insurance laws | lerners llp

I’m taking my motorcycle on a trip of a lifetime through the US, do I need to check on my insurance

You have been planning this for years. You have the route across the US all planned and mapped out. The bike is in good working order, you have the rain suit, but… is there anything else to check before you leave Ontario?

YES!!!

There is nothing better than seeing the country on a bike. That said, we all know how vulnerable motorcycle riders and their passengers are in the event of a crash.

Driving any motor vehicle through provinces outside of Ontario or through any of the US states is fraught with complications and yet is likely not on the radar of most riders as they head out on their trip of a lifetime or to pilgrimages to popular destinations. Whether you are heading out to Sturgis, Laconia, Milwaukee, or wanting to experience the Pacific Coast Highway, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Tail of the Dragon or down to the Florida Keys, you will find yourself travelling through US states with varying insurance laws.

I recommend that you do two things before you leave that won’t cost you much $:

  1. Increase your third party liability above $1 million in coverage. This may seem unnecessary but is so important even if you don’t cause a collision. First of all, many US states have very low minimum insurance coverage limits. So if you are not at fault but suffer a severe injury on the bike, you won’t want to be restricted in the amount you can recover for serious or catastrophic injuries you or your loved one sustains. For instance, if the person who pulls out in front of you only has $25,000 and you suffer a life threatening injury which prevents you from earning a livelihood and you have $2 million of third party liability on the bike, you can bring a claim against your insurer for the difference between the $25,000 and your $2 million in coverage;
  2. Add optional accident benefits coverage. No one needs this more than a motorcycle rider. The standard coverage is limited to $65,000 for a non-catastrophic injury. Most likely, if you are in a motor cycle accident, you are going to sustain a severe injury. You will require more than $65,000 to pay for your medical and rehabilitation expenses. No matter how good a driver/rider you are, don‘t take unnecessary chances. Get yourself the protection you need and hope you don’t need it.

Happy riding!!!

Kimberley Munro

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