motorcycle accidents kc

Understanding Motorcycle Insurance in Kansas City, MO

Learn more about the vehicle insurance you need in MO and KS

Motorcycle owners, like car and truck owners, must have liability insurance in case someone is injured or killed in an accident. Motorcycle operators should try to buy as much insurance as possible because motorcycle accidents often cause catastrophic injuries which means the medical bills alone can be astronomical. Sadly, many motorcycle riders die in motorcycle accidents. Liability insurance awards in wrongful death cases are often worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

If you ride a motorcycle, the single best thing you can do (after putting on a helmet, of course) is make sure that you have enough coverage in case the worst comes to pass. Kansas City Accident Injury Lawyers wants to help; that’s why we’re providing this resource about motorcycle insurance in Missouri and Kansas. Our firm founder, James Roswold, has ridden a motorcycle for decades; he and his team understand just what is at stake if you get hurt.

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What types of motorcycles must have insurance?

Missouri defines a motorcycle as a vehicle that:

Has a seat or a saddle for the use of the rider and is designed to travel with only 2 or 3 wheels on the ground, having an automatic or manual transmission; and a motor with a cylinder capacity of more than fifty cubic centimeters, which produces more than three gross brake horsepower, and is capable of propelling the device at more than thirty miles per hour on level ground.

Generally, a motorized bicycle or an electronic bicycle is not considered a motorcycle; neither is a moped or a scooter. Vehicles also may not qualify as a motorcycle if they cannot go above a certain speed, have minimal horsepower, or feature engines with a low cc (cubic centimeters) amount.

Kansas’ definition of a motorcycle is slightly different:

A motor vehicle having a saddle or seat for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, capable of operating at a speed in excess of thirty miles per hour on level ground unassisted by human power, and with a motor that produces more than 5 brake horsepower.

What’s the minimum insurance I need in Missouri?

Missouri’s financial responsibility law requires that the owners of motorcycles meet their “proof of financial responsibility requirements” by carrying an insurance card or by filing a certificate of insurance, a bond, a certificate of deposit, or a certificate of self-insurance that meets the state’s minimum liability requirements. The failure to have this proof can result in license suspension, points on the owner’s driving record, and other consequences.

The minimum liability insurance amounts are:

  • Bodily injury per person: $25,000
  • Bodily injury accident: $50,000
  • Property damage: $25,000

Bodily injury insurance pays for a victim’s medical bills, lost income and lost benefits, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and other damages including wrongful death damages. Property insurance pays for the cost to repair your motorcycle or replace your motorcycle if your car is totaled.

Missouri motorcycle owners must also have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage – $25K per person and $50K per accident.

Minimums for Kansas

Kansas drivers must carry the following minimums in liability insurance:

  • Bodily injury per person: $25,000
  • Bodily injury accident: $50,000
  • Property damage: $25,000

Kansas also requires UM/UIM insurance ($25,000/$50,000) and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage:

  • $4,500 per personfor medical expenses
  • $900 per monthfor disability and/or loss of income (for one year)
  • $25 per dayfor in-home services (for one year)
  • $2,000for funeral, burial, or cremation expenses
  • $4,500for rehabilitation expenses

You should check with your agent or with us about who else is covered. Common insurance beneficiaries may include anyone in your household and anyone you give permission to ride your motorcycle or be a passenger.

What extra insurance can I buy in Missouri?

MedPay pays for some of your immediate medical needs. These needs usually include ambulances, emergency room care, surgeries, hospital visits, doctor visits, rehabilitative care, and assistive devices. Missouri does not require MedPay, but it’s worth the price.

A few other types of insurance cover motorcycle owners in Missouri should consider buying include:

  • Collision insurance pays for the damage to your motorcycle regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive insurance pays for the damage or loss of your motorcycle for reasons not related to fault such as fire or theft.
  • Umbrella insurance is used to pay for liability damages over and above the standard purchase amount.

Additional offerings in Kansas

The insurance for Kansas motorcycle owners is generally like the options for Missouri motorcycle owners. Kansas owners must purchase PIP insurance. They can also purchase collision and comprehensive coverage.

Should I buy more insurance?

Yes! Motorcycle accidents often cause severe injuries and fatalities because the motorcycle provides little protection for the rider. Motorcycle owners should buy as much liability insurance, UM/UIM insurance, and MedPay/PIP insurance as they can afford. Owners should buy as much collision insurance as their motorcycle is worth.

What happens if I’m hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver in Kansas City?

Some motorists drive without insurance. Many drive with just the legal minimum of coverage. If you are injured in a wreck and the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover your losses and injuries, you can file a liability claim with your own insurance company for UM/UIM to pay any of your damages that are not covered by the insurance companies of the people/companies responsible for your injuries or the death of a loved one.

