While liability insurance was once optional for motorcycle riders in Washington state, the law requires this policy for bikers as of summer 2019. If stopped by law enforcement, motorists on a bike must provide proof of a liability policy. With the passage of House Bill 1014, only three remaining states exempt motorcycles from carrying liability insurance. 

Protect your financial interests by insuring your motorcycle with a policy that adheres to state legal minimums. 

Insurance liability limits 

Drivers and motorcyclists must purchase liability insurance that covers at least $10,000 in personal property damage. In addition, the policy must cover $25,000 in personal injury and wrongful death liability per individual and $50,000 per accident. When you purchase an auto or motorcycle liability policy, the company will send you a proof of insurance document that you must carry whenever you ride on Washington roads. 

Alternative liability options 

If you prefer not to purchase an auto insurance policy for your motorcycle, you can instead file a liability bond worth at least $60,000 with a state-authorized surety bond firm. You can also contact the Department of Licensing to pay for a liability policy directly through a certificate of deposit. Individuals who own at least 26 vehicles, such as fleet managers, can qualify for self-insurance through the Department of Licensing. 

Exceptions to the law 

The mandatory motorcycle insurance law does not apply to motor scooters and mopeds. The state defines a motor scooter as a motorbike equipped with less than 5 horsepower. A moped must have less than 2 horsepower and at least three wheels on the ground, with a top speed of no more than 30 mph. 

Washington follows a fault system when it comes to auto accidents. If you experience a serious injury while riding your motorcycle, you can file a claim with the responsible driver’s liability insurance policy. When he or she has limited or no insurance, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.