Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I don't want you to get screwed over (Part IV of Getting Real Serious Now)

Local temperatures lately have been in the 50s & low 60s, which is real unusual for Northern New York, but I'll take it. I even smelled a dead skunk this morning! We still have to get through the month of March, but these are sure signs that Spring and the 2017 Riding Season is just around the corner!

So, along with checking your smoke detector batteries at the "Spring Forward" time change and renewing your NY Registration (all are automatically renewed in April), it's a good plan to haul out your motorcycle insurance policy for a thorough review.

(I'll just remind everyone that I'm not an insurance agent or broker, nor am I an attorney of any type. I'm just someone who has seen a few things while working at FX Caprara Harley-Davidson.)

Part I went over how Motorcycles are considered
recreational vehicles, and the insurance coverage a motorcyclist is required to carry doesn't protect the rider at all. Add to the fact that 75% of the drivers out there have the minimum insurance under the law - which in NYS is $25K per person, $50K per accident. No where near enough!

Part II talked about how insurance companies want to save you money now.... which might mean not paying out later because you don't have the correct coverage.

In Part III we discussed planning ahead - not just for you but also for your spouse (if s/he rides their own) in the event they have a motorcycle accident. 

Now I'll talk about the coverage you should strongly consider having:

  • New York is a "no-fault" state, meaning car
    owners have to have personal injury protection (PIP) and are limited on how they can sue someone after an accident. BUT these "no-fault" rules do not apply to motorcyclists!! We are not required to carry PIP, nor are we limited when it comes to lawsuits.
  • You have a nice house, a couple of cars that are relatively new (under 10 years), maybe an ATV and/or ride on lawn mower - in other words you're not rich but you're financially better off than some. Consider increasing your liability limits since this will protect you if you are found to be at fault for causing the accident.
  • Optional Coverage: Bodily Injury and Property Damage (BIPD). Did you run your motorcycle through someones manicured backyard? Took out a guard rail? This coverage will help pay back the home owner or county/state.
  • Optional Coverage: Medical Payments Coverage.
    You might be thinking, "I have my own medical insurance, so I'll be fine." (I'm guilty of that!) But if your medical insurance has deductibles, then you'll be paying for those out of pocket. Say you have to go to physical therapy, three times a week at $40 copay per visit - that's $480 per month! This coverage will come in handy.
  • Optional Coverage: Comprehensive and Collision.
    If you're bike is still owned by a lending institution, you probably have this coverage already because they insisted on it. It pays for motorcycle repair or replacement in an accident, and covers you in case your bike is stolen or a victim of vandalism. If you own your bike outright and don't have enough money to get another one should something happen to yours, you might want this coverage.
  • Optional Coverage: Uninsured/Under-insured. This
    is the "biggy" - this is what will protect you when Nathan No-Look decides to turn left in front of you, you can't stop in time, and run into Nathan's car. Nathan is clearly at fault but his policy is only for the bare minimum = $25K. Your Life Flight will cost about $13K+, and that's just the beginning. Because you have under-insured motorist at $100K, your policy will now cover
    the difference (meaning up to $75K). 
These are not all the optional coverages you can get on your policy, just the major and most important ones. Again, these recommendations are just for those of us that live in the Empire State (aka NY). If you're not here, then be sure to check your own state for their requirements and optional coverage.

Ride on over to Part V