Does Kentucky No-fault Coverage Apply to Motorcyclists?
Let’s explore this by using an example from previous pages. My client was injured while she riding a motorcycle as a passenger. Insurance policies on motorcycles don’t typically provide PIP coverage, also known as no-fault coverage while riding a motorcycle. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer knows you take nothing for granted. You have to look everywhere to find insurance coverage to pay your client’s medical bills and potentially recover on their claim for pain and suffering. That’s the responsibility of a good personal injury lawyer; to maximize a client’s recovery and minimize the deductions that have to be paid out of that recovery.
By the way, I created an entire series of pages explaining how I handle motorcycle accident claims. There are several other pages you may want to review prior to reading further:
- Understanding Kentucky Motorcycle Accident Claims
- The Purpose of a Letter of Representation in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
- Reserving No-Fault Benefits After a Motorcycle Wreck
- Getting Motorcycle Crash Medical Records and Bills
- Quickly Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim for Policy Limits
- Splitting Policy Limits between Multiple Injured Motorcyclists
- Looking for Additional Sources of Insurance Coverage
Can Auto Insurance Be Applied to Your Motorcycle Accident Claim?
So, what about the no-fault coverage on my client’s automobile insurance? In other words, can the no-fault coverage my client has, through her automobile insurance, cover her while she is on another person’s motorcycle? The answer is “yes and no”.
First, in the case we are talking about, my client is already recovering $10,000 of no-fault benefits from the motorcycle insurance for the bike she was riding on, because that insurance policy contained optional no-fault benefits the motorcycle. Kentucky law says that there can only be one no-fault carrier up to the standard $10,000 of no-fault or PIP coverage. This is why you can’t “stack” basic no-fault coverage. However, you can purchase optional no-fault coverage to cover you while you are on a motorcycle. What does that mean?
Should You Buy Additional No-Fault Coverage?
In Kentucky, the minimum amount of no-fault insurance you can have on your vehicle is $10,000 per person. This amount is automatic and is on every car insurance policy. However, if I want to be really protected, I can buy optional no-fault benefits, with my car insurance carrier, and increase this limit to say $30,000. So, in this example, there is $10,000 of no-fault insurance and $20,000 of optional no-fault benefits. This is not considered “stacking”. Rather, you are simply using the optional, no-fault coverage you paid for and purchased.
If my client had done this, she would have been able use the $20,000 of optional benefits as well as the $10,000 of standard, no-fault insurance; assuming an exclusion under the insurance policy did not disqualify her from this coverage. One common exclusion you see will state that they, the automobile insurance carrier, will not cover you while you are riding a motorcycle. How do you know if there is such an exclusion? You must read and analyze the actual insurance policy and its terms.
Watch this video about PIP or no-fault motorcycle insurance in Kentucky.
With respect, as a consumer, I don’t recommend you try to analyze your insurance policy to determine if there is coverage for any aspect of a personal injury claim. Rather, if you are going to try and do this on your own, send that insurance carrier a letter claiming that they owe you that coverage and let that carrier, in writing, respond as to why they do not. Request in their response that they cite to the specific provision of the insurance policy that they are relying upon in their denial. In any correspondence you send any insurance carrier, make sure you reference the applicable claim number, and I would send the letter by certified mail so you can prove that it was mailed. A good injury lawyer would review the insurance policy and their response to see if they are correct or if their arguments go against the case law on the legal issue.
Hang in there. We’re almost done with the overall explanation of how to handle a motorcycle accident claim. From time to time, an insurance company may try to deny coverage for something they are legally required to cover. This is serious when it comes to medical expenses from a motorcycle wreck. Read the next page on potential bad faith actions by an insurance company.