Keeping the rubber side down is not always possible so in the event of the worst-case scenario, you’ll be glad to have a quality motorcycle insurance policy in your corner.
WHAT CAN MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE COVER?
We’re blessed with beautiful riding opportunities here in Southern Ontario.
Whether you’re travelling down the long picturesque country roads of Haldimand county or cruising through Niagara along the shorelines of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, the last thing you’ll want to be thinking about is your insurance coverage.
In Ontario, you must have at least $200,000 worth of third party liability insurance.
This covers you if you injure or kill someone as a result of an accident where you’re found to be at fault. That limit may not go far these days, your insurance professional is likely to recommend a higher limit for your peace of mind.
Let’s discuss some ways you can be safe on a motorcycle.
COLLISION AND COMPREHENSIVE INSURANCE
While not required by law, it’s something everyone who owns a bike should consider. This will cover damage to your motorcycle in the event of an at-fault accident under the collision coverage, while comprehensive includes perils such as fire, theft and vandalism.
If another driver or rider is at fault and is uninsured, your medical and damage costs can still be covered.
If you are injured or killed in an auto accident, you and your family will be provided coverage. Basis benefits exist as a portion of your liability coverage but it is highly recommended that you take the time to discuss the optional increase for all insured vehicles with your insurance agent.
IS SEASONAL MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE AN OPTION?
Let’s face it, you may own your ride all year round but are you going to use it between November – March?
Even without snow on the ground, what about those cold winds?
Chances are if you live in a place like Niagara or Haldimand you’re going to have your motorcycle stored for around 6 months a year so why should you be paying full insurance price all year round?
Insurance coverage all year round will still offer protection for your motorcycle in the event of theft or damage while in storage so it’s a good idea to keep the policy in place all the time.
The insurance rates for motorcycles are typically annual but priced accordingly know that your bike likely won’t be used in all twelve months, the vast majority of the premium is weighted towards the summer riding season.
WHICH LICENSE DO I NEED TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE IN ONTARIO?
There are 3 levels of motorcycle licenses in Ontario:
M1 LEARNERS PERMIT
After passing a written test, those with the M1 license can only ride during the day and not on any 400 series highways. They must also maintain a 0% blood alcohol level and not have any passengers.
Since an M1 license expires after 90 days and you must wait 60 days after getting it before upgrading to an M2 license, it’s best to plan.
Some insurers will not provide motorcycle insurance to anyone with only an M1.
Riders can choose to first attend a motorcycle driving school (like the one offered by Niagara College) or move right into booking their road test 60 days after receiving their M1 learners permit.
It’s strongly recommended to complete the training course first.
It’s usually done throughout 1 weekend and helps improve your chances of passing your test, makes you a safer rider and will likely result in you paying less for your motorcycle insurance.
When you pass the road test and get your M2 license, all riding restrictions are lifted other than the requirement of having 0% blood alcohol.
This is your full motorcycle insurance and is the level that some insurance companies require you have before they will consider covering you.
IS MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE MANDATORY?
Like most places, Ontario has compulsory motor vehicle insurance. This requirement extends to all motorbikes including mopeds.
You will not be able to register or renew your motorcycle without proper proof of insurance. If you show false documents or lie about your insurance coverage you could face a fine of between $5,000 and $25,000.
While driving your own or someone else’s motorcycle, you are required to carry the pink insurance slip issued by the insurance company for the particular bike you’re operating. It must be presented to a police officer when it’s requested. Not being able to provide it when lawfully required can come with a fine of up to $400.
DOES THE TYPE OF MOTORCYCLE I OWN MATTER?
Yes, very much so.
Restricted speed bikes and mopeds are still required to be insured.
Sportbikes require insurance and can cost more to have insured based on certain criteria. Some particular makes and models may be subject to a surcharge.
Restricted bikes (including those that have been altered and enhanced to improve performance) cost the most and many insurance companies will not provide insurance for these types.
HOW MUCH DOES MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE COST?
Not all motorcycles are created equal and not all insurance companies cover all motorcycles.
Generally, the higher the risk the higher the cost but what you might pay for motorcycle insurance can also depend on:
- Your location
- License level
- Whether or not you have completed a certified training course
- Experience/age of rider
- How often do you ride (km/year)
- Whether it’s bundled with another insurance policy or a stand-alone
- Riders driving record
You can submit a motorcycle insurance quote request to us right now if you’re looking for a more accurate picture of what your policy might look like.
Erie Mutual Insurance proudly serves the commercial insurance, farm insurance, home insurance and auto insurance needs of members throughout Southern Ontario including Haldimand, Niagara and Hamilton.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.