Here is a full reprint of an article in The Standard titled Unlawful and stupid to drive without insurance:
Oct. 2 2009 I was out on my Harley Davidson motorcycle on my way to a job when some one turned left in front of me. I had two choices. Hit the pickup or lay down my beautiful bike. I chose to lay down the bike over hitting the truck. People that ride their bikes into other cars and trucks don't do so well. My bike sustained sever damage. The truck responsible had no damage. I was hurt and angry. I called the police, not the driver of the truck. The driver of the truck seamed to not care if I was alive or dead. They didn't come to see if I was OK or if I needed help. The only call to the 911 operator was mine. When the emergency people of Ogden Fire and Police arrived they did their typical good job. Ogden has some of the best emergency responders in the United States. I thank you. I had some serious injuries! The investigating Officer collected all the information to make a case against the driver of the pickup for failure to yield right of way, driving on suspended driver's license and no insurance. The no insurance part left me to deal with a $20,000 motorcycle that has $8,000 in damages, my injuries and not being able to work. I have insurance! What would have happened if I had been killed? Who would have taken care of my family? It is simply STUPID and against the law to drive around without insurance! John G. Moon Ogden
The comments to this article point out that regardless of the law people, for whatever reason, will persist in driving without insurance. So what is a motorcycle rider to do? Buy insurance yourself, that's what! This is even more important in tough economic times because the estimate of uninsured drivers in Utah is about 12 percent. In other words 12 out of every 100 drivers are out there driving without any vehicle insurance whatsoever!
When you purchase motorcycle insurance you can purchase what is called underinsured coverage and uninsured coverage. Underinsured coverage kicks in if the driver who causes the crash has insurance but not enough to cover your damages. For example let's assume the offending driver, like in the article above, turns left in front of you and causes the crash. Let's also assume, not like in the article above, that the offender has the minimum coverage for bodily injury in Utah, $25,000. Let's also assume that your total damages are $100,000. You may get the offender's policy limits of $25,000 but what about the remaining $75,000 you lost? If you had purchased adequate underinsured coverage of $100,000 that underinsured coverage would kick in because the offender was underinsured.
Uninsured coverage kicks in if the offending driver has no insurance coverage, like in the article above. In that case, with clear and convincing evidence, you would make a claim on your own uninsured coverage. If you had purchased $100,000 in uninsured coverage chances are your own insurance would pay for all of your damages.
So the answer is to make sure you carry enough insurance yourself to cover your damages should the other driver that causes the crash either does not carry enough coverage or no insurance coverage at all. Furthermore, underinsured coverage is a right in Utah. Often I discover that our clients have not made a knowing waiver of that right and under Utah law if that right to underinsured coverage is not made knowingly you are entitled to full underinsured coverage. At utahbikelaw it is part of our routine investigation to make sure that you get what you are entitled to under the law in Utah when you are in a motorcycle crash.
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