All motorcyclists in Texas have to carry motorcycle insurance. It will apply in much the same way as a car insurance policy. However, the state's required coverage levels for car insurance often does not represent enough protection for bikers. Therefore, as a motorcycle insurance agent, it is up to you to impress the importance of added coverage on buyers. Indeed, most motorcyclists can and should carry more protection, and you can help them get it. Here's why.
While ample to meet legal requirements, the state's required coverage might not provide enough protection. The more protection a biker carries, the more of a cushion they might have. Therefore, the policy can provide more of a financial benefit following a greater variety of accidents. Simply put, the more protection a biker carries, the less their billfold might suffer following accidents.
Texas' Required Motorcycle Insurance
As a registered motor vehicle, someone's motorcycle is subject to insurance requirements set by state law. The law actually requires that drivers prove that they have proof of financial responsibility in case they are at-fault for accidents. While there are multiple ways to prove this responsibility, most people do so by carrying auto liability insurance.
Texas requires drivers, including motorcycle owners, to carry at least:
- $30,000 Bodily Injury Liability Insurance per person
- $60,000 Bodily Injury Liability Coverage per accident
- $25,000 Property Damage Liability Insurance
As an insurance agent in the Lone Star State, you must include at least these limits on all policies you offer.
Texas' At-Fault Insurance Rules
As an at-fault insurance state, Texas places blame for accidents on the drivers who cause them. The state requires liability coverage because of this rule. It is the at-fault biker's liability policy that will pay for the losses of someone else. The other party therefore won't suffer unduly because of something that was not their fault.
If a biker hits another driver from behind, then the wreck was likely the biker's fault. As a result, the at-fault party must pay for the damage of the other party. Motorcycle liability insurance helps them do that. The bodily injury coverage might pay for the other driver's injury costs. The property damage coverage will pay for their property damage — in this case, their vehicle damage.
At the same time, an auto liability policy can protect you as the policyholder as well. It will help you avoid heavy financial losses should you cause harm to someone else. Given the significant personal and legal wrangling that might arise from such situations, it is easy to see how much you need this protection.
The Minimum Liability Insurance Might Not Be Enough
Even so, as an agent, you probably realize that the state's minimum required insurance is still a minimum requirement. It provides help policyholders, but it might not give them all the help they might need. As a result, you can and should encourage your policy applicants to increase their coverage options.
By increasing their protection, bikers can receive additional help in more than one way. Primarily, they can get more money to help them. Therefore, even the most-expensive accidents might still result in low out-of-pocket costs for policyholders. That is their primary incentive for getting coverage.
Policy Elements To Add
Nearly any biker who wants to increase their policy limits can do so. A few exceptions might exist, based on a biker's risk ratings. However, multiple insurers can and will insure bikers with higher policy limits, as long as they are willing to pay for them. Talk to policyholders about some of the benefits they can gain just by increasing their policy limits.
- Most policyholders can increase the limits of their liability insurance. For example, they might be able to carry well over $100,000 (each) for their bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. This can be beneficial because a policyholder never knows when liability claims might exceed their policy limits. For example, a wreck could cause a property damage loss that is worth much more than the $25,000 in minimum coverage.
- Bikers can also get insurance that will cover their own bike's damage, and not just the damage of others. For example, if they buy collision insurance, they can afford to repair their bike following a wreck. By adding comprehensive coverage to their policies, they can cover bike damage caused by non-wreck hazards — such as theft, fire or severe weather.
- Policies can also offer their own protection in the event a biker cannot use another person's liability insurance for their own losses. Uninsured/underinsured protection will pay for the policyholder's own property damage if another at-fault party lacks the liability coverage to do so.
- Policies can also offer personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that can cover the policyholder's medical costs, lost income or other losses following their injuries in a wreck. As an agent, you must offer your clients this coverage, though they have no obligation to actually buy it.
The thing to do is to impress on your buyers that you can ensure they get ample amounts of protection from their motorcycle insurance. By educating them, you might even cue them in on the benefits they never thought they needed. Therefore, you can ensure they get the maximum protection for their most-precious asset.