FRAN’S BORN TO RIDE ARTICLES

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We are proud to be heavily involved in the community of amazing bikers throughout the Tampa Bay area! Please check out all of our friends below for great communinty biker resources. I have had the great privelege to write several articles for one of the best biker magaines around…Born To Ride! Simply click on the name of the article that you would like to read. Stay safe – Fran

Born to Ride - John MacKay - Attorney Fran Haasch

As most of you know, Attorney John MacKay wrote his last column for Born To Ride this past May. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing John and on behalf of all of us in the biker community, I’d like to thank John for his words, his assistance in spreading biker news, and most importantly, all of his work over the years in helping bikers who were injured, down on their luck or needed a helping hand. Although John has “retired” from this column, he has not retired from his practice of law or the biker community. We are sure to see him at events on his hog; make sure to say hello.

I was very pleased and honored to be asked to write for Born To Ride. John paved the way and has now passed the torch to me to keep bikers informed through this column. Over the past eight years, I have met many of you at bike events. I look forward to talking and riding with those of you I have not yet met.

My knowledgeable, experienced staff and I have spent the last eight years fighting for the rights of injured bikers all over the state of Florida. Born To Ride and The Law Offices of Attorney Fran Haasch share the same compassion and commitment to the very important needs of the biker community. My staff and I will be attending many exciting events like the Deadwood Stampede that are taking place this summer. We will be working hand in hand with Born To Ride to bring our biker community the best and most unique local events it has ever seen! We are looking forward to an exciting future with Born To Ride Magazine and Born To Ride TV show. Can’t wait to see you there!! Fran

Why You NEED Uninsured Motorist Coverage!

I am always saddened to have to turn away a severely injured potential client because there is not any insurance available to compensate them for their injuries and losses. I urge all of you reading this article today to pull out your bike and auto insurance policies and make sure that you are adequately protected in the unfortunate event you are the victim of an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is the most important coverage for motorcyclists to carry. UM coverage provides compensation to you for damages to you caused by someone who carries little or no liability insurance or if you are injured by a “hit and run” driver. I have many people tell me that they don’t believe they need UM coverage because they have health insurance. Health insurance is not enough. In addition to medical bills, damages that an accident victim may sustain include lost wages and pain and suffering.

Many people are surprised to find out after they are a victim of an accident that Florida does not require motorists to carry bodily injury coverage, therefore, the chances of being injured by someone without liability insurance are substantial.

In the event that you are injured by someone with little or no insurance, you are able to make a claim with your UM carrier to be compensated for your injuries, lost wages and pain and suffering.

If you carry liability insurance, your insurance company has to offer you the same amount of UM coverage. Always consider purchasing the highest amount of UM offered to you. Clients are always surprised to find out how quickly their medical bills can escalate into the thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Also, if you insure one or more bikes or automobiles through the same insurance carrier you may opt for stacked UM coverage, which means that your UM limits can be multiplied by the number of vehicles insured under the policy. Stacking your UM coverage is relatively inexpensive and is one of the best ways to “get more bang for your buck.”

Protect yourself and your loved ones. Check your policy today and make sure that you are carrying adequate insurance coverage. If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or need any additional information regarding a motorcycle or automobile accident please contact our office at (727) 784-8191. We will be happy to answer your questions free of charge.

Importance of Having Uninsured / Underinsured (UM) Insurance Coverage

A few months ago, I wrote an article about the importance of Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage. I’m glad so many people have called our office or told me at the different motorcycle events that they had added UM to their insurance policies. There is still a general misconception of what people believe is “full coverage” on a motorcycle insurance policy. Some believe if they have health insurance that they do not need to carry Uninsured Motorist coverage. Most health insurance policies do not cover anything more than your medical bills and many times leave you with co-payments and outstanding medical bills. Health insurance will NOT pay for lost wages. Any time that you miss from work, be it in the hospital or recovering at home or in a rehabilitation facility, you will not be compensated by your health insurance carrier.

