What Motorcycle Riders Need to Know
Before Starting the Engine: The 3 Things Massachusetts Motorcycle Riders Need to Know
- Use a reputable, local insurance agent
- Purchase Medical Payment coverage
- Purchase Underinsurance coverage
Click below to listen:
People who ride motorcycles in Massachusetts need to understand how important their choice is when they get on that motorcycle. Obviously when they get on the motorcycle they understand that they’re taking their life in their hands, just like you get behind a wheel. You take your life in your hands when you drive a car, you take your life in your hands when you drive a motorcycle, and the consequences may be much higher without doors and steel protecting your body.
MASSACHUSETTS NO-FAULT INSURANCE BENEFITS DON’T APPLY TO MOTORCYCLES
But there are some additional issues that people who drive motorcycles need to be aware of. And I’d like to point out three. Because Massachusetts does not treat people who drive motorcycles the way they treat people who drive cars. The state feels that motorcycles are inherently dangerous. So, as a result, people who drive motorcycles are not afforded the same benefits that people who drive cars get. I’m talking about no-fault insurance. Massachusetts is a no-fault State. People are afforded the opportunity to get medical coverage and maybe some loss of income if they’re involved in an accident when they’re behind the wheel of their car. But on a motorcycle, you don’t get those benefits. The state does not give you medical coverage. It doesn’t give you lost wages. Because you are driving something that’s inherently dangerous, as far as the state is concerned. So, where does that leave the driver?
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF?
The driver is still a husband and a father, and he still has people dependent upon him. A mother, a daughter, people care about what happens to them. So, what can they do to protect themselves if they’re on a motorcycle? Well the first thing they can do is they can get an agent. An agent is necessary, because dialing a one eight hundred number to an insurance company is not going to give you the kind of protection that you need. People who come into my office on a regular basis and I look at their policies, if I had a dollar for every person who told me that they don’t know what’s in the policy, I’d have a lot of money. People don’t read their policies. Especially people who want to get on a motorcycle, they’re talking about – or they’re thinking about – getting on a motorcycle and riding. They’re not thinking about insurance. So, if you have an agent, they can tell you a little bit about what kind of coverage you should have. And guess what? An agent is free. They don’t cost anything. The insurance company pays the benefits to the – or they pay the agent – the cost of the insurance. So, it’s a free advice and a free opportunity to talk to an agent. That’s the first thing I would point out to someone who wants to drive a motorcycle.
BASIC HEALTH INSURANCE ISN’T ENOUGH & THE BEST MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE COVERAGE IS CHEAP
But the most important parts of a policy are the things that they need to understand. Because there are no no-fault benefits in Massachusetts, you have to get yourself health insurance, or insurance under the automobile policy or the motorcycle policy. Because there’s no no-fault benefits, there is something called ‘medical payments’. You can buy that. It’s cheap. When I say cheap, how about five thousand dollars-worth for maybe twenty bucks a year? That’s cheap. If you have health insurance, that’s great. But lots of people don’t have health insurance. Health insurance can be expensive. If you’re driving a motorcycle and you don’t have health insurance and there is no no-fault, it’s a disaster. It’s really easy to put that bike down, and if it goes down and you’d have no health insurance, not only you are def-affected, but your family is affected. Your kids are affected. It’s unlikely that you would have a long-term disability policy or even a short-term disability policy. So, you need to be protected in the event you’re involved in an accident. Medical payments will give you that. Most people don’t know what medical payments are. You can get it in a car as well. And it’s just as cheap in a car.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INSURANCE COVERAGE? UNDERINSURANCE COVERAGE. IT’S CRITICAL. BUY IT!
But the most important portion of the policy that most people don’t know about, and it’s optional these days, is called ‘under-insurance coverage’. When you’re on a motorcycle, you’re exposed to the elements, more so than in a car. It’s really easy to put that bike down, and as we all know, as motorcyclists know, lots of drivers of cars don’t like motorcyclists, and they don’t give them a lot of room on the road. And if you’ve got to maneuver, and you lose control, and you go down, and it’s not your fault, then you’re looking for some benefits to compensate you for what happened. And often times the people who caused the accident don’t have much insurance. So, what can you do? Well what you can do is you can buy insurance from your own company. It’s called ‘under-insurance coverage’. Again, I see people all the time who come into my office with injuries, and I ask them if they have under-insurance coverage and they look at me as if I have two heads. They don’t know what it is. There’s no excuse for not knowing what that is. An agent will explain that to you. If you have a family member who is an agent, they can tell you. If you have a family member who is an attorney, they can tell you. But if you don’t have any of those things, you need to educate yourself about it. Under-insurance coverage will provide you benefits that you buy from your own company. And guess what? It’s just as cheap as medical payment coverage.
People come into my office all the time and they say, “Oh, I’ve got full coverage”. Whether it’s on a car or on a motorcycle, doesn’t matter. There’s no such thing as ‘full coverage’. Full coverage means that the bank who’s lending you the money to buy the motorcycle is covered. Because he wants to make sure you have insurance on the bike. That doesn’t matter to me. And it probably shouldn’t matter to you in an accident. What’s going to matter to you is if you have insurance coverage for you or your passenger. And the only thing that’s going to give you that is “under-insurance coverage”, so that you can sleep at night, in the event that someone else is responsible for your injuries, you can get some additional benefits under your own policy. And when I say it’s cheap, you can probably get a hundred thousand dollars-worth of coverage for a couple of bucks a week. That’s cheap.
3 Things Massachusetts Motorcycle Riders Need to Know
So, it’s really important, the underinsurance, the med-pay and getting an agent. All these things are extremely important before you even think about getting yourself on a motorcycle.