There are plenty of places to ride your motorcycle or scooter in North Carolina. The state has a variety of scenic routes that wind through the mountains and along the coast. Before taking your bike out on the road, be sure to check the weather conditions and dress appropriately for the ride. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, in 2019, there were 3,516 total motorcycle accidents, with 184 people killed in crashes and 2,728 people suffering injuries.
Motorcycle accidents can be very serious, often resulting in severe injuries. In some cases, medical bills can be astronomical, leaving the injured person with a large bill to pay. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina, does your insurance policy cover your medical expenses?
North Carolina requires all motorcycle and motor scooter operators to purchase liability insurance for their vehicles. Motorcyclists must also carry a valid insurance card with them at all times.
North Carolina law requires all motorcycle and motor scooter operators to purchase bodily injury liability coverage with limits of at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. This coverage will pay for the other party’s medical expenses if you are found at fault for an accident.
North Carolina also requires all motorcycle and motor scooter operators to purchase property damage liability coverage with a limit of at least $25,000. This coverage will pay for the other party’s vehicle damages if you are found at fault for an accident.
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) compensates you when an at-fault driver fails to carry liability insurance. Underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage may compensate you when the at-fault driver carries liability insurance but it is not enough to compensate you for all of your damages. Uninsured motorist coverage is required in North Carolina. Motorycle and motor scooter riders automatically receive $30,000 in uninsured motorist coverage when they purchase $30,000 in liability. Underinsured coverage is optional and must be added to a policy.
Uninsured (UM)/Underinsured (UIM) Motorist Coverage and Medical Expenses
Your uninsured motorist coverage will mirror your insurance liability policy. Your uninsured motorist insurance limits are typically the same if your policy pays up to $30,000 per injured person and $60,000 per accident.
Underinsured motorist coverage is optional in North Carolina. In order to receive coverage, you must add UIM coverage to your policy.
However, even if you have UM and UIM coverage, your policy may not cover all your expenses. If your injuries cost $50,000 in medical bills and your policy limit only goes up to $30,000, you will have $20,000 in outstanding medical bills you are responsible for.
In addition to the coverages required by North Carolina law, other insurance coverage options are available that can help pay for your medical expenses in the event of a motorcycle accident. These include medical payments coverage and health insurance.
Medical payments coverage, also known as med pay, is optional insurance coverage that can be added to your motorcycle insurance policy. Med pay will cover any reasonable and necessary medical and funeral expenses due to an accident regardless of fault.
Most medical payments coverage policies will cover the following expenses:
- Surgical treatment
- X-rays and lab tests
- Ambulance transportation
- Funeral services (up to a certain amount)
It’s important to note that each insurance company has different coverage limits for medical payments coverage. Be sure to check with your agent or insurer to see what your policy includes.
If you have health insurance, it will likely cover some of your medical expenses following a motorcycle accident. However, there may be some out-of-pocket costs, such as a deductible or co-pay, that you will be responsible for.
It’s important to check with your health insurance provider to see what is covered under your policy. You may also want to consider getting additional coverage, such as med pay, to help cover any expenses not covered by your health insurance policy.
Regardless of your insurance coverage, it’s important to always wear a helmet and protective gear when riding your motorcycle or scooter. This will help protect you in an accident and may help reduce the amount of medical expenses you incur.
North Carolina requires all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Wearing a DOT-approved helmet can help reduce the severity of injuries in the event of an accident and, as a result, may help reduce medical expenses.
In addition to wearing a helmet, be sure to wear other protective gear, such as gloves, boots, and a jacket. This will help protect you from road rash and other injuries in an accident.
By taking these precautions and carrying adequate insurance coverage, you can help ensure that you are protected in a motorcycle accident.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and do not have insurance, you will be responsible for all of your medical bills. This can be a costly proposition, especially if you need to go to the hospital or require long-term care.
Your medical bills will be covered up to your policy limit if you have insurance. In addition, if you are found at fault for the accident, your insurance company will also pay for the damages to the other party up to your policy limit. This is why it is so important to have adequate motorcycle insurance coverage.
There are other types of motorcycle insurance policies available, such as GAP coverage, rental car reimbursement, and collision and comprehensive coverage. These types of coverages are not required by North Carolina law but may be offered by your insurance company.
GAP stands for guaranteed asset protection. GAP coverage covers the ‘gap’ between your car’s depreciated value and your remaining loan balance, in the event your car is declared a total loss. The purpose of GAP coverage is to prevent you from having to make a loan payment on a car you no longer possess, in a situation where the at-fault driver has caused your car to be deemed a total loss.
You must have rental reimbursement included in your auto policy in order to have your insurance cover the cost of a rental car after your accident. Oftentimes it can take up to two weeks or more before your vehicle is repaired or it is deemed a total loss, leaving you with no transportation. Rental reimbursement coverage is typically available for a nominal fee. For more information on rental car reimbursement, contact your auto insurance company.
If you want your own vehicle repairs to be covered after an accident, regardless of who is at fault, you will need to purchase collision coverage. This optional coverage is not required by North Carolina law, but it is available for motorcycle and motor scooter operators who wish to purchase it.
Another optional coverage that is available for motorcycle and motor scooter operators in North Carolina is comprehensive coverage. This type of coverage will pay for repairs to your vehicle if it is damaged by something other than a collision, such as fire, theft, or vandalism.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor. Our attorneys can review your policy and help you understand what coverages are available to you. In addition, we can help negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf and make sure that you get the full benefit of your coverage.