Stephen Hasner | Motorcycle Accidents | May 30, 2020
Individuals are required to have motorcycle insurance to operate a motorcycle legally in Georgia. Motorcycles have the same insurance requirements as other motor vehicles registered in the state. Unfortunately, liability insurance does not protect the motorcyclist after a motorcycle accident.
What are the Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Georgia?
Motorcycles and other motor vehicles operated in Georgia must have a minimum amount of liability insurance:
- $25,000 in liability insurance per person for injuries or death;
- $50,000 in insurance per accident for injuries or death; and,
- $25,000 in property damage liability insurance per accident.
If a person operates a motorcycle without the required liability insurance, the state may revoke or suspend the motorcycle registration. Also, the state can fine the vehicle owner $25 for the lapse in coverage. The state imposes an additional fine of $160 for failing to pay the lapse in insurance coverage fine within 30 days.
If an owner does not have motorcycle insurance, the owner must immediately cancel the registration with the state. The owner must not ride the motorcycle or allow another person to ride the motorcycle until it has a valid registration and required insurance.
Are There Additional Insurance Policies a Motorcycle Rider Needs?
Liability insurance does not protect the rider. The insurance compensates victims of an accident the rider causes.
Motorcycle injuries are typically severe because the rider does not have the same level of protection as riders in a car have during a collision. A rider could incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and losses because of a motorcycle accident.
Optional vehicle insurance a rider may want to consider include:
- Collision Insurance pays to repair or replace the motorcycle if the rider causes an accident.
- Comprehensive Insurance pays to repair or place the motorcycle if it is damaged by fire, theft, vandalism, hail, and other covered perils.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage pays the rider for damages and losses from an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Unfortunately, many drivers break the law and driver without insurance.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage pays the rider when another driver causes an accident and does not have enough insurance to cover the claim. Minimum liability insurance is often not enough to pay the full value of a motorcycle accident claim. A broken bone from a motorcycle accident can result in damages that exceed the minimum liability coverage of $25,000.
- Med-Pay and PIP Insurance are no-fault insurance policies. The policies cover medical expenses and loss of income from an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This insurance coverage can be beneficial after an accident because you do not need to wait until a liability claim is settled to receive benefits.
There are also additional insurance policies that a motorcyclist may want to purchase. Some insurance companies offer towing and roadside assistance insurance. You can also purchase insurance that pays off your motorcycle loan if your motorcycle is destroyed in an accident.
Are There Other Requirements for Riding a Motorcycle in Georgia?
Yes, a rider must obtain a valid Class M License (motorcycle license) or a Class M Instructional Permit to ride a motorcycle in Georgia.
You can get a motorcycle license in two ways. First, the rider can complete an approved Motorcycle Safety Program Course. Successful competition of the motorcycle safety course waives the riding and written tests required to get a motorcycle license.
Riders can get a motorcycle license by passing a vision test, written knowledge test, and riding test given by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). A rider can get more information about the riding and written test in the Georgia Motorcycle Operator’s Manual.
Georgia also has a universal helmet law. All riders must wear a motorcycle helmet, regardless of their age. Motorcycle helmets must meet or exceed the requirements for a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet.
Also, a motorcycle must have an enclosed cab, windshield, or the rider must wear an eye-protective device. The eye protection can consist of approved goggles or a visor on a motorcycle helmet.
Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney if I’ve Been Injured?
It can always be helpful to discuss a motorcycle accident claim with an attorney. Motorcyclists are often blamed for accidents, even if they are not at fault. An attorney understands how to fight claims of comparative fault to protect a rider’s right to receive full compensation for motorcycle accident injuries.
An insurance claims adjuster may tell you that you do not need a lawyer. The adjuster is looking out for the insurance company’s best interest. It is a good idea for you to talk with someone who is looking out for your best interest before making any decisions or providing statements for the insurance company.