Americans often assume that they have a constitutional right to drive. This is untrue. Driving any vehicle in the United States is a privilege. Particular standards have been set that protect the general public. As long as a driver stays within those standards, and demonstrates their ability to drive safely, they are extended the privilege.
Some of these standards (laws) vary from state to state. We will look at the basic requirements in the state of California specifically for drivers who operate a motorcycle.
Liability Insurance Coverage
Everyone who operates a vehicle in the state of California, including motorcycles, must carry sufficient liability insurance. This insurance helps cover damages and injuries that other people have experienced due to an accident that you cause. The absolute minimum liability coverage in San Bernardino is as follows:
- $15,000 to cover one (1) person who sustained injury or death
- $30,000 to cover more than one person who sustained injury or death
- $5,000 to cover property damage
Note: Liability insurance does not cover your own injuries or death. Nor will it cover any property damage you sustained. Your insurance provider will explain comprehensive and collision insurance which is designed for your own expenses.
- You must also carry proof of insurance with you at all times when driving the motorcycle. Your agent will provide you with an insurance card which you must have with you.
- Once you buy your insurance, your company will report it to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This is an automatic process. If you allow your policy to lapse, your registration will be suspended. Other penalties will apply.
Penalties for not carrying the proper insurance information could include tickets and fines. It can also result in your motorcycle to be impounded.
Cost of Motorcycle Insurance
How much your insurance will cost depends on a lot of factors. Your insurance agent will take several things into consideration, such as:
- Your driving experience
- Your driving record (accidents you have been involved in)
- Your age
- The type, size, and age of your motorcycle
It is a good idea to purchase more than the minimum insurance coverage. A smart driver carries as much insurance as they can comfortably handle, and policies that fit their particular needs.
Helmet Laws and How They Affect Your Insurance
In California, the law says if you operate or ride on a motorcycle, you must wear a safety standard approved helmet. Even if you actually drive a motorized bicycle or a scooter, you must wear a helmet. Some states allow drivers to get away with not wearing a helmet, as long as they carry enough insurance to cover others. This is not the case in San Bernardino.
By obeying the laws of the state, and exhibiting your ability to drive your motorcycle responsibly, you will be afforded the privilege to operate your motorcycle on the roads, streets, and highways of California. However, failure to do so can result in some hefty consequences.
For more information, speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer today.