In the course of representing motorcyclists injured in traffic accidents, I have found that bikers tend to carry very little motorcycle insurance. The reasoning employed by many bikers in choosing to purchase low levels of insurance is based on their belief that, in a crash with a car or truck, they are likely to inflict little damage on the other party.
Failure to maintain high levels of liability insurance often harms the biker since an underinsured biker tends to carry inadequate amounts of uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, a standard part of all motor vehicle liability policies. UM coverage provides a source of recovery if the at-fault driver of the other vehicle is either uninsured, has very low limits of liability insurance (quite common, unfortunately), or the accident is a hit-and-run and the other driver is never identified. The biker’s own UM coverage steps in the shoes of the other party to compensate the biker for his or her damages (medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, etc). However, most insurance companies do not permit one to have UM limits that are higher than one’s personal injury liability limits. Since motorcyclists tend to have more serious injuries than car drivers, it is that much more important for bikers to carry high limits of UM insurance.
Other important reasons for motorcyclists to carry high limits of liability insurance include that it is the socially responsible thing to do and it also protects their assets in case the motorcyclist is deemed to be partially or wholly at fault for causing injury to a motorist, passenger, bicyclist, pedestrian or other person. A motorcycle can cause very serious injuries or death even to occupants of a much larger vehicle by not only colliding with the vehicle, but also causing the vehicle to collide with other cars, trucks, bicyclists or pedestrians.