Replete with stunning mountain ranges, swathes of desert and vast areas of luscious, green countryside, America is home to one of the most diverse terrains in the world. From the chilly Atlantic waters of Maine to the almost tropical Pacific waters of southern California, the USA landmass is brimming with spectacular vistas and domineering landscapes. The only way to fully appreciate its beauty is in person, and the open road provides that opportunity. A coast-to-coast motorcycle journey becomes a voyage of discovery for thousands of Americans every year, but what are the insurance implications of such an adventure?
Motorcycle riders with a valid insurance policy will be happy to know that they can make their dreams of a coast-to-coast ride a reality, as policies are valid across the entire country. While this is good news, there are some issues to take note of. Riders should seriously consider buying a policy with the maximum coverage, as such a long and arduous journey is fraught with potential for accidents. However, crossing state lines could have an effect on the policy's minimum coverage.
Coverage will change automatically as riders enter different states, as policies will need to comply with the minimum coverage requirements of the state in which the policy holder is riding, not the state in which the policy originated. Crossing into a state that has higher minimum requirements than the rider's policy provides will result in that policy being automatically upgraded to comply with the higher levels of cover required.
This issue can be explained with the example of Virginia and Kentucky. A rider living in Virginia could take out a policy with the minimum property damage coverage of $20,000. Taking a motorcycle over the state line into Kentucky would mean riding in a state with a minimum coverage level of only $10,000. In this case, the motorcyclist's policy would continue to have a minimum coverage level of $20,000.
Fortunately, a policy's minimum coverage level will rise in line with any state's legal requirements. So, someone living in Kentucky with the minimum level of cover will be able to rest easy, as the minute the Virginia border is crossed, the policy's coverage level will increase to the state minimum of $20,000. Stated simply, coverage will always increase to comply with a state's minimum requirements, and it will never fall below any state's minimum level. Riders can get on their bikes and embark on the journey of a lifetime without the fear of their insurance becoming invalid as state lines are crossed.
It is worth noting, however, that the legal minimum coverage is not always sufficient to pay a claim. The sum of $10,000 will certainly not cover the cost of a Jaguar or a new Mercedes if the actions of a rider lead to a write-off. Inadequate coverage could leave a motorcyclist with a pretty hefty bill for any insurance shortfall.
Are you about to embark on a motorcycle journey across state lines? If so, give Lancette Agency a call at 651-264-1230, and one of our Minneapolis motorcycle insurance experts will be happy to talk through your options with you.