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Warning to Motorcyclists – AUTO PIP WILL NOT COVER YOU
Our law firm is contacted frequently by injured motorcyclists. Too often, they share the same dilemma. They’ve purchased a motorcycle, and mistakenly assumed that their automobile’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy would cover them and declined motorcycle PIP insurance. They’ve now been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and have found themselves with no insurance coverage to pay for the extensive medical bills or to compensate them for lost wages.
If you’re riding a motorcycle in Florida and believe your automobile’s PIP policy will cover you after an accident, you’re unfortunately mistaken. Florida automobile PIP policies will not cover medical bills or lost wages related to motorcycle accidents. Unlike other states where automobile and motorcycle insurance laws are similar, Florida’s insurance requirements are vastly different.
Does Florida Require Motorcycle Insurance?
The answer is yes and no. Florida does not require motorcyclists to carry insurance that provides Personal Injury Protection (PIP), because motorcycles are not recognized as motor vehicles under Florida’s no-fault law. Likewise and for the same reason, motorcyclists are not required to purchase Bodily Injury (BI) coverage. These types of coverage are available to motorcyclists and completely optional.
However, Florida’s helmet law requires that a rider, over the age of 21, who elects to ride a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear, must provide proof of at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage, a Financial Responsibility Certificate or obtain a Self-Insurance Certificate for bodily injury or property damage they may cause to someone else.
I’m Covered, I Have Health Insurance – Not So Fast
Be warned. If you are relying on your health insurance to provide the $10,000 in medical insurance coverage, when riding a motorcycle with or without a helmet, make sure to read the fine print of your policy. Many health insurance policies have exclusions for covering dangerous activities, such as motorcycles, ATV’s and jet skis. If you have questions, call your health insurance provider to make sure.
Do I Need Motorcycle Insurance?
Considering the average cost of a motorcycle accident, involving serious injury or death, is over $1 million dollars in medical expenses and lost wages, my advice is to contact an insurance carrier, licensed in Florida, and purchase as much motorcycle personal injury protection (PIP) for yourself as you can reasonably afford.
Before purchasing motorcycle PIP, please understand that this form of insurance is not regulated by the state of Florida, because it isn’t required. Any motorcycle PIP policy you may purchase is governed by the terms of the contract, not Florida law. If you’re purchasing this type of insurance, read the contract thoroughly and understand completely the contents. If you have questions about a motorcycle PIP policy, feel free to contact our law firm for assistance.
If you’re driving any vehicle in Florida, you should seriously consider purchasing Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. In Florida, 24% of the drivers on our roadways are uninsured. That’s 4.77 million drivers in our state without insurance to cover injuries or damages that they may cause to you in an accident.
Do you remember the $1 million national average from above? Don’t rely on other drivers to do the right thing. You need to protect yourself. Again, purchase as much motorcycle UM coverage as you can reasonably afford.
If you own an automobile (four wheels or more) and already have UM coverage, consider stacking your UM coverage. Stacked UM coverage on the auto policy will always cover the injuries sustained from an uninsured motorist, while riding a motorcycle. Non-stacked UM coverage, depending on the circumstances, may or may not cover an injured motorcyclist. Stacked UM coverage is always the better option.
Protect Your Legal Rights
If you were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident or are a surviving family member of someone killed on a motorcycle, we urge you to contact the law firm of Lutz, Bobo & Telfair, P.A. today. It will take an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to preserve your legal rights. Do not put your future in the hands of an insurance company. We offer no cost initial consultations. We also take motorcycle accident cases on a contingency basis. This means you owe no attorney’s fees unless we obtain a settlement or win a favorable verdict in court. We will fight for your rights.