New Hampshire is the "Live Free or Die" state with this free spirited-attitude evident on our state's open roads with the number of motorcycles cruising around. For motorcycle drivers in NH, riding is a scenic and enjoyable way to get around. However, the risks are real - motorcycle riders who are involved in a crash have a higher risk of personal injury and damage to their bike. In addition to understanding motorcycle safety, NH motorcycle insurance can help protect you financially in case of an accident.
NH Motorcycle Insurance
Unlike riders in other states, New Hampshire does not have many legal restrictions for motorcyclists. Helmets are optional for drivers and passengers over the age of 18 and motorcycle coverage is not required for most drivers. However, just because helmets and insurance are not required does not mean you should go without. A helmet could prevent serious head trauma or death in an accident, while insurance provides important financial protection that will not extend from your New Hampshire car insurance policy.
NH Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
Most motorcyclists are not required to carry a motorcycle policy; however, you are required to hold a motorcycle license or endorsement on your driver's license. Those who are required to carry motorcycle coverage include those who are required to file proof of liability insurance (aka: an SR22 filing) with the state due to the following:
- You were involved in an accident and did not have insurance at the time
- You were convicted of a DUI
- You were convicted of reckless driving
- You have exceeded the allowable limit of traffic violations
If you have an SR22 filing with the state of New Hampshire on your personal auto policy, you are not required to have an additional filing on your motorcycle policy according to the New Hampshire DMV. That said, if you chose not to insure your motorcycle and had an SR22 filing on your personal auto policy, the New Hampshire personal auto policy would never extend coverage to that motorcycle and you would be left personally responsible for paying any damages in an at-fault accident as well as possibly extending the requirement for the SR22.
If you are required to purchase insurance, the minimum legal requirements include:
- $25,000 in bodily injury per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage
- $1,000 in medical payments
- $25,000 in un-insured/under-insured motorist coverage per person
- $50,000 in un-insured/under-insured motorist coverage per accident
These minimum coverages help protect other drivers, as well as yourself, if you are the cause of an accident and will help protect you financially as well.
The Basics of NH Motorcycle Insurance
Regardless of whether or not you are required to carry insurance, it is a good idea to have protection. If your bike is damaged, stolen or someone is injured from your bike, the costs can be staggering. If you do not have your motorcycle insured, then you could be responsible for paying all expenses out of pocket! This could be much more devastating than simply having to give up your motorcycle, but could mean an attachment of your wages until medical bills and damages are paid off.
There are a variety of coverages to choose from, in addition to the mandatory minimum, should you choose to purchase insurance, listed above. In addition you could increase the limits (which is strongly suggested), as well as add the following:
- Collision helps pay for repairs to your motorcycle if damage caused by an accident.
- Comprehensive helps pay for repairs or to replace your bike if stolen, vandalized or damaged in some other way besides a collision. This could include fire damage, flood, falling objects, wind or collision with an animal.
- Customized parts and equipment is an option with some motorcycle insurance policies .
- Roadside assistance which can include towing and other basic emergency services.
Most people who own motorcycles are passionate about their bikes. If you have made a significant investment in your bike, a customized motorcycle policy can help you restore it and keep you on the road. If you simply have a bike to tool around town on, motorcycle coverage is still a critical protection for your finances as you do not have to have a nice bike to cause injury or damage to another's property.
New Hampshire is unique among states in that it does not require motorcycle insurance in most cases. However, driving without insurance is taking a considerable risk. A single accident can cost more than most people can afford to pay on their own. Investing a small amount in insurance can provide protection for you, your bike, your passengers and others on the road needed to keep on rollin'.
This material is for informational purposes only. All statements herein are subject to the provision, exclusions, and conditions of the applicable policy and state laws. For an actual description of all coverages, terms and conditions, please refer to the applicable insurance policy, the New Hampshire DMV or local jurisdiction.