Stay Legal When Riding Your Motorcycle In Washington [infographic]
New Washington Law Requires Motorcyclists to Carry Liability Insurance
If you’re planning on taking your motorcycle out on Washington roadways, you’ll want to talk to your insurance agent. That’s because effective July 28, 2019, you must have motorcycle liability insurance to legally ride in Washington—and be able to prove to the police you have the required insurance.
Why was the motorcycle insurance law created?
The motorcycle insurance law was created because having the right insurance coverage is as important as having the right riding gear. It will help protect you, your loved ones, and those around you on the road from the expense of an accident. Prior to passage of the law, Washington was one of just a few states that didn’t require motorcycle insurance.
Lawmakers took up the issue with the goal of helping shield riders and accident victims from the cost of medical bills and property damage. Therefor they passed HB1014 earlier this year and it was signed into law by the governor.
You Don’t Need Insurance…
Until You Do
What motorcycle coverages does Washington state require?
Washington law requires motorcyclists be able to show an officer that they carry, at minimum, the following liability limits:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of another person in any one accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people in any one accident
- $10,000 for damage or destruction of property of others in any one accident
The law does not require you to carry Uninsured Motorist or Medical coverages but we highly recommend you do.
How do you prove you’re insured?
To prove you are insured, you’ll need to show proof of insurance to the police officer when requested. Your insurance company will give you a proof-of-insurance card when you start your motorcycle insurance and will send you a new card each time your policy renews. The card is your proof that you are covered by motorcycle liability insurance. If you can’t show proof, you can be ticketed. By the way, showing a copy of your insurance card on your smart phone works just the same as a paper copy.
Does motorcycle insurance cost a lot?
While the new law might mean an extra expense for motorcyclists who have been riding without insurance, coverage doesn’t have to cost a lot. “Minimum coverage can be quite affordable for experienced riders with clean records,” says Gary Paulson of Mid-Columbia Insurance. “Even inexperienced riders and those with tickets and accidents can usually find affordable coverage.”
Paulson also points out that while HB1014 sets minimum coverage levels, those low amounts might not cover all the costs of an accident. A serious injury could quickly exceed your coverage limits. Add to that, if you’re at fault and damages exceed your policy limits, you could end up paying for all additional costs—which could bankrupt you.
Even if you’re not at-fault, if the at-fault motorist is uninsured, the minimum required coverage does not include uninsured motorist. Be sure to protect yourself and your family’s assets by requesting this coverage.
What kind of motorcycles need to be insured?
The law applies to traditional motorcycles, as well as bikes like trikes and autocycles. Insurance is not required for mopeds or scooters that aren’t designed to go faster than 30 mph but if you are riding them on the road you would be foolish not to have coverage.
Lawmakers hope requiring motorcycles to have liability insurance will help better protect both motorcyclists, their families, and those around them on the road by providing a little more assurance that if an accident were to happen you and the person you hit will be protected.
About Mid-Columbia Insurance and Dairyland
Mid-Columbia Insurance provides affordable auto and motorcycle insurance from a number of companies including Dairyland with multiple coverage options, money-saving discounts, and outstanding customer service. For more information, visit our motorcycle insurance page.
You Don’t Need Insurance… Until You Do