The amount you pay for any type of insurance is primarily based on your exposure to risk. This is one of the primary reasons that motorcycle is more expensive than car insurance: higher risk–of injury.
Whether you ride a motorcycle or drive a car, the regulations regarding your coverage are the same. Both motorcycle and auto policies include minimum coverages that are required by law. Insurance companies don’t have a choice but to include them, and they aren’t legally permitted to offer an insurance policy that doesn’t include these minimum coverages.
In Ontario, as with the rest of Canada, provincial healthcare covers acute injuries due to vehicular accidents. However, recovery typically involves treatment, rehab, and other expenses that go beyond what the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers, and your insurance company foots the bill for those extra expenses.
In addition to the coverage offered by insurance companies, auto insurers in Ontario also contribute to a tax called a health care levy, to reimburse the government for medical care provided to collision victims.
According to the IBC, “In 2010, Canadian auto insurers paid $274 million in health care levies. From these, $142.3 million (about 51%) came from Ontario.”, which is one reason why auto insurance is so expensive in Ontario, especially in the GTA.
Motorcyclists face much more bodily risk than other motorists on the road, due mostly to a lack of physical protection at high speeds. This isn’t news. What is new are some numbers from a 2017 study done by researchers at the University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Science.
The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. shows that Ontario motorcyclists, when compared with automobile drivers in the province:
If motorcyclists are exposed to an increased risk of serious injury, it makes sense that the premiums would be higher to reflect increased potential expenses. But what are these expenses?
In Ontario, Accident Benefits coverage is mandatory, included with every motorcycle insurance policy, just as it is with auto insurance.
Statutory accident benefits include Medical, Rehabilitation and Attendant Care, for expenses that aren’t covered by the OHIP, with mandatory minimum coverage of $65,000 for non-catastrophic injuries, and $1M for catastrophic injuries.
Extra expenses not covered by OHIP can add up, such as for physiotherapy, prescription drugs, chiropractic care, counseling, and transportation to medical appointments.
Also included with Accident Benefits in Ontario is Income Replacement.
Income replacement at the basic amount can be $400.00/week, or $20,800/yr. If the injuries are catastrophic and the insured is unable to engage in any occupation after 2 years, then the benefits will be extended.
Included as part of mandatory accident benefits coverage are Caregiver Benefits, Housekeeping and Home Maintenance Expenses, and Death and Funeral Benefits.
With the average Ontario motorcyclist being at a 10 times greater risk of serious injury, the potential for claims is higher, and unfortunately, this can reflect on the premiums you might pay. But this doesn’t have to be the case…