Unless you are driving a motorcycle exclusively on private property with the owner’s permission, your motorcycle requires insurance in Ontario. Insurance for motorcycles is a specialty product and not all insurance companies offer coverage. Otherwise, motorcycle policy requirements are similar to cars. Basic coverage categories and dollar amounts are the same as standard auto insurance. Though fewer insurers offer motorcycle coverage, there are still many companies providing policies.
Mandatory Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
Just like car insurance, motorcycles have the same government required basic policy. This covers four areas, upon which a rider can add options and custom features.
Third Party Liability
If a rider is sued as a result of an at fault collision, third party liability coverage protects the rider against settlements resulting from a trial or out of court agreement. Ontario requires a minimum of $200,000 of protection. Since settlements frequently exceed this amount, riders often purchase additional coverage. The most common liability levels are $500,000, $1 million and $2 million in coverage.
Accident Benefits Coverage
This portion covers supplementary medical and rehabilitation costs, as well as care, income replacement and death benefits. The rider’s own insurance company pays these amounts regardless of who is at fault in the collision. This is part of Ontario’s no fault provisions. Vehicle insurance is a hybrid no fault/tort based system. Due to changes in 2016, riders can now purchase extensions to accident benefit coverage, after the reduction of the basic benefit in June.
Direct Compensation-Property Damage
Another no fault provision, DC-PD covers damage to your motorcycle and its contents if another driver is at fault. Qualifying accidents must occur in Ontario and the other driver insured by a company licensed to sell insurance in the province. The rider’s own insurer pays DC-PD benefits directly.
Uninsured Automobile Coverage
When involved in a collision with an uninsured or unidentified vehicle, this section provides compensation for injury or death. It also provides up to $25,000 in damage to your motorcycle.
Protecting Your Motorcycle Against Loss or Damage
Mandatory insurance doesn’t cover a rider’s motorcycle against loss or damage under all circumstances. If the rider is at fault, they are responsible for their own repair costs unless they’ve purchased additional coverage.
The most common of these are collision and comprehensive insurance. Collision provides protection against loss or damage to a motorcycle under most driving conditions. Comprehensive insurance covers against incidents such as theft, vandalism, fire or extreme weather conditions. Each of these insurance endorsements are subject to deductible amounts.
A rider assumes a varying level of responsibility for repair or replacement after an incident. This amount is the deductible, since it’s deducted off the insurance company’s payout. The chosen level of deductible affects the cost of the motorcycle insurance policy. A rider selecting a $300 deductible transfers more responsibility to the insurance company and therefore pays more per month. Selecting a $1,500 deductible has the opposite effect. However, the rider must pay more if and when an accident occurs. Each rider has their own comfort level with respect to deductible amounts.
How are Motorcycle Insurance Premiums Calculated?
Every insurance company has their own underwriting rules for creating policy prices. While these are approved by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, insurers each have their own “secret formulas” for setting premiums.
However, all companies rely on similar statistical information. All of these factor together to develop a premium cost. Some of these factors include:
- The rider’s personal history: traffic tickets and previous insurance claim history; years of experience as a rider; age, gender and marital status.
- Motorcycle information: make and model; engine size and maximum speed, options and modifications.
- Home address: insurance claim information from the area in which a rider lives factors into insurance cost. Some areas are more expensive due to high number of accidents or accident claims.
Where can I find motorcycle insurance?
As mentioned, motorcycle policies are a specialty product and not all insurers offer coverage. Riders who already have car insurance coverage can check with their existing insurer. If that company offers motorcycle coverage, the rider may qualify for a multi vehicle discount, saving a percentage on both car and cycle. Combining insurance on an existing policy is often more affordable than purchasing stand alone coverage for a motorcycle.
Given the sense of community shared by motorcyclists, fellow riders, motorcycle shops and clubs may provide leads to agents, brokers and companies sympathetic to riders. Motorcycle publications may also feature insurance companies as advertisers.
Riders can use Ratelab’s insurance calculator to connect with companies offering motorcycle coverage. At the same time, the calculator provides the best match and lowest price to suit your needs. Enter your postal code above to start the process.