Some risks of riding are distracted drivers, wild animals, and debris. But, dealing with insurance should be added to the list of risks. Dealing with insurance can cause a lot of stress.
I am in my 40's. I am a fairly new rider. I started commuting daily in May 2011, and have made 105 fairly safe city commutes in rain, hail, lighting, fog, wind and sun. My commute is 40 miles each way in city and suburban traffic. Until recently, I thought I was good rider. Now, I am not sure anymore. In fact, even though my insurance company labeled me as a 'safe driver'. I think I may win the 1D10T trophy. For example, even though my insurance was about $100 this year, I recently had a motorcycle accident.
Never underestimate the gravity of an accident. Dealing with insurance may cause more pain then the accident itself. Recently while riding home from my daily commute I had put some scuff marks on a mini van in traffic. I figured this was going to be simple exchange. Like a fool, I admitted I was at fault. All the online guides say you are never supposed to do this. The other driver did not seem to realize that I bumped him with my extra wide saddlebag until I mentioned it. In fact, he had his window up and he was looking forward when I rolled up to his side and announced my folly. In hind sight, he may have driven away if I kept quiet for twenty seconds after putting my foot down and stabilizing the bike. Of course, the driver wanted to inspect the damage I did. We pulled over and he called the police to get an accident report. The police were surprised that I kept the bike up. They said maybe if talked with the guy he would settle it out of pocket. He said 'no'. He wanted to go through insurance. To the police this was a simple one. There were no injuries. Nobody needed immediate medical attention. There was no property damage. So, they helped facilitate the exchange of insurance information. Because I did not leave the scene, they did not issue a ticket. On the damage side, he had scuff marks where my BMW saddle bag hit. I had scratches on my bag. I was going less than 10MPH and the saddlebag got hooked. At the time, I knew I was in the wrong, but I was not exactly sure what I did wrong. I drove to my home town, reported the accident to my insurance agent. An hour later a claims agent called and I gave a statement as I remembered it. My claims agent called the other driver. Then, I reviewed my helmet cam. The helmet cam revealed all my mistakes. In my two minute journey from the parking garage to the impact, I made at least three judgement errors that I didn't realize. I was riding slow, but choose many bad positions. The last judgement error resulted in the accident. My mistakes did not stop after the accident. I announced fault. Much of my jabbering looked like thinking out loud on the video. I was trying to be helpful. However, I did not do the three things that may have protected me and my insurance company from a fraudulent claim. I did not ask the driver, if he felt me hit him. I did not ask the driver if anyone was injured. I did not identify the passengers of the vehicle. I did not ask the names and addresses of any witnesses in the area. The following day, I learned the other party claimed that he and all his passengers of the tinted vehicle claimed neck and back injuries. Although I have the accident on video, and I have photos of the damage my claims adjuster said 'do not be surprised if he gets something out of this'. I found a friend at work who investigated insurance fraud in his previous job, and he said 'do not be surprised if there is a settlement'. So there is another risk in accidents maybe many riders don't think about. The other driver might be out to scam you or your insurance company. If you don't have good insurance, you the loss could be more than just higher insurance rates.