If you are a motorcyclist, you likely know that wearing a helmet is important to safety. Wearing a helmet reduces your risks of profound injury should a motorcycle accident occur.
Regardless of how safely you operate your motorcycle, you have a higher risk of injury compared to that of other vehicles. Your ability to control and stabilize a motorcycle is less than that of a personal car or truck. You are more exposed to the elements and less protected should an accident occur.
Most experts recommend that all motorcyclists wear a helmet when they are on the road. However, the law on who has to wear a helmet varies from state to state.
ValuePenguin says only 19 states require all motorcycle operators to wear a helmet. Other states require helmets only if riders are under a certain age. Three states—Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire—have no laws defining who has to wear a helmet. Pennsylvania requires all riders 20 years old and younger to wear helmets.
If you fail to wear a helmet against the law, you expose yourself to potential penalties. That's not to mention the risk of injuries.
If you aren’t required to wear a helmet and don’t, then you do so at your own risk. The Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety said that a Government Accountability Office report in 2012 said that in states without all-rider laws, 59 percent of motorcyclists fatalities weren’t wearing helmets.
Not wearing a helmet exposes you to risks, not only to your person but also to your insurance. Helmet use relates to your risk as an operator. However, the way your helmet affects your insurance is not black and white.
Keep these three points in mind about how helmet use affects your insurance rates.
Your agent will likely not ask you if you wear a helmet when you buy your policy. Wearing or not wearing a helmet won’t generally affect your initial rate.
But, should an accident occur, you could have to file higher claims. This might be because injuries were more severe from not wearing the helmet. This could drive up your rates after you make a claim.
Additionally, if more and more people report higher injury claims from lack of helmet use, then those higher claims have the potential to raise rates for all policyholders. Insurance rates can rise based on the nature of all claims. If claims are frequent and more severe, there is more risk. This requires more financial protection and obligation from insurers. Companies then have to raise rates.
It is always best to wear a helmet when you are operating a motorcycle. You reduce your risk of injury. You can also maintain your insurance rates by practicing motorcycle safety.
Millers Insurance Agency is here to make sure that you have the proper motorcycle insurance to cover all of your risks. You can explore our website to learn more about motorcycle insurance coverage. Call us today at (610) 269-4500 with any additional questions.