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Insurance is the only product that both the seller and buyer hope is never actually used.
Time to hit the road!
Summer is almost here and motorcycle season is upon us with some great weather. It has been a long winter, and I am sure that most riders are very happy to be back on the road. Before you head out, you should ensure that your motorcycle insurance is in place and is up to date. I have prepared a little guide to help you navigate your way through the confusing insurance information that you need to know about.
Ontario insurance coverage for motorcycles
To drive a motorcycle in Ontario, you must have a valid motorcycle licence. Insurance is not required only while the motorcycle is driven on private property. This usually is not the case though, and if you are planning to take your motorcycle out on the road, you must have the following insurance coverage on your motorcycle:
- Third party liability;
- Accident benefits;
- Uninsured automobile;
- Direct Compensation Property Damage.
A standard motorcycle insurance policy in Ontario covers the following:
- Third-Party Liability protects you in the event of an accident causing loss or damage to another person when you are at fault (ie. if somebody sues you for running a red light and causing an accident in which they sustained injuries).
- Accident Benefits coverage provides certain benefits to you if you are injured in an accident, regardless of who caused the accident (no-fault benefits).
- Uninsured Automobile Coverage protects you in the event of your death or your injury caused by an uninsured motorist or by a hit-and-run driver.
- Direct Compensation Property Damage pays for damage to your motorcycle and its contents, if another driver is at fault for an accident that occurs in Ontario and that driver is insured by an insurance company licensed in the province.
Optional Coverage for Motorcycle drivers
In addition to the above listed mandatory minimum coverage, you may purchase higher liability limits under your Third Party Liability Coverage, as well as increased accident benefits coverage.
Perhaps the most important optional coverage to consider is with respect to accident benefits. In Ontario you are entitled to Statutory Accident Benefitsthrough your own insurer (no fault benefits), regardless of whether you were at-fault for the accident. These benefits are provided right away, if you qualify, and are for such things as medical and rehabilitation expenses, attendant care expenses and income replacement benefits.
You would be wise to consider paying the additional premium to increase coverage for accident benefits. These optional benefits are especially important for motorcycle drivers, as the injuries are often more serious and the risk of injury is higher on a motorcycle. You should speak to your broker, agent or direct writer for details about what is available to you.
You can also purchase “Loss or Damage Coverage” to include all perils, collision, comprehensive and specified perils. These coverages are there to protect you against loss of, or damage to, your motorcycle caused by collision, fire, theft, and a variety of other risks.
Know the players:
It can be confusing to know which type of insurance company professional that you are dealing with when you purchase your motorcycle insurance.
- Insurance brokers are independent (do not work for a particular insurance company). They sell policies for a number of different insurance companies.
- Insurance agents sell insurance for just one insurance company.
- Direct Writers work at call centres and through websites and work for just one insurance company.
Things to remember when choosing a policy
Shop around before you purchase a motorcycle policy because rates can vary significantly from one insurer to the next. See if you can obtain a discount for insuring your motorcycle at the same company where other policies are in force, such as auto or home. Some insurance companies specialize in motorcycle coverage, which means they can offer much better rates. You should also take a motorcycle training course, as this often lowers your premium.
You would be wise to NOT cancel your insurance during the winter months, as your bike can be stolen or damaged even when it is not in use. Most insurance companies will discount “off season” rates, so check into this when you make your policy purchase.
If you get in a crash – call Santucci Personal Injury Law
If the unthinkable happens and you are in a motorcycle accident, you will need help. These cases are complicated and require specific knowledge. You need a lawyer who practices in personal injury law and is familiar with motorcycle cases. Here at Santucci Personal Injury Law, we work on contingency basis, meaning that the lawyer will be paid their fees only when your claim is successfully resolved. If you do not recover anything, we do not charge any fees. We also offer an initial free consultation to talk about your motorcycle case.
Patricia Santucci is a personal injury lawyer born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. She holds several degrees having attended King’s College at the University of Western Ontario, McMaster University, earned a Master of Arts degree at the University of Windsor and an Ontario Teaching Degree from Teacher’s College as well as her Ontario Teaching Certificate. After graduating from the University of Alberta law school she was called to the bar in 2000. You can find Patricia on Google+ and LinkedIn or directly through this website