Auto Insurance Companies Cannot Exclude Motorcycles from Uninsured Motorist Coverage

An interesting twist in the legal battles over denied insurance claims was reported by the Metropolitan News Company today, regarding under...

An interesting twist in the legal battles over denied insurance claims was reported by the Metropolitan News Company today, regarding under-insured motorist coverage, presumably in the State of California. I say "presumably" because the article doesn't specifically mention what State this dealt with.

But the Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that automobile insurers cannot deny uninsured motorist coverage, and under-insured motorist coverage, when the policy holder operates a vehicle with less than four wheels.

The case involved a San Diego police officer who suffered an injury while riding his police motorcycle, when we was struck by another driver. The other driver had liability coverage, but only up to a maximum of $15,000.00. The officer's personal policy had under-insured coverage for up $30,000.00, but claimed that because he was riding a motorcycle, the benefits did not apply.

The officer sued the insurance company, but lost. However when he appealed to the Fourth District Court of Appeals, he won.

The winning argument was that the exclusion violates Insurance Code Sec. 11580.2, which mandates that all motor vehicle policies written in the state (I assume California) include UM and UIM coverage unless waived by both the insured and insurer in writing and in the manner specified by the code section.

However, the article goes on to note that this piece of code does not extend to policy holder's liability coverage, only UM and UIM coverage.

So, it seems that if you have already have UM and/or UIM coverage through your automobile insurance, you may not have to get UM and UIM coverage on your motorcycle insurance policy. But check your State's insurance laws first. (Like you'll really do that anyways!)

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