There is nothing quite as thrilling as riding a motorcycle. But it also comes with risks.
Riders are encouraged to learn safe riding behaviors and road rules. Most importantly, they're expected to subscribe to insurance coverage. Having the best motorcycle insurance will not only protect your investment but it will also cover any injuries that you and your passenger sustain during an accident.
Motorcycle insurance doesn't come cheap, which is largely due to the increased risk of injuries or fatalities among riders compared to car owners.
According to Transport Canada, motorcycles account for less than 5% of all automobiles on Canadian roads. However, they account for more than 10% of all road fatalities.
Insurance companies rely on such data to rate drivers, which leaves motorcycle owners at a slight disadvantage. With summertime just around the corner, you and your two wheels deserve the best motorcycle insurance to protect your investment.
Below are factors that determine the cost of your motorcycle insurance.
What Factors Influence the Cost of Motorcycle Insurance?
Getting the wrong motorcycle insurance can be very costly. Finding cheap motorcycle insurance in Canada isn't easy, but with the following factors, you can reduce the cost of your insurance.
1. Keep a Clean Record
Insurance companies will rely on your driving as a key factor to determine the cost of insuring your bike. Any convictions and at-fault claims on your driving record will have an impact on the insurance premiums. This is due to the high likelihood of repeating these mistakes.
Riders with criminal convictions such as DUIs are also charged higher premiums. The same applies to stunt drivers.
Some insurance companies will decline your request for insurance coverage, especially if you're a repeat offender or have too many claims or convictions. Your only option will be to go for a government high-risk program or pay high premiums at a high-risk company.
2. Don’t Take Passengers
Enjoy your ride alone and only carry passengers when it’s absolutely necessary. Insurance companies will charge you higher rates if you intend to carry passengers. The higher rates will cover both you and your passenger in case of an accident.
3. Pay in Full
Motorcycle insurance in Ontario is cheaper when paid in full. This is because you won’t have to pay the 3% financing fees charges for monthly payments. You can also combine coverage to enjoy discounts offered by the insurance company.
4. Choose the Right Bike
Insurance companies tend to be wary of fast bikes. Typically, people who invest in sports bikes often do it for the thrill of speed. Such bikes are specifically built for speed and the insurance company expects that you will take advantage of the speed.
This will increase your chances of causing accidents. Although insurance companies are in the business of insuring your property, lives, businesses, etc. they also want to save on insurance. They will either skip you or offer you high rates.
Keep in mind that modifications to your bike will have an impact on your insurance rates. Therefore, stick to stock configuration and avoid upgrades because they will increase your insurance rates.
5. Take Driver’s Training
Apply for motorcycle safety courses as they will lower your premium. Insurance companies are eager to know if you have any level of safe riding training or competency riding. This will help them evaluate your risk level and the premiums to pay.
Best Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Options
In order to choose the best motorcycle insurance, you need to know the types of insurance options available. Below are different types of insurance coverage options that are available:
It covers any damage, whether property or bodily injury, caused by a rider while on your motorcycle. This means that it doesn’t cover damage to your bike or any injuries that you sustain from the accident.
Depending on the province, you might be required to provide guest passenger liability, which covers any injuries that your passenger sustains from the accident.
It covers medical bills for both you and your passenger in case you are in an accident. The coverage is not fault based. This means that the policy will pay part of the bill regardless of who caused the accident.
The amounts paid only cover part of the bill, especially in cases where the injuries are severe. This is one of the reasons why personal health insurance is highly recommended.
Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
This option covers damages to your bike that involves a collision with anything else other than a vehicle. It could be an animal collision or simply a stolen bike. Comprehensive insurance covers acts of vandalism, theft, weather damage, and fire.
It’s not a mandated requirement in Canada but a necessity for avid bikers. It comes in handy, especially if the insurance company is willing to pay out a value sufficient to replace the stolen bike or a model similar to the original one.
