
So, now you can see why it is important that you carry motorcycle insurance. If you fail to drive with a policy, you will likely face legal consequences.
This is particularly pertinent when dealing with a policy lapse. Policies might lapse because:
- You never carried coverage to begin with.
- You did not pay your insurance premiums.
- You experienced an accident, driving charge or other at-fault mishap — and your insurance dropped coverage.
- Your policy expired because its term ended.
Thus, you need to carry coverage from the time you buy your motorcycle. Keep in regular touch with your Auto Insurance Discounters agent to determine if you need to make changes to maintain the right coverage.
What Are The Potential Penalties?
If you drive without motorcycle insurance, a variety of penalties might result. These can include:
- Tickets, fines and court appearances
- Traffic school requirements
- License suspensions or revocations
- Points on your driver's license
- Arrest, detention or probation
Furthermore, you might also have to get an SR-22 form. These penalties require you to carry motorcycle insurance for a certain number of years. The policy works as follows:
- You first secure a motorcycle policy. Some carriers do not insure SR-22 carriers, however. Auto Insurance Discounters can help you locate one who does.
- You get the SR-22 form from the insurer and then send it to your state's authorities.
- The authorities will then maintain the form until it expires.
Keep in mind that if you let your insurance lapse during the time you have an SR-22 in place, you'll likely face penalties. The penalty might also start over from the get-go. Also, if you commit further offenses during the SR-22 period, then you might have to restart the penalty.
Driving without coverage increases your insurance risk. Thus, you'll likely pay higher insurance premiums when you do get a policy. It is always best that you don't drive until you do have coverage in place.