Under Georgia law, you are required to purchase motorcycle insurance if you own or operate a motorcycle. Having motorcycle insurance could be crucial if you are hurt in a motorcycle accident. You may need it even if the negligent driver has an insurance policy that may provide you with compensation. But is Georgia’s minimum motorcycle insurance policy amounts sufficient to protect you—whether you are the victim or the cause of a crash?
Georgia Laws on Motorcycle Insurance
In Georgia, you are required to purchase liability insurance for your motorcycle to pay for your legal defense and the cost of compensating the victim of a crash for his injuries or property damage if you are the negligent party. The minimum requirements are as follows:
- $25,000 liability insurance for injuries or death of one person in a single accident
- $50,000 liability insurance for injuries or death of all persons in a single accident
- $25,000 liability insurance for property damage in a single accident
Unfortunately, these minimum requirements do not provide you with sufficient insurance coverage. Even in a minor accident, the medical bills for an injured victim could exceed $25,000, and you might also be responsible for paying for his lost wages and pain and suffering—which could be a substantial portion of his claim. If at all possible, you want to purchase additional liability insurance coverage.
Other Types of Motorcycle Insurance You May Need If You Are Hurt in a Wreck
While the negligent driver who caused your injuries would be responsible for fully compensating you, unfortunately that may not happen in reality. You could be hit by a hit and run driver who the police or you are never able to locate. The other driver could also have minimum automobile insurance coverage, which only makes a small dent in fully compensating you for your losses. In these situations, you may need to make a claim with your own motorcycle insurance company—if you bought additional coverage. Other types of insurance you should consider purchasing to protect yourself include:
- Collision coverage. Collision coverage protects your bike. It could reimburse you for the cost of repairing your motorcycle—after you pay your deductible.
- Comprehensive coverage. This would cover the damage to your bike caused by hazards other than a vehicle crash. These could include a fire, theft, or vandalism. You want to keep in mind that some policies only cover standard parts. If you have customized your bike, you may need additional insurance coverage.
- Uninsured coverage. This would provide you with compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress damages if the other driver had no insurance or was a hit and run driver. Sadly, many negligent motorists drive without having the minimum liability insurance coverage required under Georgia law.
- Underinsured coverage. If you are able to purchase this type of insurance, you want to do so. Motorcycle riders tend to suffer more catastrophic injuries than victims in passenger vehicles due to the lack of protection the motorcycle gives a motorcycle rider. You could need much more in insurance coverage than the negligent driver has—even if he purchased more than the basic coverage.
Tips for Saving Money on Your Policy
A number of factors could determine the amount of your insurance premiums—like your age, driving record, address, and type of motorcycle. You may be able to save money by doing the following:
- Shop around and compare prices. However, do not sacrifice a substandard insurance company for a cheaper price.
- Take a driving safety course. These can be especially helpful for motorcycle riders under 25 years old who are considered high-risk drivers in general. You will need to check with your insurance company to see if this would help reduce your insurance costs.
- Ask your insurance agent for any discounts you qualify for.
- Keep a clean driving record. This will have a huge impact on keeping your insurance rates low.
Attorney David Brauns is here to help you make a claim for compensation—whether you need to file a claim with the negligent driver’s or your insurance company or both. Start an online chat or call our firm at (404) 998-5252 to schedule a free case evaluation.