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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys! I am a 17 year old male with a clean driving record. I am interested in a ninja 250 as a first bike. I have been riding dirt bikes since I was 8 years old. I'm interested in just cruising around neighborhood streets and low traffic areas. I would wear reflective gear, wear proper safety gear, ride during the daytime, and take some motorcycle training classes. I am a responsible kid who would pay for this bike my self. I'm not looking to stunt or go fast. My parents were on board until we called the insurance company. The insurance company said that because I am a minor, my parents are liable for damages and other people injuries if I did ever get in a crash. How big of a concern is this? Is this true? How would a motorcycle cause such damage? Thanks! JP
 

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If you hit something you can damage it. That's why they have liability insurance, which is mandatory in most states. Your folks can pay for it and you can pay them back. Then be good and careful so you never need to use it.
 

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Let me draw you a couple of pictures.

You're driving around the neighborhood on your motorcycle, with no insurance.

You either A) Lose control and hit a parked car - or B) a driven car strays in your way, but most certainly fault gets assigned to you.

In this scenario, the car is a $35,000 car or SUV. It's also this person's only wheels to work. The car requires $8,000 work in parts and paint, and will take two weeks to fix. The owner will need to rent a car to get to work while it's in for repairs. (Another $1,200) So your parents will be on the hook for $9,200. You won't be able to dispute this much as even if you're not much at fault, you'll be found at-fault as an unlicensed or uninsured driver.

Now let's try this one on:

A kid runs in front of you in the streets, chasing a ball. You hit the kid.

You're sued for $25,000 in medical bills? If you accidentally kill the kid, it's over $1MM. (formulas for human life are often based on expected life earnings plus a little).

Liability insurance is cheap for what it affords. But you probably can't be covered until you're licensed. So let's do first things first, and keep the risk to your family down to a minimum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I already have a motorcycle endorsement on my licence. I am licensed. I would get liability and comprehensive/ collision insurance through progressive. Would my parents or I be liable if we got sued in the case of an accident?
 

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I already have a motorcycle endorsement on my licence. I am licensed. I would get liability and comprehensive/ collision insurance through progressive. Would my parents or I be liable if we got sued in the case of an accident?
Even if you're sued it would come down to your parents who will need to pay the bill if you can't. Think of it like a loan and you can't get the money yourself. So your parents cosign. In the end if a collection agency comes after you for not paying because you can't, then they'll go after your parents. Basically until you are a legal adult and can get your own insurance, your parents will be liable for any damages you can't pay.
 

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I already have a motorcycle endorsement on my licence. I am licensed. I would get liability and comprehensive/ collision insurance through progressive. Would my parents or I be liable if we got sued in the case of an accident?
Okay that changes things. Sorry if I misread or didn't get what you were saying. The trick is to get ENOUGH liability insurance, that your personal assets never come into play.

You hit a car, a person, or damage a building or other property, you get your insurance in the loop right away. If the victim decides to sue your family anyway, it's your insurance company's job to come forward and pay justified damages.

Where people fall down, is to not get enough insurance coverage. People think the "State minimum" amount is a safe amount. Often, that's far from the truth.

My personal belief is that at a MINIMUM you should get $100,000. It doesn't take much to generate a bill that large. Greater amounts of coverage (commonly $300,000 and $500,000) cost only a small amount more.

Don't forget to MATCH your un/underinsured portion to your liability amount.

Want more safety? A personal liability umbrella policy, which covers the strange, catastrophic events in life, can be had, generally beginning at $1MM and going up in $1MM increments. Often these cost $250-400 per year. Your umbrella would kick in if you exhausted your vehicle coverage.
 

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The cost of the average new vehicle is $40-50,000...

A dent in the door could cost $5,000... A pumper, $2,500...
 

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Okay that changes things. Sorry if I misread or didn't get what you were saying. The trick is to get ENOUGH liability insurance, that your personal assets never come into play.

You hit a car, a person, or damage a building or other property, you get your insurance in the loop right away. If the victim decides to sue your family anyway, it's your insurance company's job to come forward and pay justified damages.

Where people fall down, is to not get enough insurance coverage. People think the "State minimum" amount is a safe amount. Often, that's far from the truth.

My personal belief is that at a MINIMUM you should get $100,000. It doesn't take much to generate a bill that large. Greater amounts of coverage (commonly $300,000 and $500,000) cost only a small amount more.

Don't forget to MATCH your un/underinsured portion to your liability amount.

Want more safety? A personal liability umbrella policy, which covers the strange, catastrophic events in life, can be had, generally beginning at $1MM and going up in $1MM increments. Often these cost $250-400 per year. Your umbrella would kick in if you exhausted your vehicle coverage.

+1000 to everything in this post

I didn't realize how important insurance limits were until I got into my wreck. It was not my fault, the girl was 100% at fault and her insurance is paying for everything because she happened to be on her father's policy and he had great limits plus an umbrella policy.

I am in Louisiana and I have no idea what the laws in other states would be but my lawyer (along with all the other lawyers I talked to before signing one) told me once you are 18 even if you are on your parents' policy they cannot be held liable.

So to answer your question, assuming the laws are the same in your state, if you are at fault and your parents' insurance limits are not enough then the person can sue them for personal assets.
 
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