Must I purchase insurance for my motorcycle? Yes. Motorcycles in New Jersey must be insured. If you are caught operating a motorcycle without insurance, you will face criminal penalties with possible loss of license, fines, and imprisonment. What is Liability Coverage? If you are at fault for an accident, your motorcycle insurance will cover claims against you by others for personal injuries or property damage up to the amount of Liability Coverage on your policy. What is Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage? You could be injured on your motorcycle by someone without motor vehicle insurance or who leaves the scene of an accident. Your motorcycle policy includes Uninsured Motorist Coverage that allows you to recover monetary damages for your injuries up to the policy limits that you chose if the other driver is uninsured or leaves the scene. What is Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage? You could be injured on your motorcycle by someone who has an insufficient amount of Liability Coverage to properly compensate you. Your motorcycle policy includes Underinsured Motorist Coverage that allows you to recover additional monetary damages for your injuries up to the policy limits that you chose if the other driver’s Liability Coverage is insufficient. How much Liability, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage should I purchase? The minimum Liability, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage limits for motorcycle policies in New Jersey is $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident. These minimum limits are inadequate to protect you and your assets from injury claims against you, or fully compensate you if injured by an uninsured driver or driver with insufficient coverage. Most motorcycle policies offer Liability, Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage with limits up to $250,000 per person/$500,000 per accident. We recommend that you purchase the maximum amount of these coverages. Always make sure the amount of your Underinsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage is the same as your Liability Coverage. Does my motorcycle policy provide coverage for medical expenses? Most motorcycle policies DO NOT provide coverage for medical expenses. Some policies offer limited medical benefits, but in amounts that are insufficient if you are seriously injured. These medical benefits may duplicate health coverage you already maintain and you could be paying an unnecessary extra premium on your motorcycle policy. We strongly recommend that riders confirm whether motorcycle accident related medical expenses are covered by their health insurance coverage. What coverage is there for damage to my motorcycle? Your motorcycle insurance policy offers collision and comprehensive coverage to pay for damage to or theft of your motorcycle. You can select a deductible amount which you would pay before the balance of your damage is paid by your insurance company. What is the “Limitation on Lawsuit”? New Jersey automobile policies allow policyholders to choose the “Limitation on Lawsuit” option, also known as the “verbal threshold”. The “Limitation on Lawsuit” option limits your right to make a claim or sue for injuries unless you sustain one of the following types of injury: death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement or scarring, a displaced fracture, loss of a fetus or a permanent injury (when a body part has not and will not heal to function normally).
Although there is no “Limitation on Lawsuit” option to be made on motorcycle policies, New Jersey law provides that if you have chosen the no “Limitation on Lawsuit” option on your automobile policy, it applies to your injury claim while on your motorcycle. Check to see if you have chosen the “Limitation on Lawsuit” option on your automobile policy. We recommend that you choose the “No Limitation on Lawsuit” option to protect your right to collect damages for your injuries from a motorcycle accident. What should I do if I am involved in a motorcycle accident? To the extent that you are able at the accident scene, take the following steps.
1. Call the police. The law requires that you remain at the scene if there are personal injuries or more than $500 of property damage.
2. Tell the police to send an ambulance if anyone needs medical care.
3. If you are able, take photographs of the accident vehicles to establish their location and any property damage.
4. Get as much information as possible from all the drivers in the accident such as name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance company and policy number.
5. If you are injured, go to the hospital or consult with a doctor as soon as possible.
6. When you get home, notify your insurance company, agent, or broker that you were involved in an accident.
7. Consult with an attorney that specializes in motorcycle accidents as soon as possible to determine your rights and responsibilities after an accident. You may want to talk with a motorcycle accident attorney before giving anyone a statement about the accident or your injuries.