Posted on November 1, 2022 at 7:00 PM by The Biker Lawyers
The number one mistake most Bikers make has to do with insurance.
Riders often make the mistake of not having enough or the right type of insurance.
How Much is Enough Insurance?
How the hell did this happen?
We all know who loses when a car and motorcycle collide.
The physics are simple.
Some dumbass pulled out in front of you with his car, and now not only is your body all busted up, but you find yourself considering bankruptcy.
You could be out of work for months (or longer) and you have no idea how to pay your bills. You’re worried that you won’t be able to afford food or rent, let alone the medical bills that keep piling up.
The bills... who pays the bills and other damages when another driver causes a crash with a biker?
Not only does the biker’s body get all busted up, but his finances are destroyed. The medical bills many times are more than $100,000.
The biker may have no current income thanks to the wreck and no idea when to expect money to come in. The only thing that does keep coming in is the bills. There are payments to be made, but no money to make them.
Who can afford to miss a paycheck, much less a year of paychecks?
What's worse, creditors will start breathing down the biker’s neck, and the walls will feel like they are closing in. No wonder the rider thinks bankruptcy may be the only option. But is it? And even if it is an option, is it the right option?
It was all the other guy's fault, but he only has the state minimum liability insurance. Most bikers believe they have “full coverage," so they should be good to go. Usually, the coverage turns out to be anything but “full.”
This financial disaster scenario could be any biker unless the right steps are taken before a crash to protect the biker and his/her family.
The way to do it is uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage.
Isn't the State Minimum Liability Coverage Enough?
No, unfortunately, the State required minimum simply isn't enough.
The guy that hit the biker is responsible, but most drivers don’t have enough liability insurance – one in ten drivers has no insurance at all. That means that bikers better take care of themselves and their families by making sure there is plenty of UM and UIM coverage well before they need it.
What is Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) Motorist Coverage?
UM/UIM provides protection if another driver's insurance doesn't cover all of your expenses after an accident involving their vehicle (underinsured) or if they have no insurance at all (uninsured).
Underinsured accidents are more common than you'd think. The State minimum insurance is almost never enough to protect you. To ensure motorcyclists are protected, it's important to understand and have underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage.
When you get in a crash, if somebody hits you and causes damages that are more than their liability insurance, it is highly unlikely you will ever recover fully for your losses. If you have UIM, however, your coverage kicks in to pay for the losses up to your UIM policy limits.
If you're involved in an accident with an underinsured driver, then their insurance company won't pay more than their policy limit either - leaving everyone involved with a serious financial burden.
For example, if the other driver has a $100,000 liability policy and your damages and losses are $250,000, the other driver’s insurance is only going to pay the $100,000. That leaves you holding the bag unless you have a strong UIM policy.
In this example, if the biker had a $100,000 UIM policy, the biker would recover a total of $200,000. This, however, still leaves the biker on the short end of the stick.
The best way to protect yourself is by purchasing UM/UIM coverage.
How Much Insurance Coverage Do I Really Need?
If the biker doesn’t have enough UM/UIM insurance in a situation like this, it may be time to file bankruptcy and say ‘goodbye’ to so many things the biker worked hard for all his life.
Is $100,000 of UM/UIM Enough?
There is no correct answer to the "how much insurance is enough" question, but we've seen far too many situations in which $100,000 of UM/UIM coverage wasn’t nearly enough.
The difference in cost to the insured to have $250,000 in UM/UIM is minimal.
The benefit of having at least $250,000 can't be overstated.
Why? It may be the difference between bankruptcy and being able to weather the financial storm after a serious motorcycle crash.
Is Full Coverage with Additional UM/UIM Coverage all I need?
The biker can gain even more protection by buying an “umbrella” insurance policy that specifically also covers UM/UIM. An umbrella policy (usually $1M or $2M) is an excess policy that kicks in if the other driver’s insurance and the biker’s UIM aren’t enough.
Why Should I Consider Personal Umbrella Coverage?
Umbrella insurance is super-cheap and will cushion the extreme economic losses when a serious wreck happens.
As bikers, we may not be able to avoid being involved in a crash, but we can keep a crash from driving us into bankruptcy or extreme financial hardship.
Ask an insurance agent how much it would cost to buy more UM/UIM coverage and umbrella coverage. My bet is that most bikers will be shocked at the low cost of protecting themselves and their families.
