No-Fault Insurance for Motorcyclists
Rider aid and motorcyclist insurance policies differ greatly from driver policies. The general public and even many motorcyclists are not aware that motorcyclists are unable to purchase No-Fault Insurance.
What is No-Fault and why is it important?
No-Fault covers a driver’s medical expenses and lost wages while they recuperate from an accident. So if you’ve been in an automobile accident, No-Fault Insurance may cover your medical expenses and salary while you are recovering, and while you re-train (physical or occupational therapy) in order to return to work.
Why are motorcyclists NOT covered?
In the United States, a motorcycle is classified as a “recreational” vehicle (like an ATV or a boat) and, as such, does NOT qualify for No-Fault Insurance coverage like an automobile—even though it has to be inspected, insured, and registered like an automobile. Because of the “recreational” vehicle classification, its use and any subsequent accidents are not covered by the No-Fault condition.
To compound the motorcyclist’s insurance dilemma, many health insurance plans contain clauses that DO NOT COVER SPORTS RELATED INJURIES; only illnesses. So, while you have No-Fault Insurance coverage for auto accidents; homeowner’s insurance and Worker’s Compensation to cover you at home and work in case of accident, if you are injured while skydiving, hiking, rock climbing, or motorcycling…you are on your own.
The worst part is that most people find this out when it’s too late—when they are in the Emergency Room.
Additional No-Fault Facts
What do I do if my expenses exceed the $50,000 available under No-Fault?
When the basic No-Fault benefits are consumed, you may apply for Additional No-Fault (Additional PIP) benefits either from the vehicle you occupied or any auto policy of a related member of your household. Additional PIP is an optional coverage which is usually not expensive. If no Additional PIP benefits are available, you may make a claim to your standard health insurance to pay for your medical expenses. You may also be eligible for Federal Social Security Disability benefits. In addition to the above, you can also sue the party responsible for the accident, in order to recover the costs that you paid which exceed your policy limit.
What if the vehicle involved was a motorcycle?
If you are the operator or passenger of a motorcycle involved in an accident, you are excluded from No-Fault benefits (you may sue from first dollar loss). If you were a pedestrian struck by a motorcycle, you should file a claim with the insurer of the motorcycle. If it is not insured, then you may file the claim with the insurer of a household family relative who had an auto policy at the time of the accident. If there was no auto policy in the household, you should file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).