As the weather gets warmer, it's common to see motorcyclists zipping along the shores of Lake Michigan and other scenic roads in the Chicago area. Many motorcyclists carry passengers on the back of their bikes. If you have a passenger riding with you, it's important that both parties have a clear understanding of your insurance coverage in case of an accident.
When an accident occurs and a passenger is injured, the at-fault party's insurance company must honor the claims and pay the medical bills of the injured passenger. Having sufficient passenger liability insurance coverage can protect the motorcyclist from being personally sued over the accident.
If the accident was not your fault, in most circumstances your guest passenger liability coverage won't cover your passenger's injuries, although coverage for medical payments applies no matter who is determined to be at fault.
What about cases where at-fault drivers are either underinsured or uninsured? Having additional insurance coverage in place for just these types of scenarios is your best protection from liability for an injured passenger.
All motorcyclists and passengers, no matter how much coverage is in effect, should do as much as possible to keep themselves safe while riding. Periodically taking a refresher course to make sure that your cycling skills remain up to par is advisable. In some cases, this might even lower your insurance premiums.
If you are injured on a motorcycle, either as a rider or passenger, if someone else caused or contributed to your injuries, you likely have a cause of action to pursue financial compensation through a damage claim or even a civil lawsuit.
Source: Allstate, "Bikers: If Your Passenger Is Injured, Are You Covered?," accessed April 29, 2016