Why would a Personal Injury Law Firm That Fights Insurance Companies for a Living Encourage Me to Get More Insurance?
First of all, it's important to know that our firm has earned a reputation for speaking truth to power. For fighting for those who need us most.
There's a reason our slogan is "We ride with you," and our motto is "Injured? Ride with us."
So why do we write articles like this one?
We do it because most insurance companies aren't what most people think they are. Most people think they have to accept whatever settlement offer an insurance company puts out there, and accept it on blind faith.
We want you to be insured and protected, so you will receive full reimbursement for your losses and damages.
Playing "The Insurance Game"
We've all had it happen. You go to the doctor and they tell you that they want to do a specific procedure, but first, you have to "play the insurance game" and try a bunch of other things.
Ever wonder why they do that?
Don’t. Trust. Big. Insurance.
I’ve often told people if insurance companies did their job correctly, I’d have to do something else for a living. It’s sad but true.
This goes far beyond car insurance. It goes beyond hiring a personal injury lawyer. The reason our law firm exists is that big insurance companies keep screwing over the public so the public needs help to deal with personal injury cases.
Free From Care...
Insurance. Supposed to have your back when you need it most, right?
You'd think so. Ironically, the word insurance comes from the Latin word Securus, "free from care."
Insurance. The word brings about feelings of safety, a sense of comfort and security in the idea that you’ll be taken care of (or your family will be) should the worst occur.
If only that were true.
The sad reality of insurance is that it exists because America doesn’t believe in collective responsibility to ensure safety nets for citizens.
Instead of our tax dollars creating the help we deserve (and isn’t that the point of paying taxes?), we've privatized our safety nets and priced them accordingly.
Your risk level depends on how much you can pay in, not how much you’ll need to be paid out.
What level of protection can you afford? The answer should concern you.
Privatized Insurance- Insurance for Profit
The point of privatized insurance is to make a profit, not to provide the best protection. I want that to be clear.
Big insurance does not exist to protect you. They exist to profit from you while giving you the lowest payout they are required to, should you happen to be injured in a way that they’re forced to cover.
When was the last time your insurance company volunteered to cover anything outside of their very specific guidelines? They don’t care about covering anything outside the bare bones, let alone your extended medical expenses.
After the Crash
What happens after a crash? You call your insurance company, right? They send an adjuster to assess the situation, or may even ask you to send evidence such as pictures from the scene, the police report, etc.
Then, they make an offer. Here’s the thing about that first offer from an insurance company after a crash: It’s their lowball offer. Most people don't even realize it is an offer. They think it's their only option, and a fair one, even if it doesn't cover everything they'll need to recover.
That first offer is meant to be accepted by people who have been trained all their lives to believe insurance companies will take care of them.
Perhaps you have your doubts. Maybe you don’t think they’ve trained you to believe in them.
If “Like a good neighbor” is a tagline you automatically finish in your head just from reading this sentence, that should concern you.
That is how ingrained insurance companies' multi-million dollar marketing efforts are in your mind already.
If they’re such good neighbors, why would they charge you for the help? And why would they give you the least amount of money possible to make your claim go away?
In my younger years, I’ve been stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire twice. Each time, a stranger stopped, helped me change the tire, wished me luck, and went on their way.
Once, I was stranded with an empty gas tank and a stranger ran to the gas station, paid for it out of their own pocket, and returned to help me, refusing any form of money in exchange.
That’s a good neighbor.
That isn’t what insurance companies are doing.
The first offer you get from an insurance company is insulting if you know what to look for. Of course, knowing what to look for requires expertise, and who has the time?
That’s what we do all day, every day.
If you’re in a crash, call us.
Don’t take that first offer. See it for the insult that it is, and call us to get the money that the insurance company should’ve given you in the first place.
The consultation is free; if we don’t think we can help you, we’ll let you know why.
If we think your insurance company made you the right offer, we’ll tell you that for free, and we won’t take a dime.
Because we’re The Biker Lawyers.
We love stepping into the ring against big insurance. It’s why we wake up every morning.
So call us if you need us and tell your community to do the same.
Our message remains simple: Don’t. Trust. Big. Insurance. If the biker doesn't have enough UM/UIM insurance, they may have to file for bankruptcy and give up many of the things they've worked hard for.
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