Our Kanas City motorcycle accident lawyers will explain when you file for UM/UIM benefits, how you file, how the claims process works, and who can submit a claim.

Should I use my motorcycle insurance or my health insurance after a wreck?

When you’re in an accident, your priority is to get the medical care you need as quickly and as competently as possible. If you go to a hospital, the chances are very good they’ll ask for your motorcycle insurance policy – but you don’t have to give it to them. Legally, you can use your health insurance for your medical care, no matter what they say.

But why are they asking in the first place, you may wonder. Vehicle insurance companies pay more than health insurance companies. It’s kind of like joining one of those members-only Big Box stores; because you pay your yearly fee, you get a discount on buying in bulk that you might not get at the local grocery store. Health insurers basically buy in bulk when it comes to negotiating with hospitals, so they get a better deal. When the insurance company seeks reimbursement for what they paid out through subrogation or a medical lien on your award – and make no mistake: they will – you’ll end up paying more if you went through your motorcycle insurance policy than if you went through your health insurance.

But if you have a high deductible, this might seem like an undue burden. That’s where MedPay comes in. You can use your MedPay no matter who is at-fault, and it isn’t subject to subrogation. The problem, of course, is that you only have what you buy, so if your bills are higher than your MedPay coverage, then then you’ll have to pay the rest through an insurance claim or out of your own pocket.

One way to avoid a lot of extra payments is to use your MedPay to cover your deductibles, and then use your health insurance for the rest of your medical care. Your car insurance can handle any repairs you have, though Kansas residents can use their PIP to cover more than just their healthcare.

Health Insurance or Motorcycle Insurance

Do I need to report my Missouri motorcycle accident to the insurance company?

Motorcycle operators in Missouri are required to report accidents to the Missouri Driver License Bureau if the accident happened less than a year ago, one of the drivers was not insured, and the crash “caused property damage costing more than $500, or someone was injured or killed.”

You do need to notify your insurance company if you want them to pay you the proceeds. This requirement applies to your health insurance company and your motorcycle insurance company. Our Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyers will normally notify the defendant’s liability carrier, the umbrella carrier, and the UM/UIM carrier for you.

After any motorcycle accident, you should exchange driver, vehicle registration, and insurance information with the other drivers. Generally, if someone was hurt or there is any property damage, it’s a good idea to call the local police.

Reporting accidents in Kansas

In Kansas, motorcycle operators should report the accident to the local police if someone was injured or killed or the apparent property damage is $1,000 or more.

Can you help me with my Kansas City motorcycle insurance claim?

Our Kanas City motorcycle accident lawyers will help you with all your insurance claims. These include health insurance, MedPay/PIP, collision, liability, umbrella, and UM/UIM insurance. Our lawyers begin by reviewing the applicable insurance policies. We’ll file the correct notices, properly investigate your claim, and negotiate your claim with the insurance companies.

We’ll explain how subrogation and medical liens work. We’ll review what evidence and records such as medical bills and car repair estimates you’ll need. Generally, the non-fault parts of your claim should not require litigation. The fault parts (where you’re arguing a driver or someone else is responsible) often settle too. When insurance companies won’t offer a fair settlement, we file lawsuits and pursue your claim through the appropriate state and federal courts.

Can you help me if the insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement?

Never negotiate any insurance claim on your own. If you agree to a bad settlement (and most settlements without legal advice are bad settlements), you cannot renegotiate. Our lawyers will review your claim and review the applicable insurance policies to determine what coverage you have, and how we can maximize your award. We understand the records, evidence, and arguments you need to make to present the strongest claim possible.

Many insurance claims (those that require showing fault and those that don’t) do settle – often without litigation. If litigation is necessary, we’ll protect your rights and fight for the strongest result possible.

Do you have a motorcycle accident lawyer near me?

At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, our lawyers discuss client questions and cases at our main office located at 510 Walnut, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO, in the River Market area. We do have conveniently located offices throughout Missouri and Kansas. Our motorcycle accident lawyers do see clients away from the office when necessary. We also discuss your questions and cases via our video chat service by appointment.

Our team will explain what insurance policies you need, how much coverage you should buy, and how you file a claim with each insurance company.

Talk with our Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyers now

At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, our Missouri and Kansas motorcycle accident lawyers understand how complicated insurance coverage and insurance claims can be. We’ll help simplify the issues. We’re experienced at filing claims, preparing claims, and negotiating claims. Our personal injury lawyers understand when offers are fair and when you need to file complaints and request jury trials. Call us now or complete our contact form today to schedule your free consultation. We also have offices in Lee’s SummitSt. Joseph, and Parkville, MO as well as Overland ParkVictory Hills, Kansas City and Olathe, KS available by appointment.


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