With temperatures expected to finally hit the double digits next week it won’t be too long before the snow is gone and we can begin to expect spring in earnest. That means enjoying many of the warmer-weather activities we’ve been missing over the past few months.
Dust off your motorcycle, it’s nearly time to get back on two wheels! The many great Alberta road trips are even better on two wheels, when you can really immerse yourself in the fantastic scenery of the province.
Motorcycle Insurance Explained
For those who may be new to motorcycle insurance, it works a lot like regular auto insurance. Motorcycle insurance is comprised of two major components: liability coverage and your choice of comprehensive or comprehensive plus collision coverage.
It is mandatory in Alberta that all types of drivers purchase a minimum of $200,000 in liability coverage, which covers for costs incurred when an accident (or incident) results in litigation. Liability insurance enhances your personal financial protection, leaving you more secure in the event of an accident that causes damage to personal or public property and/or an injury to another.
It’s up to you to decide about the other two elements of motorcycle insurance – comprehensive or comprehensive plus collision insurance. Comprehensive coverage provides for repairs for damage caused to your bike by perils other than a collision. Comprehensive motorcycle insurance is designed to cover for incidences such as vandalism, flood, hail, theft, fire and any other named perils that are considered out of the control of the owner of the motorcycle.
Collision coverage is a way to “top up” your comprehensive coverage to include recompense for at-fault accidents. Collision insurance will reimburse you for the cost of repairs for damage caused to your motorcycle, and in many cases will also assist you in obtaining a quote and finding you a reputable repair shop. Unfortunately, motorcycles are up to 28 times more likely to be in an accident than a regular vehicle, and due to the simple fact that motorcycles are smaller and drivers are less protected, the damage and injuries caused are often far greater. That’s why considering additional collision insurance is a good idea for motorcycle drivers.
Both comprehensive and comprehensive plus collision insurance will require you to pay your deductible when you file a claim. Remember, one way to save on insurance premiums is to opt for a higher deductible, but also remember that the only time you will not have to pay your deductible is when it was an accident that is 100% not your fault. How fault is assigned is complicated, and in the vast majority of cases each driver will be allocated some degree of responsibility for the accident.
Collision insurance covers any repairs up to the fair market value of your motorcycle. If your motorcycle is older and at the point that if you caused any sort of significant damage to it the repairs would likely cost more than its value, it’s possible you may not need collision insurance. But you also need to consider if you could afford financing or paying for another motorcycle completely out of pocket in this case.
Motorcycle Insurance and the Seasons
Quite obviously, it’s not possible to drive your motorcycle every month in Alberta. But that doesn’t mean that you will be able to get away with only purchasing insurance for the months you use your bike. You will have to pay for an entire year of coverage, however premiums are often allocated based on seasonal use.
Here is an example of how seasonal motorcycle insurance ratings may be broken down. Keep in mind, these can vary by provider:
- November through February: 0 per cent
- March: 5 per cent
- April: 10 per cent
- May: 10 per cent
- June: 20 per cent
- July: 20 per cent
- August: 20 per cent
- September: 10 per cent
- October: 5 per cent
Cancelling and re-upping your insurance each year is just not worth it, as the longer you hold a policy the better it is for your rating. Plus, you have the peace of mind in knowing that your bike is covered should anything happen to it while in storage.
How Premiums Are Calculated
The factors insurance adjusters take into account when calculating premiums are similar to those for auto insurance. They may include:
- Experience level as a driver
- How much you ride (amount of mileage being put on)
- The make and model of your bike (or essentially, its value)
- Where you live or if you have safe parking
- If you often carry a passenger
- How many claims you have filed in the past
This is not an exhaustive list. Providers may take additional factors into account.
Trust Lane’s for Your Motorcycle Insurance in Alberta
Lane’s Insurance is pleased to serve bike owners throughout Alberta. Use the following regional links to contact us for motorcycle insurance at:
- Our Calgary office
- Our Edmonton office
- Our Banff office
- Serving the rest of Alberta
Remember: Your best insurance is an insurance broker.