Online Motorcycle Insurance
Minimum liability insurance is very necessary for all motorcycle riders in the US. A motorcycle is treated as any other vehicle when it comes to insurance but whether every two-wheeler is a motorcycle is a question best answered according to the laws of each state. Motorcycle insurance is designed primarily to cover the risk of financial liability or loss a motor cycle owner faces in the event of an accident. The law itself varies from state to state.
Residents must register their motorcycles in order to drive. If you are not sure that your vehicle is a motorcycle or not, the best place to start is the local Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”)
Different states have different definitions of what a motorcycle is. Virginia and Maryland, for example, define two wheelers that have 50 CC engines or more as motorcycles. Mopeds and Scooters on the other hand need not be insured. A moped or a scooter is defined as such if the total engine capacity is less than 50 cc and the maximum speed is 30 miles per hour. Scooters will typically have no pedals and will have the brake horsepower of 2.7 or less. A moped will have pedals and a motor with maximum 1.5 brake horsepower. While there is no motorcycle insurance required for scooters or mopeds as aforesaid, a license is still required to operate these vehicles. As for insurance, these fall under the category of personal property and may be insured as personal property only. In Maryland a two wheeler with 70 CCs or more is considered a motorcycle and is to be registered as such. The minimum insurance covered required for motorcycle insurance in Maryland is US $ 20,000 per person for bodily injury and property damage of US $ 15,000. There is also Personal Injury Protection requirement of US $ 2500 as a bare minimum for medical expenses related to an accident for any of the passengers you may be carrying.
It is completely against the law to ride a motorcycle without a Department of Transport (DOT) approved head gear i.e. helmet in many states. If the helmet does not have a visor, there should be eye protection that has to be worn by the driver. There is no escaping this, motorcycle insurance or not.
Generally the DMV or in Maryland’s case the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will ask you to provide a proof of insurance. In Maryland this would be a Form FR-19 which would have to be requested from the insurance company itself. A copy of this form or insurance information should suffice and can be faxed to the DMV or MVA, as the case maybe, as an additional convenience for the applicant. The form will explicitly require you to affirm that so long as you keep your motorcycle’s registration current you will continue to keep it insured. When the insurance lapses, the DMV (or the MVA) will be notified by the insurance company and this will necessitate the fresh filing of the aforesaid form. If you have been in an accident or have traffic violations, the DMV or MVA may also ask you to enhance your insurance to a much bigger insurance cover.
Not filing properly for insurance or maintaining the insurance cover as required may attract its own set of penalties, running into hundreds of dollars. There may also be a revocation of license and registration coupled with a legal case, court fees, jail time and further penalties. Any falsification will carry up to a year in prison in most states along with a criminal record.
The penalties for riding with no insurance are different from state to state. There are certain common penalties though worth mentioning:
- Suspension of license.
- Suspension of registration.
- A hefty traffic ticket for no-insurance riding.
- Hefty fines.
To get a motorcycle insurance it is always advisable to shop around for motorcycle insurance rates and get the most suited insurance for your particular needs. There are many online motorcycle insurance vendors which may be of help to you. The suitability of a particular online motorcycle insurance plan will vary from person to person but it is always good to have insurance for unforeseen circumstances.
Be safe. Stay insured. Happy riding.