Motorcyclists have the same responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles, in that they are required to have financial protection in the event of a traffic accident in Indiana. You can’t always predict what will happen on the road, thus it is important that you be prepared.
In Indiana, a person may not register a vehicle or operate one on a public highway unless financial responsibility is in effect in one of the following ways:
- A liability insurance policy issued with respect to the motor-vehicle;
- A bond executed with respect to the motor-vehicle; or
- Self-insurance, as recognized by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) through issuance of a certificate of self-insurance.
Proof of Financial Responsibility
Motorcyclists, as with all other motorists in Indiana, must also have proof of financial responsibility. Acceptable proof of responsibility with regard to the three options above includes:
- Liability Insurance: Filing a written certificate stating that the policy holder/driver has Indiana insurance coverage as per BMV requirements. This is often accomplished by bringing the insurance card when registering the vehicle.
- Bonds: Filing a bond with the BMV that will be executed by the person giving proof and a surety company authorized to conduct business in Indiana.
- Self-insurance: Filing a receipt from the treasurer of state proving either a deposit of $40,000 in cash or securities that may be legally purchased by savings banks or trust funds with a $40,000 market value.
The BMV has implemented a program, the Electronic Insurance Forms Submission (EIFS) program that allows licensed insurance agents to electrically submit a policy holders’ insurance information. Do not assume that your agent will be signed up for this program, however. It is advisable to find out from your insurance agent if they will be filing proof of financial responsibility electronically on your behalf or if you must do it. It is your responsibility to get your proof of insurance to the BMV.
Minimum Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Requirements in Indiana
Purchasing liability insurance is by far the most common form of financial responsibility, but just any amount won’t do. You have to fulfill the state’s minimum coverage requirements in order to have lawful financial responsibility. All motorcyclists must have the following minimum coverage amounts:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person;
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to 2 or more people in a single accident; and
- $10,000 for damage to or destruction of property in a single accident.
In addition, insurance companies are required to offer a minimum of $50,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Though a motorcyclist is not required to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in Indiana, it is highly recommended.
These amounts, though the legal minimum may not be the right coverage amounts for you and your style of riding. It is best to research various types of coverage before committing to any one policy.
Not maintaining the required amounts of financial responsibility can result in license and/or registration suspension and fines.
Staying on the Road
You can’t always predict what is going to happen once you hit Indiana’s public streets and highways, so it is best to be ready for anything that comes your way. Holding an insurance policy that conforms to the state’s minimum coverage requirements will make sure that 1. You are legally riding your motorcycle, and 2. You are prepared should an accident occur. I am an experienced and enthusiastic rider myself, and I wouldn’t want anything stopping me from being able to take my motorcycle out for a long ride. As a knowledgeable Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorney, I can help answer any questions you may have concerning state requirements and can even point you in the right direction of the insurance policy that is right for you.