No-Fault is basically health insurance and disability insurance for people injured in a car accident. Drivers and passengers in cars get No-Fault insurance, so why don’t motorcyclists get No-Fault?
Why Are Motorcyclists Excluded From No-Fault Coverage?
When the New York No-Fault law was enacted, insurance companies were able to successfully argue that motorcycles are inherently dangerous and motorcycle accidents cause serious injuries with expensive medical treatment that would cause auto insurance policies to be too expensive.
The New York State legislature agreed to exclude No-Fault coverage from motorcycle insurance policies.
So, Why Is No-Fault Coverage Listed on Your Motorcycle Insurance Policy?
You may be confused because No-Fault coverage is listed on your motorcycle insurance policy.
That’s because your motorcycle insurance policy must provide No-Fault coverage to any pedestrians you hit with your motorcycle. Read more about why No-Fault insurance coverage is listed on your motorcycle insurance policy.
Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents Would Not Make No-Fault Coverage More Expensive
What makes No-Fault expensive for insurance companies is extensive fraudulent medical treatment billed by doctors for treatment of soft tissue injuries sustained by people in cars. And the majority of fraudulent No-Fault treatment in New York State has been reported to occur in just two counties, Brooklyn and Bronx.
It’s ironic because most motorcyclists avoid getting medical treatment, and many motorcyclists have only minor injuries.
Motorcyclists tend to have the type of personality that avoids medical treatment when possible. They care more about their motorcycle than they do about their own injuries.
Even with motorcycle accidents resulting in serious injuries with a broken bone, our clients often avoid going to doctors.
We had a motorcycle accident client who had serious third-degree burns on his leg, but he left the hospital against doctors’ advice even though he had good health insurance. He even refused medical treatment after he got home, although his burns could have been life-threatening.
The amount paid out on many No-Fault claims for soft tissue injuries in a car accident can cost as much as the hospital and surgical treatment provided to an injured motorcyclist.
Additionally, while insurance companies claim that there is much fraud with medical treatment for soft tissue injuries, there is probably never any fraud involving medical treatment for an injured motorcyclist with a fractured ankle, leg, or broken arm. A fracture (broken bone) and the treatment, including surgery, are easily documented.
Finally, there are far fewer motorcycle accidents than car accidents because there are fewer motorcycles than cars and because most motorcyclists do not ride in the winter.
In summary, while motorcycle accidents often cause more serious injuries, they are not always more expensive; there would probably be no medical billing fraud, and there are far fewer motorcycle accidents.
Should Motorcyclists Get No-Fault Insurance Coverage?
There are differences of opinion among motorcyclists as to whether No-Fault should be required for motorcycles. Some motorcyclists, including the ABATE in New York, are against No-Fault for motorcycles because of fear that the increased cost of the insurance premium could prevent some motorcyclists from affording motorcycle insurance.
Motorcyclists who have been injured in a motorcycle accident and who do not have health insurance always argue that No-Fault should be required for motorcycles.
I believe that the cost of no-fault coverage for motorcycles would be inexpensive, but knowing how insurance companies operate, they would likely overcharge.
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Motorcycle Attorney Phil Franckel talks about how motorcycle accidents are different
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website, one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York, well-known for representing motorcyclists. He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and is a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.
Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is a motorcycle accident lawyer and one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Robert began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.