Crashes are leading to significant expense for states.
The importance of motorcycle insurance has been brought to the forefront of Indiana’s attention following a series of tragic accidents that have left several riders dead in the northeast of the state this summer.
It is also making state lawmakers consider making helmets a required precaution.
This would add Indiana to the list of 20 other states that maintain this requirement. However, not every state finds it easy to put these rules into place. Many bikers feel that they should have the choice as to whether or not they wear the helmets. The issue with the bikers’ argument is that the injuries and fatalities that are experienced by people other than the riders are causing significant costs.
Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shown that almost half of all bikers have inadequate motorcycle insurance. This means that they are either uninsured, or that their policies don’t meet minimum requirements to cover the health care bills that result from their crashes. This forces taxpayers to have to pay for the amounts that are not covered.
The General Accounting Office decided in 1991 that motorcyclists who choose not to wear helmets much drive premiums up for both those who wear the protection, as well as other road users.
Indiana feels that taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for bikers without helmets or adequate motorcycle insurance.
It understands that motorcyclists may not want to be forced into wearing helmets, but this lack of protection is generating far too much expense for everyone else. Though the lawmakers in the state don’t feel that bikers in the state will be forced to wear helmets anytime soon, they are working on making them mandatory in the future. This is a part of a greater effort to ensure that motorcycle insurance will cover the costs when crashes do occur.
Other states have also made adjustments to their helmet laws. This includes the most recent changes, which were in Michigan, in April 2012. It stated that some riders needn’t wear helmets if they don’t want to, but with the following conditions:
• The rider must be at least 21
• The biker must have at least 3 years of experience riding
• A safety course must be passed
• They must carry at least $20,000 in medical motorcycle insurance coverage.