Collision covers damage as a result of a collision with a vehicle.
The pay-out is usually the book value of the bike before collision less your deductible. Valuable motorcycles such as custom bikes or vintage machines require a comprehensive cover. Preferably, look for a specialized insurer, as they know how to value your machine and pay out the true value of replacing it.
Coverage for Customized Parts
Modifications tend to be more common in the motorcycle industry than in the car industry. For this reason, you need special coverage to protect these custom upgrades. Make sure that you understand what the coverage covers and what it doesn't cover.
Trip Interruption Coverage
A large number of insurance providers have a Trip Interruption coverage for motorcycle owners. It covers accommodation and transportation expenses only when you're involved in an accident or your bike breaks down while on a trip.
The pay-out only covers breakdowns and accidents that happen more than one hundred miles from your place of residence.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing the Best Motorcycle Insurance
When choosing the best motorcycle insurance, below are some important questions that you need to consider. They will guide you to get the best insurance coverage that suits your needs and preferences.
How Much Is Motorcycle Insurance?
The cost varies depending on the coverage options and type of bike. Smaller bikes such as Hondas have lower insurance costs, especially if you have a clean driving record. Your insurance cost will not be more than a few hundred dollars.
If you have a superbike or are new to riding, your premiums could be significantly higher.
You can save on insurance cost by:
Buying older bikes with a significantly lower value
Take motorcycle safety courses
Request for discounts
How Much Insurance Do I Need?
The amount will depend on a number of factors such as how you intend to use your bike and the type of bike. For example, owners of fast bikes end up spending more on insurance premiums compared to owners with average sized bikes.
You also want coverage that will cover your medical bills and/or replacement cost in case of an accident.
If you own a bike with a high horsepower-to-weight ratio, the motorcycle insurance company expects that you will race it. This increases your risk of causing fatal accidents resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. Such a high-risk bike will require equally high insurance rates.
Also, the manner in which you intend to use your bike will either increase or decrease your insurance rates. For example, close quarter racing has a higher risk of injury compared to an everyday commute to and from work.
Does the Insurance Cover the Passenger?
It depends on the insurance policy you have. For example, motorcycle liability insurance, which is the most general coverage, does not cover any injuries resulting from the accident. This is why you need a comprehensive and/or collision coverage to protect both you and your passenger.
Will the Insurance Plan Cover Track Racing?
Superbike owners often feel the need to race every once in a while. Which brings about the issue of insurance during this type of racing.
Some insurance companies will cover track racing, but the rates will be exorbitantly high. Others will deny your claims depending on the cause and type of accident you had.
Is Motorcycle Insurance Required in Canada?
Yes, Canada is very straight about motorcycle insurance. This is probably due to the high number of accidents caused by motorcycles. Be sure to learn more from the transportation department about motorcycle insurance laws.
What Is the Difference Between Car Insurance and Motorcycle Insurance?
Insurance is all about risk factors and cost. The insurer has to weigh your risk of causing damage with your automobile and the cost of insuring the subject. Typically, motorcycles cost less than cars; however, they present a higher risk of causing significant damage either to the rider or the vehicle.
Unlike car insurance, baseline motorcycle insurance doesn't cover injuries sustained from motorcycle accidents. It also doesn’t include passenger protection, since motorcycles are by default one-person vehicles.
When insuring your motorcycle, make sure that you choose a plan that covers injuries, liability, and passengers should anything happen.
Motorcycle insurance is less expensive than car insurance. For example, the replacement value of a car will cost upwards of $10,000 while that of a motorcycle ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. High-end bikes will cost more to replace, but they will still be less expensive than high-end cars.
Protect Your Investment with the Best Motorcycle Insurance
Your motorcycle insurance costs in Canada will be based on factors such as age, riding experience, and the type of motorcycle you own. It’s advisable that you compare prices, service, and coverage before you pick the best motorcycle insurance plan.