IS YOUR MOTORCYCLE COVERED BY YOUR UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE?
Posted By Robert Sparks || Apr 29, 2013
In general, uninsured motorist coverage benefits may be recovered when the insured has been injured by an uninsured motor vehicle and the insured is legally entitled to recover from the operator of the uninsured motor vehicle. See Fla. Stat. 627.727 Further, Florida Statutes defines “uninsured motor vehicle” to include an insured motor vehicle when the liability insurer (at fault party) is unable to make payment with respect to the legal liability, has provided limits of bodily injury liability for its insured, or when the liability insurer excludes liability coverage to a nonfamily member whose operation of the insured vehicle caused the insured.
Questions arise when motorcycles are involved in an accident and victims seek coverage under their uninsured motorist policy. The first question that a victim of an accident may ask is whether their motorcycle is covered under their uninsured policy.
Florida case law has established that an uninsured motorcycle is considered an uninsured motor vehicle and therefore motorcycles may avail themselves to the same protections under Florida law as a car or truck. However, there are exceptions to the rule. One example of an exception is that an insurance carrier may exclude from the definition of “uninsured motor vehicle” any vehicle designed mainly for off road use. This is because such vehicles are not “motor vehicles” as defined by the Financial Responsibility Law. In these instances (off road vehicles such as dirt bikes), the strict language of the insurance policy will dictate whether uninsured motorist coverage is available.
In short, a motorcycle is typically covered under the insured’s uninsured motorist coverage, but all riders must keep in mind that that there are exceptions to this coverage and the facts and specific language of the law may dictate how far and to what type of vehicle may be covered under an existing policy.
In the event you have a question regarding your uninsured motorist coverage or if you have suffered an injury in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident we invite you to contact Givens Givens Sparks for a free case evaluation.