Illinois is a mandatory insurance state. Your McHenry motorcycle accident lawyer strongly recommends that all bikers carry insurance. In Illinois, the minimum insurance allowed is 25/50 plus 15k liability insurance. Drivers of autos and motorcycles are required to carry their insurance card on their vehicle or on the person at all times.
If you are pulled over without insurance – a motorcycle accident lawyer can probably help you. However, it is possible that your license will be suspended and you’ll be fined $500 or $1000.
But that’s the legal stuff – there are more significant reasons why all motorcyclists should carry insurance – and not just insurance, but the right type and amount of insurance.
How Much Insurance Should a Motorcycle Rider Have?
We’ve given a lot of presentations to motorcycle riding groups including a few in McHenry County on the need to have motorcycle insurance. But why and how much?
First, why? There are so many motorcycle accidents that countless law firms have built their entire practice on just motorcycle accidents. Bikes are very low profile so a lot of the time the driver of a car says they didn’t even see the bike.
And, when you’re riding a bike you are relatively unprotected. You can wear all the protective gear you want such as chaps and a helmet, but those things won’t help broken bones or severe brain injuries. So, it’s critical to have right insurance first and foremost. But what kinds and how much insurance should you have?
What Kind of Insurance Should I Carry?
Riders always tell us that they have “full coverage” when they call. What does that mean? Usually? It means they have the minimum limits required by Illinois law.
Let’s take a hypothetical. You get hit by an uninsured driver and you have the minimum of $25,000 in motorcycle accident insurance. Then the most you can recover if $25k. Yes you can file a lawsuit against the guy who hit you but if he/she didn’t have insurance chances are they don’t have the assets to pay for your damages.
And when it comes to motorcycle injuries – $25,000 doesn’t get you very far. Your medical bills alone could be double or triple that. Then what? Not to mention then you have nothing left over to pay for your pain and suffering, lost wages etc.
We always recommend that riders get at least $100,000 in insurance – your policy usually will be a 100/300 – meaning $100k for every single person injured in the accident and $300k total for all individuals combined.
But that’s just the start. There are other types of motorcycle insurance you should consider.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorcycle Insurance
Most drivers out there are UNDERINSURED. Your McHenry motorcycle lawyer has handled numerous cases where our clients are severely injured in motorcycle accidents but when they file a claim against the defendant, we find out that the defendant have no insurance at all.
So, what do you do? You go after your own insurance company for your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy (underinsured if the guy who hit you has a small policy). We recommend you have at least $100/300k in UM/UIM as well. And you’ll be surprised at how little it costs to get it.
In short, purchasing medpay insurance will cover the first $2,500 or $5,000 of your medical bills if you are in an accident – no questions asked.
A lot of attorneys say it’s a waste of money. I disagree. I’ve seen it pay off co-pays for things like physical therapy etc. too many times to dismiss medpay insurance. And the cost is small.
So many times, victims of auto accidents have called our office and said they got hit by an uninsured driver and their own insurance did not include comprehensive and/or collision coverage. Get it!
Let’s take a hypothetical situation. You buy a new bike for $20,000 and you finance the whole thing. You get insurance. You’re in a solo crash 6 months later. The insurance company appraises your bike for $15,000. However, you still owe your finance company another $5,000. What do you do?
Well, the insurance company cuts a check to your insurance company for $15k and you owe the remaining $5k to the insurance company.
How do you protect yourself from this situation? Buy Gap insurance. You can get it from the dealer when you finance your car and/or call your agent and get it when you tell her about your new bike.
A Little Bit About McHenry, McHenry County Illinois
While the city of McHenry shares the name of the county it’s located in, it is not the county seat which is Woodstock. There are a lot of great roads to ride in McHenry and that leads to motorcycle accidents.
So, whether you’re riding on Route 31 or going past Fort McHenry on 120, exercise caution. In the last census in 2010, it was reported that there are over 26,000 people living in McHenry so that’s a lot of cars on the road.
If you’re looking for a motorcycle accident attorney in McHenry, contact our office for a free discussion about how we can help at 1-847-305-4105.