Motorcycle Insurance & Safety: What You Should Know
Motorcycle Insurance & Safety: What You Should Know
Great news folks! With the arrival of the nice weather, you can finally pull your motorcycle out of storage and get ready to cruise with the wind in your
hair helmet! Before you take dust off your bike to go for a spin, you need to make sure it is 100% ready for the road.
Here are a few tips on making sure your motorcycle is properly insured and safe for riding!
Do I need motorcycle insurance?
A motorcycle is defined as a two-wheeled vehicle powered by a motor and can carry one or two people. Motorcycle insurance (the same as for a car) is mandatory in Ontario. It is important to talk to your broker about your unique driving needs – while mopeds and certain scooters may fall into the category as being defined as a motorcycle, electric bicycles for example may not. As with any vehicle, consideration is also given to how you use your motorcycle (is it your primary transportation to work or do you use it for recreational pleasure?), the make & model of the motorcycle, the number of years you have been insured, and your diving and claims record. Preferably, insure your bike with the same company that insures your home or car. You may qualify for a multi-policy discount on your premium. At Billyard Insurance Group, we can provide you with clear advice about what coverage is appropriate for you.
What insurance coverage is required for my motorcycle?
There are mandatory coverages that must be included with your motorcycle insurance policy in Ontario.
- Third-Party Liability. In the event that you may be held legally responsible for causing damage or harm to property or persons. It can defend against civil law suits and make payments should you be required to pay for damages.
- Direct Compensation – property damage. In the event that you are involved in an incident where you are partially or totally not at fault, you can be compensated for the amount of damage incurred. Depending on the level at which you are not at fault however, will result in the amount of reimbursement.
- Uninsured Automobile. If an accident occurs where the driver of the other vehicle is not insured, you are able to recoup the losses as if the other driver had insurance coverage. Compensation will vary in this case as well depending on the degree of your being found at fault.
- Accident Benefits. Regardless of being found at fault, you or your beneficiary can be reimbursed for a portion of expenses such as medical bills, rehabilitation, loss of income, death benefits or funeral expenses.
Some riders want to add coverage that may not be mandatory, but offers better protection. This can apply to you if your motorcycle is particularly valuable and worth protecting.
- Collision or Upset. Protection to pay for repairs or replacement in the event your motorcycle is damaged by hitting another vehicle or stationary object.
- Comprehensive. Added security against vandalism, theft or fire.
- All Perils. A broad coverage that combines Collision or Upset and Compressive coverages.
- Enhanced Accident Benefits. Because the implications of a spill or collision can be much more severe and costly, many riders opt to purchase additional medical rehabilitation coverage. Speak to one of our brokers at BIG for more information.
What can I do to make sure my motorcycle is safe for the road?
Unfortunately, you cannot just dust off your motorcycle after the winter and take it out for a spin when the nice weather arrives. You haven’t ridden in months, and other drivers have not shared the road in months. Take some time to thoroughly inspect your motorcycle and warm up to the bike. Here is a checklist to make sure your vehicle is ready for the road.
Your motorcycle has been sitting in storage for several months. It is recommended to store the bike on a motorcycle stand during the winter months, preventing the tires from developing flat spots. If your tires are in poor condition, it can affect the accuracy and safety of the bike. Check the tire pressure and inflate them accordingly, and check for any wear and tear. Inspect the wheels to ensure there are no flat spots, dents or cracks and the spokes are problem free.
Nearly 75% of a motorcycle’s stopping power comes from the front break. Check your brake pads for any wear indicators, and replace them now if needed so you don’t have to replace them mid-season. Not changing the brake pads compromises your safety and can result in more serious repairs later.
Leaks and Fluids
Check the ground below where you stored your motorcycle, the base of the engine, and the frame for any signs of a leak. If you hadn’t changed your oil prior to putting your bike in storage for the winter season, now is the time to do it! Have a mechanic service your motorcycle as needed.
Your motorcycle runs off its electrical system and the source of power comes from the vehicle’s battery. If your battery hasn’t been plugged into a smart charger over the last few months, charge the battery and check the levels with a multi-meter. It may be time to purchase a new battery if it doesn’t give off a good voltage reading after a full charge.
Gauges, Lights and Controls
While the battery is plugged in, check your lights and gauges. Make sure your break lights, signal indicators, headlights and all gauges light up. Replacing bulbs if necessary can be quite easy and done on your own. Check all levers and pedals to make sure they are not broken or bent. Look at the cables to make sure they are not interfering with steering. Check for any folds, cuts, cracks or leaks on hoses and ensure they do not interfere with your steering or suspension. It is also important to make sure the throttle moves freely.
It’s time to give your bike a little cleaning and TLC before you hit the road. Make sure you check that your safety gear is in good condition before each trip – investing in a safe helmet and riding gear is non-negotiable from a safety point of view. Take it easy, take it slow, be safe, and have fun!
Serching for insurance quotes in Welland, Niagara, Hamilton, GTA, or anywhere across Ontario, look not further you've found THEBIG. Click Here for an on-line quote or call us at 1-855-843-1570,