Motorcycle ownership in New Jersey and the must knows
Motorcycle riding can be one of the most enjoyable forms of transportation. Motorcyclists truly understand the sheer joy of driving down a winding road on a 75-degree day. Unfortunately, too many car drivers fail to heed to a motorcyclist’s right of way, are driving around distracted by their phones, or just simply fail to exercise due caution near motorcycle riders. For those difficult times, insurance coverage is the most important thing you can have after all of your safety gear.
When riders get their first motorcycle insurance policies, they are often surprised by how cheap they are compared to cars. There is a very good reason for this, your motorcycle insurance policy does not offer the same type of coverage for your medical care that your automobile policy does.
Insurance coverage for motorcycles does not include personal injury protection (PIP) in New Jersey. This is because motorcycles do not qualify as “automobiles” under New Jersey’s PIP statute. If you shop around, you can find motorcycle insurance policies that offer what is called “med pay,” but this is different than PIP. “Med pay” coverage can often be purchased up to $25,000, but it can be very expensive. Anyone who has had a relative spend more than a few days in a hospital knows how quickly costs for care can go over $25,000.
The unfortunate truth is – if you are riding motorcycles – your best bet is to have high quality health insurance. If you have good health insurance, you do not need to worry about “med-pay”. If you do not have health insurance, your only option is likely to be “med pay”. Given that motorcycle accidents often result in catastrophic injuries, it is important for every rider to have some form of medical coverage and to understand the limits of that coverage.
Even if you have good health insurance, sometimes those policies come with deductibles and copays that can eat up a rider’s savings after just one accident. Worse still, some of those policies have network restrictions that may leave you paying fully out of pocket if you have an accident outside of your coverage area. This is information every rider needs.
Being a good rider requires high levels of skill and awareness at all times when on the road. That same level of awareness should apply to your insurance coverage. Even the safest and most aware riders on the road cannot plan for what every other car or truck on the road may do. No one wants their first explanation of the limits of their insurance coverage to come while in a hospital bed.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash or are simply considering your motorcycle insurance options, give Dan T. Matrafajlo a call. As always, Dan T. Matrafajlo and the associates at Beninato and Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law provide free office consultations.