According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, more than 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents in 2013. Spread across the year, that’s a daily average of roughly 240 accidents every day. If you ride a motorcycle, you should make sure you have adequate insurance coverage before hitting the open road. But how will your insurance be affected if you ever get into a motorcycle accident in Texas?
How Much Motorcycle Insurance Do I Need in Texas?
All Texas motorists are required to purchase certain amounts of insurance under state law. Motorcyclists are not exempt from this rule. Texas law requires that motorists purchase, at bare minimum, the following types and amounts of liability coverage:
- $30,000 per injured person
- $60,000 per accident (for personal injury)
- $25,000 per accident (for property damage)
The purpose of liability coverage is to help pay for the other party’s medical bills and property damage if you are ever at fault for an accident. If you cause an auto accident and do not have any liability insurance, not only are you breaking the law (and subjecting yourself to serious consequences), you could also be sued by the injured party and wind up paying out of your own pocket.
In addition to having insurance, you also need to have proof of insurance, which you will be asked to present when registering your motorcycle or having it inspected. Proof of insurance will also be required if you are ever involved in an accident.
You should strongly consider purchasing additional forms of coverage to help protect yourself in the event of a crash or collision with another vehicle. Some types of insurance you might want to consider include:
- UM/UIM – UM/UIM coverage helps pay for your expenses if you are injured by an uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) whose insurance isn’t sufficient to cover your costs. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that about 13% of Texas drivers are insured. Only 18 other states have a higher estimated percentage of uninsured motorists.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Texas insurance companies are required to offer at least $2,500 in PIP benefits, which help pay for you and your passengers’ expenses after an accident. You must waive PIP benefits in writing if you don’t wish to purchase this type of coverage.
How Will a Motorcycle Crash Affect My Premium?
Car insurance and motorcycle insurance are separate coverages intended for four-wheeled vehicles and two-wheeled vehicles, respectively. A motorcycle accident may cause your auto insurance premium to increase, depending on which insurance company you use and the policies they follow. Even if you don’t bundle your car and motorcycle insurance with the same carrier, and instead turn to separate companies for each, you can’t conceal past crashes, because insurance companies can see detailed information about your accident claim history by accessing a report called your CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report.
CLUE reports exist in a LexisNexis database which is regularly updated with new information from all of the major insurance companies, such as State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, and Progressive. If you’ve had a motorcycle accident in the past and are now shopping for car insurance (or vice versa), the new carrier can find out about your history by checking your CLUE report, which contains your personal information, such as your name and Social Security number (SSN), and information about paid and unpaid claims. This information stays on your record for a period of seven years. The more accidents you have had, the greater a financial risk you are for the insurer, and the more your premium may cost as a result.
That being said, many policies contain an accident forgiveness clause which will prevent your rates from increasing after your first crash. Many insurance companies offer accident forgiveness for both motorcycle and car accidents.
Contact Our Houston Car Accident Lawyers for a Legal Consultation
Due to the absence of safety features like seat belts and airbags, motorcycle crashes often cause extremely serious injuries, such as bone fractures, crush injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), concussions, joint dislocations, and road rash or skin abrasion injuries, which can leave permanent scars.
If you or one of your family members was injured in a motorcycle accident in Houston, Dallas, Arlington, or Fort Worth, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. The Texas personal injury lawyers of Queenan Law may be able to help. We have more than 20 years of experience handling motorcycle accident claims, truck accident claims, and car accident claims in Houston.
Call our law offices at (817) 476-1797 to set up a confidential legal consultation with our friendly and knowledgeable Houston and Fort Worth injury attorneys. We’re here to help you understand your legal rights and fight for compensation on your behalf.