A motorcyclist was in an accident. He spent a day in the hospital and his medical bills are already $20,000.00. He missed two weeks of work, was unable to make his mortgage payment and he is still in pain from his injuries. Now his doctor has told him that he needs additional medical care. The person who caused the accident had insurance, but they only carried the State of Wisconsin minimum of $25,000.00 in coverage; this is not enough money to even cover the necessary expenses.
This scenario is real and it can happen to any of us. But you can protect yourself financially by having uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance coverage. Most people never think ahead about protecting themselves. What we all need to realize is that insurance coverage is a gamble. The State of Wisconsin minimum insurance coverage, $25,000.00, is potentially barely enough to cover medical bills even in a minor accident.
Right now, take a look at the insurance you have on your motorcycle; is it $25,000, $50,000 or $100,000? Do you think that is enough to cover someone’s injuries if you hurt them? Would it be enough to cover your injuries if someone had that coverage and they hurt you? The answer is probably no.
By having enough UM/UIM insurance coverage yourself, you remove the risk that you will not be protected if you are in an accident. You remove the risk that you will not be able to pay your medical bills or cover your missed time from work. So how much coverage do you need? As a fellow rider, I am telling you that you need to have enough coverage to protect yourself from the possibility of a serious injury that would require surgery. That means everyone who is on two wheels should protect themselves by having at least a $1 million dollar umbrella policy with a UM/UIM endorsement. Now here is the crazy thing most insurance companies won’t tell you. That much coverage could potentially cost you less than $300 a Year.
Insurance companies usually just focus on selling basic policies for the underlying liability, that being $100,000 for example. To get an umbrella policy, you usually need a base policy of $100,000 or $250,000 in liability coverage and then you can add a $1 million dollar umbrella or more. That umbrella will also cover you for your liability in case you seriously hurt someone and it will also protect you for any liability at your home.
Some of you may be asking, why I can’t just go after the person that hit me personally. Generally, people who do not have a lot of insurance coverage do not have a lot of money to go after personally. The other issue is if you go after them personally and they file bankruptcy, your claim against them is potentially discharged and you may not see anything. So the only way to protect you is to have your own insurance.
Medical expenses are rising fast! If you need one surgery, your medical bills can easily exceed $100,000. You could have future medical issues and the need for future medical expenses. If you do not protect yourself and the person who causes the accident does not have enough insurance, those expenses and that burden falls back on you. You cannot leave it to chance that someone else will have the insurance coverage to protect you if they hurt you. Protect yourself, get enough UM/UIM insurance on your motorcycle policy. Purchase an umbrella with a UM/UIM endorsement and then you will be riding protected and with piece of mind. Ride safe.
Attorney and Rider
Phil Georges, Gruber Law Offices