The quick answer to this question is that you should carry as much liability, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist coverage for your motorcycle as you can afford. Since many people hesitate to pay a lot for insurance coverage because they don’t intend to be injured in an accident, we'll explain why it's so important to carry the maximum coverage you can afford.

Insurance Laws and Fault Differ by Stateinsurance sign

At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we're proud to serve the residents of both Kansas and Missouri in their motorcycle accident claims. However, residents should understand that laws regarding fault in motor vehicle crashes as well as insurance requirements differ according to the state in which your vehicle is registered. We'll discuss the laws and your options in each state individually.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Kansas

Kansas is one of a dozen states that follows a no-fault car and motorcycle insurance system. Under this system, it doesn’t matter who is at fault in an accident—a motorcycle rider’s insurance policy will cover his or her medical expenses. That's why it's especially important to carry adequate insurance to cover the injuries and recovery that could result from a motorcycle crash. Under Kansas law, motorcycle owners are required to carry certain minimum coverages for personal protection (or no-fault), liability, and uninsured motorist coverage.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

The first coverage tapped after your motorcycle crash is your PIP coverage. The minimum amount you're required to carry by law includes the following:

  • $4,500/person for medical expenses
  • $900/month for one year for disability/loss of income
  • $25/day for in-home services
  • $2,000 for funeral, burial, or cremation expense
  • $4,500 for rehabilitation expense
  • Survivor Benefits: Disability/loss of income up to $900/month for one year

Injuries resulting from a motorcycle crash can be catastrophic and require thousands of dollars in medical care and years of recovery and rehabilitation. Keep in mind these minimum coverages will clearly not be enough to get you through your accident recovery

Liability Coverage

Even though Kansas is a no fault state, if you suffer serious bodily injury, you may sue the other driver for coverage once you have used up your personal injury protection coverage. Under Kansas law, a serious injury is one that causes permanent disfigurement; fracture of weight-bearing bone; compound, comminuted, compressed, or displaced fracture of any bone; permanent injury; or permanent loss of a body function.

Every driver in Kansas is required to carry liability insurance in the following amounts:

  • $25,000/person for bodily injury
  • $50,000/accident for bodily injury
  • $10,000/accident for property damage

The victim of a motorcycle accident can suffer injuries requiring more than $25,000 in medical care, so if the at-fault driver is carrying the minimum coverage, you'll be even more reliant upon your PIP coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If the at-fault driver in your motorcycle crash is uninsured, your uninsured motorist coverage will pay for medical expenses. Minimum coverage in Kansas is as follows:

  • $25,000/person
  • $50,000/accident

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Missouri

Unlike Kansas, Missouri is a fault state, which means once fault is determined and assigned to a driver in an accident, that driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying the medical costs of the victims. Fault can be shared in Missouri as well, so if it's determined that each driver contributed in some way to the crash, they'll each be responsible for some percentage of the damages. Minimum insurance requirements in Missouri, like Kansas, will likely also be inadequate to cover catastrophic injuries resulting from a motorcycle crash.

Liability Coverage

In Missouri, you must carry the following minimum coverage amounts to pay the victim of the crash for his or her medical expenses if you're determined to be at fault in an accident:

  • $25,000/person for bodily injury
  • $50,000/accident for bodily injury
  • $10,000/accident for property

As the victim of a negligent driver who is carrying the state minimum, you won't be able to collect nearly enough to cover your medical costs. This is why the state also requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist insurance.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If your medical costs exceed the liability coverage of the at-fault driver, you will have additional coverage from you own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

State minimums are as follows:

  • $25,000/person for bodily injury
  • $50,000/accident for bodily injury

This additional amount will help, but still inadequate to pay all of your expenses if you suffer a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury.

How Much Insurance Should You Carry?

Insurance laws in Kansas and Missouri are the same for car owners as they are motorcycles owners, despite the potential for much greater injuries in a motorcycle crash. Determining how much insurance you should carry above your state’s minimum depends in large part on what you can afford.

However, knowing that a serious motorcycle accident can lead to permanent and catastrophic injury, it's not difficult to calculate what you may need. In a no-fault state like Kansas, if you have excellent health insurance coverage, you may not need to increase your PIP coverage. Most insurers recommend carrying liability insurance of $150,000 per person/$300,000 per accident to protect other assets such as your home if you are at fault in an accident. The bottom line is to discuss all of your options with your insurance agent and purchase the maximum amount you can afford.

Have You Been Injured In A Motorcycle Accident?

If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

You can also order your FREE copy of our book, "KC Biker Bible."