More motorcycles are registered in California than in any other state. Although riding a motorcycle is an enjoyable experience, being involved in an accident can be life-changing. Following an accident, many motorcycle owners are looking for financial protection through their insurance policies to repair property damage and cover medical expenses. All California motorcyclists are legally required to have motorcycle insurance to operate a bike on the road.
Motorcycle insurance is different from automobile insurance in that it is a separate policy specifically for motorcycles. In other words, if a person is in a motorcycle accident, their regular auto insurance will not cover them. The state of California requires everyone who is operating a motorcycle on public roads to carry liability insurance. Those found to be operating without it will be subject to severe penalties and consequences.
How Much Motorcycle Insurance Do California Drivers Need?
For motorcycles, the minimum coverage requirements are the same as for automobiles, following the 15/30/5 standard. Accordingly, motorcycles must be insured as follows:
- $15,000 for bodily injury to a single person
- $30,000 for bodily injury to all persons involved in the same accident
- $5,000 for property damage resulting from a collision
Riders in California would be wise to ensure they are adequately covered for accidents by purchasing additional coverage well beyond the minimum requirements above. These amounts are only the minimum, and it is easy for accident costs to surpass these coverages. Notably, special consideration should be given to uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). If an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver hits you, this optional coverage can prove to be invaluable.
However, California’s liability coverage requirements for motorcyclists do not cover accident-related expenses incurred by a motorcyclist if they are at fault. As such, motorcyclists are encouraged to carry collision insurance and medical payments coverage in the event of an accident.
How Does Motorcycle Coverage Work in California?
Motorcycle insurance in California can be purchased the same way as car insurance. In some cases, you can get discounts for motorcycle insurance when you bundle it with your car insurance. However, changing insurers may yield lower rates.
The same principles that apply to traditional insurance policies apply to motorcycle coverage. Following an accident, your insurance information will be shared with the other parties involved. When a motorcyclist causes an accident, the motorcyclist’s insurance company will cover the property damage and medical bills of the other party. Otherwise, a motorcyclist’s injuries and damages will be covered by the liability insurance of the driver at fault.
Standard Motorcycle Insurance Policies Do Not Cover Modified Bikes
It is not uncommon for bikers to modify or customize their bikes. Unfortunately, your regular motorcycle insurance will not cover the modifications. This includes value-added accessories, such as aftermarket performance parts or style modifications made after purchase. Adding these optional features can significantly increase the value of your bike, which means you can lose a considerable amount of value if you are involved in an accident. Thankfully, you can buy additional coverage for a modified motorcycle. Note that you may need receipts to verify the value of the modifications with your carrier.
It is essential for motorcyclists, or those considering buying a motorcycle, to ensure they have at least the minimum level of coverage in California. Ideally, they would also be looking into additional coverage to ensure they are protected when an accident occurs. At Younglove Law Group, our California motorcycle accident attorneys can provide you with assistance following an accident.
Call a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Motorcycle accident victims need a law firm that fights for their rights. Younglove Law Group does just that. In fact, Partner Phil Younglove is a motorcyclist himself. We understand the negative stigma attached to motorcycle riders, so we work diligently to ensure you receive a fair settlement for your injuries and losses. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with a California motorcycle accident attorney at Younglove Law Group, call (844) 810-1800 or complete our contact form today.