What Type of Insurance Covers Motorcycle Accidents?

A lawyer and his client at opposite sides of a desk reviewing a motorcycle accident claim.If you own a motorcycle and live in Utah, you will need to purchase motorcycle insurance.

Utah requires a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person ($80,000 total) and $15,000 in property damage liability. This insurance covers your liability to others if you are at fault in an accident – it does not cover your own injuries and property damage.

For that, we recommend you also purchase Medical Payments (MedPay) and Collision coverage, which are optional under state law but provide much more thorough coverage.

If you are in an accident caused by another driver, we will seek to recover damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance. Because there are more cars and other vehicles on the road than motorcycles, this is typically auto insurance.

The state minimums are the same, with the addition of $3,000 in Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance. Car owners are required to use this coverage for their first $3,000 in medical bills regardless of who is at fault in the accident, but motorcyclists don’t have this requirement.

You can file a claim against the at-fault driver for damages, including medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, permanent disability or disfigurement, and, in the event that you lost a loved one in the accident, wrongful death.

What Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover?

This depends on the specific type of motorcycle insurance you buy as well as the particulars of your policy. The reality is that many people don’t know off the top of their heads what kind of insurance coverage they have.

They may have been busy with other things and in a hurry to get their vehicle insured, and don’t recall which types of insurance they purchased. In some cases, they might have been trying to save money and only purchased the minimum required coverage.

If you have motorcycle insurance and are wondering what it covers, we recommend logging into your account on the insurance company’s website. You should be able to see the specific types of coverage you bought, as well as the policy limit for each – for example, $50,000 in property damage liability, etc.

What Are the Different Types of Motorcycle Insurance?

There are several kinds of insurance you can buy for your motorcycle, and only two – bodily injury liability and property damage liability – are legally required by the state of Utah. However, people who only buy the minimum required insurance may lose more money than they save if they suffer losses that aren’t covered.

Here is a brief explanation of the different types of motorcycle insurance:

Bodily Injury Liability

As we discussed earlier, you are required to have at least $25,000 per person and $80,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage. Liability policies cover situations where you are at fault for an accident.

In this case, bodily injury liability would cover an injured party’s medical bills up to $25,000 (or a higher limit if you chose to purchase more coverage). When it comes to motorcycle insurance, this coverage is most likely to be used in accidents involving other motorcycles or pedestrians.

Car occupants are seldom injured in collisions with motorcycles – it can happen, but it’s unlikely.

Property Damage Liability

This is the other type of required coverage for motorcyclists in Utah. It covers situations where you are at fault for an accident that causes property damage, most often damage to another vehicle.

Medical Payments, or MedPay

This coverage is optional but well worth the investment if you’re injured in an accident where it’s difficult to prove the other driver was at fault. MedPay will cover your medical bills in an accident regardless of who caused the collision. It can be helpful in several types of accidents:

  • Single-vehicle accidents. Although a single-vehicle crash may not feel like your fault and may have been caused by circumstances like poor weather or debris on the road, the insurance company will probably consider this an at-fault accident. MedPay will cover your medical bills regardless.
  • Accidents where there isn’t enough evidence to show the other driver was at fault. Your attorney will do everything they can to prove you weren’t at fault in the accident, and in many cases, we find evidence to support the other driver’s culpability. But occasionally, we encounter situations where we simply can’t find enough evidence to build a strong case. When this happens, we always look at the injured motorcyclist’s insurance to see if they have options like MedPay.
  • Accidents where you were at fault. You might be a cautious driver – most bikers are because they understand the increased risk they face in an accident versus someone riding in a car. But even the most careful driver can make a split-second decision that doesn’t work out well. If a momentary lapse in judgment leads to an accident, you won’t have to worry about paying your own medical bills (up to the MedPay policy limit).


Collision insurance is a little like MedPay for your bike. It covers damage to your property, no matter who caused the collision, and is used in the same situations where you might need your MedPay coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

Uninsured/underinsured motorist or UM/UI coverage pays for your damages when another driver is at fault, but their insurance coverage is insufficient. They may be completely uninsured, or their coverage may not be enough for all of your damages.

For instance, if you have serious injuries, your medical bills could be in the six figures. A policy that only meets the state minimum requirements of $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability would fall short.

If you have a stackable underinsured motorist policy, this will provide additional coverage. UM/UI can also be used in hit-and-run crashes where the other driver is never found.


This type of coverage is used when your bike is damaged in situations other than a collision with another vehicle. It typically covers theft, animal collisions, and natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.

However, sometimes specific policies exclude certain natural phenomena, so it’s essential to read your policy carefully.

Do You Need PIP Coverage for Your Motorcycle?

No, Utah does not require PIP insurance for motorcyclists. If you are injured due to the negligence of another driver, you can sue regardless of how much your medical bills are.

Why Is the Insurance Company Refusing to Pay My Motorcycle Accident Claim?

There are a number of reasons this might happen, and the best way to know for sure is to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney. In many cases, we may be able to refute the insurance company’s reasons for denying your claim.

Here are some common issues we see with motorcycle insurance claims:

  • Disagreement about fault. This is probably the most frequent reason for a claim denial You file a claim with the other driver’s insurance, and their insurance adjuster thinks you’re at fault. It doesn’t matter if the other driver admitted fault or received a ticket; the insurance company can still claim you were also to blame under Utah’s modified comparative negligence laws. If they can make a case that you were at least 50 percent responsible, they have an excuse to deny the claim.
  • Your insurance doesn’t cover this particular situation. For instance, if you only have liability insurance and you file a claim with your carrier for your own injuries or property damage, they will have a valid reason to deny coverage. However, occasionally, the adjuster claims something isn’t covered based on their own interpretation of a clause in your policy, and they might be incorrect. For this reason, it’s good to check with an attorney about whether your claim really isn’t covered.
  • Your claim has exceeded the policy limit. The insurance company should pay up to the policy limit, but if you have additional damages beyond that amount, they are not obligated to pay any more. However, we may be able to find other solutions, such as suing the other driver directly or using your own insurance policy (UM/UI, MedPay, Collision).

These situations can be upsetting, but there may be legal remedies depending on the specific issue. Although you might want to immediately call the insurance company and straighten things out, this is not a good strategy.

The insurance company will simply record your conversation and pick apart everything you say, looking for an excuse to blame you for the accident or point out something that isn’t covered by your policy. Instead, please seek legal advice from a qualified motorcycle accident attorney.

How Can You Get Help With Your Motorcycle Accident Claim?

Please contact Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers for a free consultation about your case. We’ll review the police report on your accident, answer your questions, and explain the options.

If we take your case, there are no fees until we win or settle it, so you don’t have to worry about upfront costs.

Valley Law was founded by attorney Brigham Richards, who is dedicated to helping injured people and their families get back on their feet. He graduated from Arizona State University and is a member of the Utah and Nevada State Bar Associations.

Mr. Richards can also help clients who speak English or Spanish. Work with him at Valley Law by calling 801-810-9999.

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