Helpful Tips from Experienced Fort Myers Motorcycle Injury Lawyers
Buying insurance isn’t easy. There’s so much to consider, a whole lot to know, and a slew of people you aren’t sure you can trust. After all, the insurance industry isn’t exactly known for its honesty or upstanding service.
As frustrating as the whole insurance process can be though, having adequate motorcycle insurance is essential and, in most cases, required by law.
Ultimately, carrying great insurance is in your own best interest. As Fort Myers motorcycle injury lawyers, we’ve seen how difficult accident claims can become when the parties don’t have enough insurance or, even worse, no insurance at all.
But how much motorcycle insurance do you really need? How much will it cost you? Where should you buy it? Which policy provisions will best protect you?
This article is designed to answer those questions and more, all in the hopes of giving you some general guidance for an otherwise confusing endeavor.
Keep in mind, though, that buying insurance is always a highly individualized process, and you should talk about your specific needs with a professional before committing to a particular policy. Please call our office before making any decisions that might impact your legal interests down the road.
Minimum Motorcycle Insurance Coverage in Florida
Florida currently requires that every motorcyclist carry these policy provisions (and corresponding coverage limits) at an absolute minimum:
- $10,000 in bodily injury liability for one injury victim
- $20,000 in bodily injury liability for two or more injury victims
- $10,000 in property damage liability (per crash)
Note that some vehicles may be classified as something other than a motorcycle and could be subject to different state minimums.
Please also note that, while Florida is a “no-fault” state for purposes of car insurance, those no-fault rules generally do not apply to motorcyclists.
Many bikers find that the state minimums provide too little protection and seek additional coverage. We will explore those options in greater depth below.
Florida Helmet Laws Permit Motorcyclists to Ride Without a Helmet
Florida is one of a few states that does allows motorcyclists to not wear a helmet if they are at least 21 years old and can prove that they have at least $10,000 in medical insurance. Just because it’s legally allowed doesn’t mean a motorcyclist should ride without a helmet.
How Much Does Motorcycle Insurance Cost in Florida?
Naturally, the first question on any insurance shopper’s mind is how much? That’s understandable. After all, you’re committing to paying monthly for something you hope you’ll never use.
Accidents happen, though, and they are much more common among motorcyclists than other vehicle drivers. You want to make sure you’re well covered in a worst-case scenario.
As with ordinary auto insurance, Florida motorcycle insurance is usually billed as a monthly premium, though some plans do offer six-month or annual payment options.
The cost of your premium will largely depend on the extent of your coverage. The more financial protection you have in an accident, the more your premium will cost.
Other Factors Affecting Motorcycle Insurance Premiums
Other factors matter too. For example:
- Accident history
- Driving experience
- Age (Younger drivers are at higher risk, so their premiums are higher.)
- Gender (Men tend to pay more for motorcycle insurance in Florida.)
- Driving record (A history of tickets and infractions will increase costs.)
- The make, model, and value of your motorcycle
- The frequency of motorcycle accidents in your geographic area
Some providers may also consider how often you use your motorcycle (e.g. daily vs. occasional use) and where you store your bike (people who store their bikes outside or on the street sometimes pay higher premiums).
Florida’s Motorcycle Insurance Premiums are Among the Most Expensive in the Country
This is due in large part to the high rate of motorcycle collision in this state. For that matter, most forms of auto insurance are costly in Florida — driver safety statistics in The Sunshine State are generally abysmal.
Studies show that Florida bikers typically pay between $40 and $150 per month for liability insurance, though that range can fluctuate considerably from one policy to the next. Additional coverage can also increase those costs.
How Much Motorcycle Insurance Do You Need?
It can be tempting to buy as little coverage as possible, especially if your motorcycle isn’t your primary means of transportation. You should keep in mind, though, that motorcycle accidents are common, and they tend to involve severe injuries — much worse on average than Florida car crash injuries.
Those injuries are costly. Moreover, it isn’t uncommon for the motorcycles themselves to be destroyed beyond usability in even an average motorcycle crash.
Motorcycle theft is common too, and the bikes are rarely recovered. Studies show that only 20 – 25% of stolen motorcycles are ever returned to their owners.
There is at least one motorcycle accident every 14 seconds in the United States, and 80% of those crashes result in fatality. We don’t share that statistic to scare you. In fact, we find that most motorcyclists are well aware of the risks. We just want you to appreciate that, when, buying motorcycle insurance, your calculation might look a little different than the risk assessment you’d use for a pickup truck or a sedan.
When Does it Make Sense to Carry More Insurance Than Just the Minimum
In addition to the state minimums, you might consider these other types of Florida motorcycle insurance coverage:
- Uninsured motorist coverage (protects you if an uninsured or underinsured person causes your crash)
- Comprehensive coverage (typically covers theft, vandalism, fire, flood, natural disaster, etc.)
- Roadside assistance coverage (for costs associated with towing your bike, jumping the battery, and perhaps even rental vehicles or lodging if your bike breaks down far from home)
- Additional coverage for your accessories, custom equipment, and modifications
- Medical payments coverage (pays for certain medical expenses incurred by you or, in some cases, a passenger after a motorcycle accident)
- Gap coverage (protects bikers who have very little equity in their motorcycle, i.e. you owe more on the bike than it’s worth at the time of a crash)
- Additional bodily injury liability and/or property damage liability coverage (beyond the state minimums)
Look for Premium Discounts
Bummed about paying more than you expected for Florida motorcycle insurance? Don’t get discouraged just yet!
Most insurance providers offer significant discounts for good or loyal drivers, students, bikers of a certain age, and more. Additionally, bundled premiums are sometimes available at a lower cost for people who carry multiple policies with the same insurance company (car insurance and renter’s insurance, for example).
The insurance companies won’t always offer these discounts on their own, but all you have to do is ask!
Help for Southwest Florida Motorcycle Accident Claims
Our firm is proud to represent clients living in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, and all across the state of Florida. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in The Sunshine State, we can help.