What Insurance Must Motorcycle Riders Carry in Georgia?
You are ready for the open road on just two wheels. You have the gear, the perfect bike, but what about insurance?
All states have minimum insurance requirements for motorcycles, and just like vehicles, you can receive a citation if you fail to meet those minimums.
Motorcycle insurance is vital in the event of an accident. It might be your only means of financial security if you are involved in a serious accident and need money for medical costs, lost wages, and more. Therefore, this legal and economic necessity is something that no motorcycle rider should shrug off.The Motorcycle Insurance Requirements for Alpharetta Residents
In Georgia, you have mandatory minimums required for motorcycle insurance. These include:
- A minimum of $25,000 for bodily injury or fatality of a person in a motorcycle accident
- Minimum of $50,000 for bodily harm of at least two people in a motorcycle accident
- Minimum of $25,000 for property damage from a motorcycle accident
While these are the state-required levels of insurance, these should not be your personal minimums. $25,000 is hardly enough for the catastrophic medical costs associated with even a minor motorcycle collision.
Also, as a rider, you are required to carry your proof of insurance on your bike always.Your Financial Responsibility as a Rider
Georgia is an at-fault state; therefore, if you are found at-fault for causing an accident, then you are personally responsible for paying for the damages. If you have the minimum policy limits on your motorcycle insurance, you would be required to pay from your bank accounts and assets the remaining balances.
You are also required to establish financial responsibility for your motorcycle. Therefore, you would be required to be able to cover the cost of the accident involving your bike. Ways you can do this include:
- Purchasing motorcycle insurance
- Buying traditional liability insurance from your motor vehicle insurance company
- Using a self-insured program
There are penalties for not having motorcycle insurance in the state of Georgia. These penalties include:
- Up to six months of a motorcycle registration suspension
- A $25 fee and registration reinstatement fee of as much as $160
- Potential misdemeanor charges if you ride your motorcycle without paying your fees and without registering the motorcycle
Most riders do not understand the heavy financial burden that comes with a motorcycle accident until it happens to them. By then, it is too late to change insurance policies and receive the compensation necessary to pay for these compounding costs. A motorcycle rider needs to be aware of the potential costs from an accident, and realize that even if they do not cause an accident, the other driver may not have insurance or may leave the scene – making the rider rely solely on his or her own insurance policy.
Motorcycle insurance protects riders and their passengers. Not only will it replace or repair the bike, but it covers other vital expenses after an accident.
Here are just some reasons to reconsider upping your policy from the mandatory minimums:
- Medical Costs Are on the Rise – Your medical bills for a motorcycle accident will be much higher than your average passenger vehicle accident. Think about riding a bike and how every part of your body is exposed to the road, debris, and other vehicles. Often, an accident at even minor speeds can lead to multiple lacerations, broken bones, brain trauma, and even spinal cord damage. The medical costs will quickly exceed any mandatory minimum – sometimes after just a single day of medical care.
- Motorcycles Are Expensive – Motorcycles range from $5,000 to $10,000 for a basic bike, but some higher-end motorcycles can cost over $20,000. When you have the minimums, you might not have enough to cover your expensive bike, especially if it is totaled in the accident.
- Medical Costs for Passengers Too – If you like to ride your motorcycle with a passenger in tow, then you must review your policy carefully. While you are required to have $50,000 for up to two people, realize that if both of you are seriously injured, that $50,000 split between two victims goes quickly – leaving you paying for medical costs with health insurance or out of your pocket.
- You Might Be at Fault for an Accident – If you are at-fault for the motorcycle accident, you need collision coverage to cover the costs of the other vehicle you collide with.
Not all drivers on the road have motor vehicle insurance, and many will carry the state minimums, which are hardly enough to cover your losses. Therefore, you should also consider adding underinsured or uninsured motorist protection to your insurance policy. Uninsured and underinsured policies will protect you in the event the at-fault party does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, or they have no insurance. Also, if the driver leaves the scene, your uninsured motorist coverage can cover your medical costs, lost wages, and more – while you wait for the police to find that driver who caused your accident.Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Speak With an Attorney
Motorcycle accidents are devastating. Most victims will suffer from serious injuries, some of which are life-threatening and leave them permanently disabled.
If you have been seriously Injured in a motorcycle accident, report the incident to your insurance company. Then, contact an attorney from Van Sant Law. Our Georgia team is here to help you receive compensation for your injuries but also work with insurance companies so that you get the most out of your insurance policy.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to get started.