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Bicycle Accidents and Insurance in Ontario

It’s that time of year when bicycles abound on the roads and highways of our province. Whether you’re a cyclist yourself, or a motorist used to driving with plenty of bikes around come the warmer months, you may have wondered how your insurance factors into bicycle accidents. It can be complex and, as the recent court ruling in regards to a motorist hitting a cyclist in Toronto (How hitting a bicycle can lead to six-figure liability claim – Canadian Underwriter, July 18, 2019) revealed, costly to deal with a bike accident. Let’s take a look at some considerations around bicycle accidents and how it applies to insurance in Ontario.

~ It is possible to get special insurance policies for cyclists, but this is pretty rare in the industry. Contact your insurance broker to learn more about this type of coverage.

~ Liability for a bicycle accident is usually covered with a home insurance policy, but review your plan to be sure. And if you’re riding another type of vehicle, such as a motorized scooter, get confirmation that you do indeed have coverage as these types of vehicles are not included in all policies.

~ If a cyclist gets into an accident on private property without any cars or other people involved, and is not liable (in other words, there was something about the property that caused the accident), then it would be home insurance that would come into play on a personal property, or business insurance in the case of an incident on a commercial property.

~ In Ontario, cyclists have the same rights as well as the same responsibilities as drivers on the road and must obey all traffic laws.

~ If the accident involves a motor vehicle, then car insurance comes into play. Cyclists in Ontario have access to accident benefits. If you have your own car insurance, then your own insurance applies, even though you weren’t driving your car. If you don’t have any car insurance, then you can apply for accident benefits from the insurance company of the vehicle that was involved.

In short, cycling accidents and insurance coverage can be a little tricky and confusing, depending on what happened, where it happened and who or what is involved. All policies differ so it’s important that you thoroughly understand the coverage you have in place and that you ensure that you are adequately protected if you are biking or catering to bikers. It’s best to discuss with your insurance provider or broker.

If you’d like some more details about cycling and insurance in Ontario, check out this resource that we referenced for this post: Where insurance fits into bicycle accidents – Canadian Underwriter

This is another helpful resource: Ontario Pedestrian or Bicycle Accidents and Your Right to Insurance Benefits –

If you have any questions about cycling and insurance and you’d like some expert advice, someone from our team of insurance professionals would be happy to assist you. Get in touch with us today. Or head here if you’re looking for a car insurance quote, here if it’s home insurance you’re after or here for business insurance.

We have provided the information in this blog post for general educational purposes only. It is not meant to cover any and all terms, conditions and exclusions that are found in different insurance policies. If there is any inconsistency between this information and your policy, it is your policy that governs. Contact your insurance broker if you have any questions or need any clarification about your particular policy and the definitions therein. This post is also not legal advice and is not intended to replace the advice or expertise of a lawyer.

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