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Is Motorcycle Insurance Required in Washington?

Colburn Law

Effective July 28, 2019, motorcycle drivers are required to carry liability coverage and proof of insurance.  Motorcyclists are no longer exempt from Washington State’s mandatory automobile insurance law.

Now that Washington requires motorcycle accident insurance, the only remaining state in the union to not require motorcycle insurance is Florida.

What are the Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Washington?

All drivers of motor vehicles or motorcycles in Washington are required to carry liability insurance under one of the following options:

  1. Carry liability insurance with liability limits of at least
  • $25,000 for injuries or death to another person in any single car accident
  • $50,000 for injuries or death to any two or more people in any one car accident
  • $10,000 for damage to another person’s property
  1. Apply for a certificate of deposit to pay for liability insurance with the Department of Licensing
  2. Have a liability bond of at least $60,000 filed by a surety bond company that’s authorized in Washington
  3. Self-insure as a company if it has 26 or more vehicles.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Are Motorcyclists Required to Show Proof of Insurance?

Yes.  After obtaining the necessary liability insurance, you should receive a proof-of-insurance card confirming your motorcycle accident insurance or automobile accident insurance.  Having proof of insurance is not only important if you’re involved in a car accident, but also required if you’re stopped by a law enforcement offer.  Failure to show proof of insurance to a police officer will result in a traffic infraction, currently $450.

What Insurance Coverage Should Motorcyclists Carry?

In addition to carrying mandatory liability insurance, motorcyclists are well advised to carry higher liability coverage particularly based upon their own financial circumstances.  For instance, high net worth individuals need higher liability coverage to protect their assets.

Further, motorcyclists should carry Personal Injury Protection to provide help in the case of a motorcycle injury accident.  PIP coverages include payments for medical bills, lost earnings, and essential services.  If a motorcycle driver is injured, the likelihood of severe injuries is high.

Motorcycle drivers should also carry Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist insurance.  If there’s a motorcycle accident and at the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance, or no insurance, then UIM/UM insurance can help compensate the injured motorcyclist for medical bills, lost earnings, physical pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages.