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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Does auto insurance cover motorcycle crash injury or fault?

It's very common for motorcycle owners and riders to also own regular passenger vehicles for those times when cycling isn't the right choice. Drivers know they are required to maintain automobile insurance in case of accident or damage. But what are the motorcycle insurance minimum requirements in Wisconsin?

Laws pertaining to licensed motorcycle riding are specific. Automobile insurance does not cover motorcycles or other two-wheeled vehicles. According to the Department of Transportation, riders must establish financial responsibility before hitting the road on a motorcycle. WisDOT mandates assurance that riders have the means to cover possible expenses in the event of a motorcycle collision. One way to do this is by purchasing motorcycle insurance sufficient to meet the requirement. A liability policy that includes property damage and bodily injury coverage is acceptable. Alternatively, motorcyclists may post a bond or put $60,000 in cash on deposit with WisDOT.

If this financial requirement is met by purchasing insurance, the policy must provide a minimum of $25,000 or $50,000 for personal injury or death, and $10,000 property damage coverage. It is a rider's responsibility to either provide WisDOT with proof of insurance or carry a completed form provided by the insurer. If pulled over for a traffic violation or involved in an accident without proof the state's requirements have been met, the penalty can include license and registration suspension.

It isn't uncommon for cars and motorcycles to be involved in accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries to the cyclist simply because of his or her exposure on the bike. Contemplating recovery and long-term consequences, the costs of care and future financial security can be far greater than one might expect. Whether or not a motorcyclist is at fault, dealing with insurance companies that don't wish to pay claims in the first place can require persistence and skill.

If you are involved in an motorcycle accident, legal action may be helpful in securing any and all monies to which you may be entitled. Simply meeting and accepting Wisconsin's minimum financial coverage requirements may not provide what is necessary to recover.

Source: Department of Motor Vehicles, "Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements in Wisconsin" Sep. 25, 2014

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