In numerous ways, motorcyclists in Massachusetts face unique issues when it comes to insurance coverage.
Perhaps most importantly, motorcyclists should know that the usual compulsory “no-fault” Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage doesn’t cover them. For just about everyone else except motorcyclists, PIP covers the initial medical bills and lost wages after a motor vehicle accident. But a specific provision in the Massachusetts Auto Policy excludes motorcyclists from PIP coverage.
To add insult to injury, motorcyclists are still required to purchase PIP coverage even though they can’t get the coverage themselves. (The PIP coverage they purchase is available to pay bills and wages for any pedestrians that they collide with, even if the accident is the pedestrian’s fault!)
Because PIP coverage isn’t available for motorcyclists, any good insurance agent should discuss the possibility of adding optional Medical Payments coverage to the policy of a motorcyclist customer. “Medpay” coverage, unlike PIP, covers the medical expenses of motorcyclists after accidents, regardless of fault, up to the limits of coverage purchased. (Note, Medpay does not cover lost wages.)
Another valuable coverage for motorcyclists is so-called “Underinsured Motorist” coverage, which allows motorcyclists to obtain a settlement even if the at-fault party has insufficient liability coverage. For example, if a kid with just a minimum $20,000 liability policy injures a motorcyclist badly, the motorcyclist might be able to get only that $20,000 in coverage for his injuries. But if the motorcyclist purchased underinsured motorists coverage of, say, $100,000, the motorcyclist could now recover up to $100,000, even though the at-fault kid had only minimum limits.
As you can see, insurance coverage decisions can make a big difference for motorcyclists. Talk about them with your insurance agent and a qualified attorney.