Health insurance will not compensate you for many damages such as the following:

Any pain and suffering sustained from a bodily injury;
Any disability;
Any disfigurement or scarring;
Any mental anguish;
Loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life;
Any earnings or work time loss;
Loss of ability to earn money in the future;
Any loss of services, comfort, society, and attentions of a spouse.
You are probably wondering now who will compensate you for these damages if you are injured in a motorcycle accident by someone who carries little or no bodily injury coverage. Well, no need to worry if you carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage on your motorcycle. If you do carry UM coverage, the above damages would be considered by a jury in awarding of damages or the settlement of your case. Without Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist coverage on your policy, you are NOT fully covered.

If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or need any additional information regarding a motorcycle or automobile accident please contact our office at (727) 784-8191. We will be happy to answer your questions free of charge. Sincerely, Attorney Fran Haasch

Collision Coverage Insurance on a Motorcycle - Do I need it?

I would like to start this article by saying thank you and Happy Holidays to all the loyal readers of Born To Ride; my sincerest wishes for health, prosperity and happiness in the coming new year.

Last month’s article addressed potential problems if you were involved in a motorcycle accident and the driver causing the accident did not have the appropriate insurance coverage to repair the property damage to your motorcycle.

So, what can you do to protect yourself in this situation? Collision Coverage. Collision coverage on your own insurance policy will pay for the damage to your motorcycle or vehicle. When you are purchasing this coverage please carefully consider the deductible that you choose they generally are in amounts of $250.00, $500.00 or $1,000.00. If you decide to use your own insurance for your Property Damage (PD), your deductible will be subtracted from a “reimbursement” check you are issued to cover the damages. Some insurance companies will subrogate against the at-fault insurance company, which means your insurance company will attempt to collect your deductible for you which can take up to several months. If you have custom parts on your motorcycle, i.e. pipes, chrome accessories or custom paint, you may want to purchase extra insurance coverage in addition to Collision. Custom Accessories or Optional Equipment coverage will cover these “extras”. As a rule of thumb, figure out how much you have invested in customization to your motorcycle, for instance, if you have $5,000.00 you would want to purchase $5,000.00 in custom coverage.

If damages to a motorcycle or vehicle are approximately 80% of the value of the motorcycle or vehicle the insurance company is allowed, under Florida Law, to declare that motorcycle or vehicle a total loss. Insurance companies pay book value, not necessarily replacement value or what you might owe to your lien holder. What can you do to protect yourself in this situation if you owe more than the bike is worth? Gap Insurance, which will be the topic of next month’s exciting article.

If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or need any additional information regarding a motorcycle or automobile accident please contact our office at (727) 784-8191. We will be happy to answer your questions free of charge. You may also find any back articles on our website under the Born To Ride tab.

Property Damage Liability Motorcycle Insurance Coverage

It’s been great meeting so many of you (and seeing your beautiful bikes) at all the events we’ve recently attended. Over the last few months I have written articles dealing with insurance coverage that “protects” the injured driver. Generally speaking, when a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, two things happen: the operator of the motorcycle is injured and the motorcycle is damaged. After seeing all of these beautiful and expensive bikes people are riding, I’ve realized I need to address another very important topic: property damage to the motorcycle.

If you are the victim of a motorcycle accident, the insurance of the person that caused the accident may pay for the damage to your motorcycle. In the state of Florida, this type of insurance coverage is referred to as Property Damage Liability Coverage (PD). Florida state law requires that an insured driver of a motor vehicle carries a minimum of $10,000 PD to be considered fully insured; however, the majority of licensed, insured drivers only carry the minimum amount of PD ($10,000). At times, this might create a variety of problems for the victim of a motorcycle accident in regards to the damage to the motorcycle since many motorcycles are worth much more than $10,000. If the person that caused the accident hit multiple vehicles/motorcycles and only carried $10,000 of PD, that $10,000 would be the maximum amount of insurance available to repair all the vehicles/motorcycles involved in the accident.

So, what can you do to protect yourself in this situation? Collision Coverage. I will do my best to explain Collision Coverage and how it relates to the property damage victim of a motorcycle/vehicle accident in next month’s article.

If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or need any additional information regarding a motorcycle or automobile accident please contact our office at (727) 784-8191. We will be happy to answer your questions free of charge. You may also find any back articles on our website under the Born To Ride tab.