If you have a motorcycle accident and you caused the accident, then it will be in your best interest to you use existing health insurance to pay your bills. If, however, another person was responsible for the accident, you should feel free to use their liability coverage to pay for your medical costs.
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Even if you have personal injury protection (PIP), if you cause an accident you should not use it unless you don’t have health insurance of your own. Curious as to why?
Read on and discover the answer to that question, as well as learn how to protect yourself while you are driving to prevent accidents and when accident occurs, and the importance of maintaining your motorcycle insurance at all time.
Why You Should Use Your Health Insurance if You Cause an Accident
While causing an accident isn’t going to be on your to do list, it is unfortunate that this happens from time to time. About 80% of accidents involving a motorcycle require medical attention, which can become very costly quickly. Many people in this position make the mistake of using their personal injury protection (PIP) to pay for their medical bills. You shouldn’t do this, however, for one simple reason: it increases your overall claim.
You may initially be thinking that this isn’t a big deal. You’ve already been deemed at fault in the accident and your insurance is going to be paying up anyway. Yes, the insurance is going to raise your rates because you caused an accident, but it isn’t going to stop there.
The more money they have to pay out in claims, the more expensive your premiums are going to be. If you add medical costs to your claim total, you could see massive increase in your premiums.
Again, you might be thinking that you are going to give up motorcycles altogether after an accident, especially if it’s a serious one. The problem with that line of thinking is that your rates will be affected no matter what you drive.
For the next three years, your insurance premiums are going to be higher than you have ever paid before. While auto insurance may not be as expensive as your motorcycle insurance, (depending on what type of motorcycle you drive), your insurance company is going to base your new rates on what you are driving as well as your driving record; including all previous claims.
It is simply in your best interest to reduce the obligation of your insurance company as much as possible to reduce future hikes in your premiums. Your health insurance should cover all of the costs associated with your auto accident.
NOTE: In rare cases, your health insurance company may have an addendum on your policy that it will not cover your auto accident costs. In this case, if you need medical care, you may have no choice but to use your auto insurance to cover your costs.
Another reason that you will want to avoid using your motorcycle insurance coverage to pay for medical bills is that it often takes several months for them to pay. It isn’t that they are dragging their feet. Most hospitals will bill you first and then continue to bill you even after they send a bill to the insurance company. The insurance company needs to associate the bill with the right account, get approval and so on before they pay our bill. In the meantime, you may see a delinquency appear on your credit report.
You may be wondering what the point of PIP insurance is if you aren’t going to use it to pay your bills. Well, there are two reasons to carry this type of insurance.
- First of all, you may live in a state that requires it. If that is the case, you simply have no choice.
- Secondly, if your injuries are so extensive that you exhaust your personal medical benefits, then you can turn to your PIP insurance to make up the difference. This should be a last resort, and hopefully it will never become an issue.
Preventing Accidents and Protecting Yourself from Accidents
Preventing accidents on a motorcycle can be tricky. 50% of motorcycle accidents occur because driver in other vehicles couldn’t see the motorcycle. It is very difficult to make yourself visible to other vehicles. That is why you should take advantage of every possible safety feature that you can.
- First of all, make sure that your motorcycle has all of the modern safety features possible. Not only will this make it safer for you to be on the roads, but it will help reduce your premiums. BMW is responsible for offering motorcycles anti lock breaks with an additional feature that prevents motorcycle drivers from flying over their handle bars if they have to stop short.
- Traction control is another feature that has been credited to BMW. Traction control prevents spinning and, combined with automatic adjustable suspension, you get more stability on the road.
- Another way to stay safe is to drive in groups. It is hard for other drivers to miss a team of motorcycles driving down the road. Maintaining groups of four to five can greatly reduce your chances of having an accident.
- While safety gear doesn’t look cool, there are a number of awareness clothing items sold in motorcycle stores. These items are meant to make your more visible to other drivers, hopefully preventing accidents.
- You should also make sure that your motorcycle is in good working order. Check your headlights, blinkers, horn, blind spot mirrors, seat and more. Also, make sure your tires have no bald spots and are secure.
Unfortunately, even the most careful of drivers have accidents. According to the NHTSA, you are 9 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than in a car accident. They also state that 1,800 of motorcyclists were saved because they were wearing helmets and an additional 1,000 people could have been saved if they had made the decision to wear a helmet. The moral here is to wear a helmet. If you have an accident, it can save your life.
In addition, there is a reason that leather jackets are associated with motorcyclists. Leather offers a great deal of protection if your bike skids. While it can’t prevent broken bones, you can avoid loosing your skin to the bone or getting road rash by wearing the right clothing.
The same thing applies to leather boots, leg chaps and gloves. Manufacturers have gone through a lot of trouble to provide safety gear that looks great. Shop around, you might be surprised at what you find.
Why You Should Always Maintain Motorcycle Insurance
In most states, it is the law to carry motorcycle insurance. Even if it wasn’t, motorcycle insurance can protect you from finical ruin should you be the cause of an accident. If you cause an accident and someone is injured or dies, the costs can be astronomical, not to mention the cost of mending or replacing your bike or other vehicles.
Maintaining motorcycle insurance can be expensive, but if you can’t afford it then you need to consider another mode of transportation. Before you make the switch, however, take the time to compare costs between insurance companies. You may end up being able to afford more coverage than you believe.
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