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Understanding insurance requirements for Washington motorcyclists

Posted by Soholm Law Firm | Jan 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

While motorcycle riders once enjoyed exemption from Washington's mandatory auto insurance laws, a new regulation that took effect in July 2019 requires all bikers to carry liability insurance. This type of coverage pays for personal injury and property damage when a motorcyclist causes an accident. 

Learn more about required insurance coverage to ensure that you comply with these laws and avoid significant fines. 

Mandatory coverage limits 

Like other motorists, motorcycle riders must carry at least $25,000 in liability insurance for injury or death to one individual, at least $50,000 for all injury and death in a single crash and at least $10,000 for property damage coverage. In lieu of insurance from a private company, you can purchase coverage from the state Department of Licensing with a certificate of deposit or purchase a liability bond from a licensed surety bond company for at least $60,000. 

Personal injury protection 

In addition to liability insurance for your motorcycle, you can purchase personal injury protection that covers your injuries and costs in an auto accident, no matter who is at fault. PIP policies pay the following costs when you suffer an auto accident injury: 

  • Up to $5,000 total ($200 per week) to cover the cost of lost services such as child care and household chores 
  • Up to $10,000 total ($200 per week) to cover lost wages if you become disabled in an accident 
  • Up to $2,000 in funeral expenses for fatalities 
  • Up to $10,000 per person for hospital and other medical expenses 

Proving insurance coverage 

All motorcyclists must carry a proof of insurance card, which you will receive from your insurance company once you purchase an appropriate policy. If a law enforcement officer stops you, you must show this proof of insurance or risk receiving a traffic ticket. 

Carrying motorcycle insurance is not only a legal requirement, but it also provides financial protection. Without insurance, you are still responsible for another motorist's costs if you cause an accident that results in personal injury or property damages.

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