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Whether you’re an avid rider or a novice buying your first set of wheels, your bike is important to you. It may also be worth a bit of cash or a valuable hand-me-down form a family member. Either way, it’s yours and you want to protect it. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being in a collision or having your bicycle stolen, it is a good idea to have insurance. Here are the answers to some common questions about bicycle insurance in Ontario that riders should be aware of.

Should I file a claim for my stolen bicycle under my homeowners’ policy?

Filing a claim on your homeowner’s insurance for your bicycle will often lead to a rise in your insurance premium. Often times, homeowner’s policies have a rather high deductible. Homeowner’s insurance simply isn’t worth using for bicycle-related incidences.

Is it worth looking into bicycle insurance in Ontario?

Bicycle insurance guarantees that your bike has coverage—and for the value of your initial purchase. Bicycle insurers understands that if you need to replace your bike after a theft, you don’t want a bike that’s significantly lower in value than your trusty old bike. You want a bike that has a similar level of value.

Who is liable if I hit a pedestrian with my bike?

According to an article from Canadian Underwriter, liability for bicycle accidents is typically covered under home or auto insurance. For example, if you hit a pedestrian while biking, they might decide to sue you. In this case, your home policy should extend and help cover the cost of your legal fees.

What is third-party liability?

This provides your legal liability, which includes defence costs. If you injure others or damage their property, they can sue you.

Who has the right of way at an intersection?

If you’re a cyclist in a bike lane, green means go. But if you’re a car turning right, you have to yield to all the bikes coming through. Drivers have to yield in both cycle tracks and bike lanes.

What’s a cycle track?

Bike lanes that are physically separated from traffic.

What side of the road should you bike on in Ontario?

Cyclists are to ride on the right-hand side of the road. If you are walking your bike on a highway where there are no sidewalks, you are considered a pedestrian. This means you should walk on the left-hand side of the road, facing traffic.

Can cyclists take up a whole lane in Ontario?

In Ontario, you have a requirement to keep a one-metre distance between the car and bike to improve safety for both. Under the Highway Traffic Act, cyclists can use the entire lane, even if physically using only a part of it.

The Highway Traffic Act highlights the rules for cyclists and other vehicles to travel safely and predictably on city streets. The City of Toronto has by-laws that regulate the safe use of different cycling infrastructure throughout the city. To learn more about safe cycling travel on city streets, click here.

How much does bicycle insurance in Ontario cost?

Insurance can cost around 3-4% of the bike’s value per year, depending on how much protection you want. It can be more expensive if you race.

I have an expensive bike. How much extra coverage should I get?

If you have your bicycle coverage under your home policy, you may want to consider a special article endorsement to ensure your bike is covered for it’s cost of replacement. Otherwise, you can look into insurance with companies that specialize in bicycle insurance.

Does a bicycle warranty cover theft?

No. The warranty you purchase with your bike will not protect it against theft. Warranties will only protect against specific damages as outlined in the agreement, such as defective parts like gears.

What is the BFC Program?

The Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) program recognizes communities that are great places to cycle as great places to live. What makes an individual community bicycle-friendly will vary from place to place. The BFC application form and judging process takes that into account. A bicycle-friendly community will take a comprehensive approach that incorporates all ‘4 Es’ – Engineering, Education, Encouragement, and Evaluation/Planning.

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