Choosing the right insurance policy is much like choosing the right bike. You want it to fit your needs and lifestyle, but at the same time be within your budget. Although most provinces and territories require you to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage, other types of coverage are usually optional.
Always ask your insurance representative about which laws apply in your province or territory.
The key to finding which coverage is best for you involves learning about all the options available.
1. Bodily Injury Liability
This coverage applies to injuries that you, the designated driver or policyholder, cause to someone else. You and family members listed on the policy are also covered when driving someone else’s car with their permission.
It’s very important to have enough liability insurance, because if you are involved in a serious accident, you may be sued for a large sum of money. Definitely consider buying more than the province-required minimum to protect assets such as your home and savings.
2. Property Damage Liability
This coverage pays for damage you (or someone driving the car with your permission) may cause to someone else’s property, including damage to lamp posts, telephone poles, fences, buildings or other structures your car hit.
3. Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD)
This coverage covers damage to – or loss of use of – an automobile or its contents, to the extent that the driver of another vehicle was at fault for the accident. It is called “direct compensation” because, even though someone else caused the damage, the insured person collects directly from his or her insurer instead of from the person who caused the accident.
“It’s very important to have enough liability insurance, because if you are involved in a serious accident, you may be sued for a large sum of money. Definitely consider buying more than the province-required minimum to protect assets such as your home and savings.”
4. Accident Benefits
This is also referred to as Section “B” coverage. This is a “no fault benefit” that provides medical and rehabilitation expenses, funeral benefits, death benefits, and loss of income benefits. Because it is a “no fault” coverage, payable by your own insurer and is payable even if you are at fault for the accident.
5. Loss or Damage to Automobile
This coverage pays for damage to your car resulting from a collision with another car, object or as a result of flipping over. It also covers damage caused by potholes. Collision coverage is generally sold with a deductible of $250 to $1,000 — the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Even if you are at fault for the accident, your collision coverage will reimburse you for the costs of repairing your car, minus the deductible.
This coverage reimburses you for loss due to theft or damage caused by something other than a collision with another car or object, such as fire, falling objects, missiles, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, hail, flood, vandalism, riot, or contact with animals such as birds or deer.
Comprehensive insurance is usually sold with a $100 to $250 deductible, though you may want to opt for a higher deductible as a way of lowering your premium.
Comprehensive insurance will also reimburse you if your windshield is cracked or shattered.
Provinces do not require that you purchase collision or comprehensive coverage, but if you have a car loan, your lender may insist you carry it until your loan is paid off.
6. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This coverage will reimburse you, a member of your family, or a designated driver if one of you is hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver.
Underinsured motorist coverage comes into play when an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to pay for your total loss. This coverage will also protect you if you are hit as a pedestrian.
** For more detailed information on coverages, exclusions and policy conditions see the S.P.F. No. 1 Standard Automobile Policy form for New Brunswick.
Tips for the cost-conscious rider
Many factors can play a role in determining what your insurance costs will be such as your age, your driving record, where you live and the type of motorcycle you own, or being a graduate of a motorcycle safety course.
- Many companies offer discounts on motorcycle insurance for graduates of training courses, such as the New Brunswick Safety Council (NBSC) motorcycle safety course. Newly licensed riders, usually considered a higher risk, may see some savings by taking this course.
- Maintaining a good driving record with no violations will also help reduce your premiums.
- Find out what discounts your insurance representative offers. Multi policy discounts for those insuring all lines of business, organization discounts are just a few possibilities. Discounts can range anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent, depending on the company and your province. Availability and qualifications for discounts vary from company to company and province to province.
- Keep in mind that the type, style (such as a sports bike vs. a cruiser) and age of the motorcycle may also affect how much you pay for your premium.