As most of us that own a vehicle know, auto insurance can be a complex issue that everyone must endure. It’s also well known that everyone that owns a vehicle in North Carolina must have a minimum amount of insurance coverage. However, many people may not know what type of insurance is required for motorcycles.
Although it’s typically best to contact your insurance agency directly, this article will guide you through some of the insurance requirements in North Carolina, and help you get a better understanding of what insurance you need, and why.
Mandatory Limits and Miscellaneous Endorsement
Under North Carolina motor vehicle law, all operators of motorcycles and motor scooters are required to purchase liability insurance for their vehicles. This means that a valid insurance card must be kept with any motorcycle or scooter at all times.
Liability insurance helps pay for bodily injuries and property damage for which you may be responsible for. Liability insurance is important for all vehicle owners because the costs stemming from any accident can increase significantly, whether it involves a person or property. In North Carolina, all motorcycle and scooter owners must maintain the following minimum coverage:
- $30,000 bodily injury for each person
- $60,000 total bodily injury for all persons in an accident
- $25,000 for property damage
A nuance in Motor Vehicle Law in North Carolina is referred to as the “Miscellaneous Type Vehicle Endorsement.” Under this endorsement, motorcycles along with golf carts, travel trailers and similar types of vehicles are covered by the endorsement when attached to the owners’ Personal Automobile Policy. The endorsement will allow your vehicle to be considered a covered vehicle and extends insurance coverages to your motorcycle named in the policy declarations.
Additional Coverage Options
In addition to the required liability coverage for motorcycle owners, other coverages such as medical payments, collision/comprehensive, and combined uninsured/underinsured motorists are also options in North Carolina.
Medical payments coverage does not apply in the State of North Carolina as far as motorcycles are concerned.
Collison coverage means you are covered for any physical damage to your motorcycle that is caused by impact from another vehicle. Similarly, comprehensive (often called Other than Collision) coverage will cover additional damage arising from hail, theft, fire, falling objects, etc.
One of the more popular coverage options is called Uninsured or Underinsured motorists coverage. Under this policy you are protected when an uninsured driver, who is at-fault, injures you or another individual that is covered. It also covers you if you are injured by a driver that is underinsured, meaning their liability coverage are less than your uninsured/underinsured limits, and are not enough to cover the losses of the people they injure in an at-fault accident.
Finding the right insurance coverage for your motorcycle can be a daunting and lengthy process. Aside from the requirements under North Carolina law, there are a number of options that may be the right fit for you. Although insurance companies will usually try to sell you the most expensive—and sometimes unnecessary policy—an experienced motorcycle attorney can not only help you determine your best options, but also be there in case you’re in an accident.