What you need to know about motorcycle insurance in Virginia
Like everyone who operates a motor vehicle in Virginia, motorcyclists are required to carry minimum liability insurance. This requirement under Commonwealth law helps hold drivers and riders financially responsible for any accidents and injuries they cause.
WARNING: If you are injured while driving or riding on a motorcycle, you may not be able to get the benefit of your auto or excess insurance policy benefits like uninsured or underinsured motorist protection or medical payments coverage. And, you need to know that the minimum insurance you are required by law to carry may not be enough to protect you after a crash.
How much insurance are motorcyclists required to carry in Virginia?
You must meet Virginia minimum insurance requirements or pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee to get a license plate or decal from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The minimum insurance coverage required is:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons
- $20,000 for property damage
What is the uninsured motor vehicle fee?
You can register an uninsured vehicle if you pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee of $500, in addition to normal registration fees. Paying the $500 fee does not provide you with any liability protection in case of an accident, and you are still personally responsible if you are found to be at fault. Finally, the uninsured motor vehicle fee is only valid for 12 months.
When is minimum motorcycle insurance not enough?
Mandatory minimum insurance coverage may not be enough in several possible situations, for example when:
·You Need More Liability Protection
If you are involved in a crash and found to be at fault, the required minimum liability insurance may not be enough to cover the other party’s medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and other losses. You could be held personally responsible for anything over your policy limits. To avoid this situation, consider purchasing more liability coverage.
·You Need Coverage for Your Own Injuries
If you are hurt in an accident, minimum liability insurance will not cover your medical bills or compensate you for income you lost while you are recovering from your injuries and unable to work. It can only be used to compensate the other party for bodily injury, death, or property damage. When medical payments (med pay) coverage is included in your motorcycle insurance policy, it can help cover your medical expenses (or a passenger), regardless of who caused the crash.
·An Uninsured or Underinsured Driver Causes an Accident
If you are injured in a motorcycle crash caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may not be compensated for your losses, unless you are carrying uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Some people drive with no insurance coverage, in violation of the law. Others only carry the required minimum liability insurance, and $25,000 may not be enough to cover your injuries in case of a serious motorcycle accident.
With uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company. If the at-fault driver was uninsured, it will cover your losses up to policy limits. If the at-fault driver was underinsured, your policy can pick up the slack where the other driver’s coverage leaves off.
·Your Bike is Damaged, Vandalized, or Wrecked
Minimum liability insurance required in Virginia will not provide any protection against damage to your own property. Comprehensive vehicle coverage can compensate you in case your motorcycle is damaged by wind, water, fire, vandalism, or theft. Collision coverage will pay the costs of repairing or replacing your bike if it is damaged or destroyed in a crash.
Meet with our Virginia personal injury lawyer
If you have been involved in a serious motorcycle accident and have questions about how to recover compensation, call GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 to schedule a free consultation. You pay us no fees until we recover compensation for you. Our attorneys have worked for big insurance companies in big cities and as trial lawyers. We bring you big city experience and small-town care.
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