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How To Avail Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage In VA For Motorcycle Owners

The lure of riding a motorcycle on the open road is strong especially on a sunny spring day with a slight breeze.  Operation of the motorcycle is a special challenge for the driver since hands, legs, and sometimes the whole body is required to steer and balance the vehicle. Owners of motorcycles in Virginia must attend to the practical details of maintenance, special licensing and obtaining appropriate state minimum coverage insurance. The required license level in Virginia to operate a motorcycle is a Class M designation.

One of the most common reasons that a motorcycle owner does not have appropriate insurance is because the owner believes that the bike is covered under some other Auto insurance policy in VA. For example, a young man may have a car which has been included for years on his parent’s policy and be unaware that the parent did not add the motorcycle to the coverage as well.  A biker may feel that if he has insurance coverage for his own car that any additional ‘smaller’ vehicles will be covered automatically or he may have come into Virginia from another state and not registered the vehicle after the relocation. Finally, the issue of cost for the insurance might be low priority on the owner’s list of financial needs. None of these situations would be a defense to citations and suspensions resulting from failure to have state minimum coverage if the license plate were checked or there was a collision.

State minimum auto insurance coverage in Virginia requires that a company licensed to do business issue a policy which covers at least  $25,000 for Death or bodily injury to one person;  $50,000 for Death or bodily injury to more than one person;  and $20,000 for Damage to property $20,000 other than that belonging to the vehicle owner. Many credible companies provide policies which are cheap and readily available.

Other concerns should be addressed by the motorcyclist as well. Helmets are a subject of controversy in many states but Virginia does not allow any choice in the matter of wearing an approved helmet.   Motorcycle drivers and their passengers must wear a helmet which is approved by one of the three national standard settings organizations:   Snell Memorial Foundation, the American Standards Institute, Inc. or the United States Department of Transportation. The use of helmets has been demonstrated statistically to reduce brain injury, death and vision impairment. Statistics regarding these incidents can be found on the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle website and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Gloves, long sleeved shirts or jackets, heavy duty pants and appropriate shoes can be lifesavers to motorcyclists. When a bike is ‘laid down’ in the road (meaning that it has been tipped over onto one side) the rider can suffer abrasions, road burn, and lacerations. Proper clothing can reduce this risk.   Furthermore, if no helmet is worn or it does not have a face shield, the rider can be hit with road debris, insects and objects thrown from other moving vehicles. Visors, sunglasses, and safety glasses can all decrease the risk of injury.

Think a lot when it comes to selecting the motorcycle and the clothing worn when riding. Being visible at the right time could make the difference between being missed by a passing vehicle and being severely injured or killed. Footwear, however, should not be chosen for color since sturdy, full boots are safer and protect feet and ankles. Sandals, flip flops, and sneakers with laces which might dangle and be caught up in the moving vehicle parts are all unsafe. Care should be taken with all aspects of vehicle operation since the driver and passengers are directly exposed to the elements.

Using the motorcycle safely should be paired with having it properly insured. You want to meet the legal requirements but also protect yourself and others in the event of a crash and VA car insurance may not be as expensive as you think.  Put your zip code in the space at the top of this web page and you will get three competitive quotes for an insurance policy which meets the needs of a Virginia motorcycle driver and also meets your budget. Now is the time to compare and feel more confident that you can head out onto the open road with the maximum degree of safety.