The role of underinsured coverage in a motorcycle accident

An underinsured motorist policy can help motorcycle riders pay for medical bills not covered by an at-fault driver’s liability policy after a serious crash.

It is not uncommon to see at least one or two motorcyclists cruising down California roads on any given day. Unfortunately, it is also not uncommon to see an accident involving a biker. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 88,000 people were injured and another 4,976 killed in crashes while on a motorcycle over the course of a single year. With so many motorbike-related accidents taking place, it is no surprise that some bikers end up getting hit by drivers who are underinsured.

Close the gap of minimum liability

According to Geico, California drivers are required to have a minimum of $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage. This coverage is used to pay the medical bills of a person injured in an accident when the covered driver is at fault. If a motorcyclist is hit by a car operator who has the minimum liability coverage, the biker may incur injuries that require more medical attention than is covered by the other driver's insurance. As a driver in an unprotected vehicle, it is not uncommon for motorcyclists to suffer from serious injuries after a collision because so much of their body is exposed to the impact.

An underinsured policy helps close the gap of the medical bills when the at-fault driver does not have enough liability coverage. For example, if a rider ended up needing a six-day hospital stay, multiple surgeries, minor procedures and pain medications after a crash, his or her bill would likely be closer to $200,000. In this case, the injured person would be able to use his or her underinsured motorist policy to help pay for the high medical bills the at-fault driver's insurance was unable to cover.

Give peace of mind

Many motorcyclists are dare devils. They repeatedly go out on the road in two-wheeled vehicles that offer little protection even though they know other drivers could hit them. Even as an adrenaline junkie, however, a rider may be happy to feel protected when he or she is out on the road. An underinsured policy can give bikers a sense of comfort knowing they have extra protection against drivers who do not have the liability coverage necessary to pay for potential medical bills caused by a fender bender.

Whenever motorcycle drivers head out on the road in California, there is the possibility they will be hit by another motorist out on the highways; and there is no way for them to know how much liability coverage the at-fault driver will have. No matter the extent of the injuries sustained in a motorcycle collision, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney who is familiar with this type of personal injury case.