Whether you’re getting into motorcycles for the first time or returning to riding after a few years break motorcycles are definitely a fun way to get around. When it comes to insurance they are similar to insuring a regular car however there are some important differences. While you should talk to a broker to get a full understanding of your coverage options below is a guide to help you with insuring a motorcycle in Alberta.
What coverages are mandatory for insuring a motorcycle in Alberta?
The following coverages are required for all motorcycles insured in Alberta:
- Third-Party Liability
- Accident Benefits
- Direct Compensation for Property Damage (DCPD)
These coverages are for if you’re involved in a collision. Third-party liability helps cover your legal expenses if you’re sued as well as injuries to third parties. Accident benefits are to cover your own medical and other benefits. Finally, DCPD covers repairs to your motorcycle if you’re not at fault for the collision (or partial repairs if you’re partially at fault).
What should you consider when insuring a motorcycle in Alberta?
Coverage and price are the two top priorities for most people. While price is an obvious consideration for most people (and one that tends to be at the top of everyone’s list) remember that a cheap policy isn’t necessarily a good policy. Albertans are required by law to have third-party liability coverage on their vehicles but this minimum won’t provide anything for you personally if your bike is damaged or written off as a loss and you’re at fault.
Talk to a broker about the insurance coverage options available to you. You can fully customize your insurance to suit you meaning you won’t have to pay for anything you don’t want. Most people opt for collision coverage and many include comprehensive coverage as well. This will cover you if your bike is the victim of theft vandalism or physical damage. Here are a few examples of what you can get coverage for:
- Personal effects such as accessories and clothing lost while in an accident (except when caused by theft as that would fall under your home insurance policy)
- Vacation expenses which cover food, accommodation, and transport if your motorcycle becomes unfit for operation while you’re on vacation. For example, if you took your motorcycle for a riding vacation down the west coast and it was damaged in an insured loss such as an accident you’d have some money for expenses while waiting for repairs.
- Loss of use of your motorcycle (if it’s in the repair shop you can rent another bike)
- Accessories and equipment installed on your bike
- Roadside assistance
- Extended coverage for rented or motorcycles not owned by you
How is your premium determined when insuring a motorcycle in Alberta?
Different insurance companies will offer different rates for motorcycle insurance and have different ways of determining their prices. That’s why it’s important to compare them to ensure you’re getting the best coverage for the best price. That’s where an insurance broker comes in handy – they work with a number of different companies and can easily compare rates. Here are some factors that go into determining your premium:
- Geographic location
- Commute (if you use your motorcycle for commuting)
- Type of bike (cruiser, chopper, sport bike, et cetera)
- Make of bike
- Your driving record including how long you’ve been licensed for motorcycles and your general claims history
- Your insurance experience (the longer you’ve had continuous insurance the better)
How can you get a lower premium when insuring a motorcycle in Alberta?
Price shopping is one of the best practices to get a lower premium. Again a broker can easily compare quotes from different companies. However, if you’re determined to do it alone make sure you get quotes from a variety of insurance companies.
Taking rider training courses is also a great way to get discounts on your rates especially if you’re a new driver. Having a good driving record and remaining continuously insured are also ways to build up your “insurance credit” that will result in your rates going down. This doesn’t just mean accidents – tickets can also impact your rates.
Some insurance companies also offer discounts to customers with advanced safety features or anti-theft devices installed on their bikes.
If you have a home and everyday vehicle, consider insuring your motorcycle with the same insurance company as most will offer discounts when you bundle your insurance policies.
Avoiding high-powered sport bikes and ‘one-of-a-kind’ bikes will also help your insurance rates as these are high-risk motorcycles that often have expensive and hard to find parts if replacement is necessary in the event of a claim.
Each insurance company and motorcycle policy is different so you’ll want to talk to your insurance broker about your specific policy’s coverages and limits. They can help guide you to choose the best policy for a price you can afford.