Bicycle insurance costs approximately $30 a year in British Columbia.
Fire insurance, flood insurance, car insurance – paying up front for something that hasn’t happened yet can seem like a never-ending bill. But after a high-profile case of a bicyclist forced to pay half the costs of being hit by a car, it seems some British Columbians are ready to pay.
Ben Bolliger says he was biking to lunch on Granville Island in July 2021 when a driver failed to stop his vehicle at a stop sign and collided with him.
“It was a terrible ordeal. I was thrown about 14 or 15 meters and landed on a curb. My bike snapped in half and I will never, ever have full range of motion in my right hand again,” she said.
Then, to his surprise, he received a $3,752 bill from ICBC stating that he was “responsible for any resulting damage or injury sustained by our [ICBC’s] insured” and that because he did not have insurance coverage “he must reimburse the cost of our insured’s claim.”
While Bolliger says riders need to know they have options, his story seems to have struck a chord.
After Glacier Media published her story, an insurance company received a flood of calls.
With more Canadian cyclists than ever buying liability insurance, OASIS Insurance President Keith Bossaer says it looks like British Columbians are leading the charge: do cyclists really need insurance?
Do pedal bike owners need coverage?
For anyone who rides a simple pedal bike, Bossaer says insurance, like Pedal Power Insurance, can be purchased for cyclists and will protect you against liability, damage and injury.
Typical homeowners insurance or renters insurance won’t cover you; If you were to have a collision, you could be in danger from damage, theft, liability and injury.
Do I need insurance if I have an electric bike?
What goes for pedal bikes goes for electric bikes.
According to ICBC, you do not need to have a driver’s license and you do not need to register your electric bike. A license and insurance are also not required for your motor assisted cycle.
But if you have a collision while on an electric bike, you will be subject to the same rules and duties as the driver of a motor vehicle.
This applies to electric bikes that do not exceed 500 watts total.
There are different rules for speed limited motorcycles such as mopeds and scooters which can be found on the ICBC website.
Why should I take out cycling insurance?
Instead of adding cycling coverage to your current renters or homeowners insurance, some experts recommend purchasing separate coverage.
Bossaer says this is a good option for people who aren’t renting or don’t own a home. It can also be a smart move for people who don’t want their insurance policy to change if something were to happen to their bike.
“It keeps insurance claims separate from your home or renters insurance,” he says.
What happens if I have a collision with my bicycle and I do not have insurance?
If your vehicle is uninsured and you have a crash, ICBC may bill you for the cost of the insured person’s claim.
This falls under section 178 of the Motor Insurance Act, and ICBC states that it is entitled to “recover” the cost.
If an invoice is not paid, ICBC may take legal action against you, and if they do not hear from you within 15 days of sending the invoice, they may refer the claim to their account services department for recovery of the invoice. debt.
How much does this type of insurance usually cost?
Power Pedal’s insurance ranges from $20 to $40 per year and provides the standard liability protection of one million dollars.
“It’s pretty cheap,” says Bossaer.
“The website will show you your options and it depends on the circumstances of the liability,” he says.
Do most cyclists have insurance?
Power Pedal Insurance was created a few years ago and has been growing, even doubling in Canada in a few years.
“There are a lot more people going now,” says Bossaer. “It’s been a fast-growing product for us for some time in Canada.”
Other organizations, such as Horse Council BC, offer $5,000,000 excess personal liability insurance and offer a similar model of coverage.
What are the other options to protect myself?
It might be time to invest in a dash cam for riding a bike, similar to those used in vehicles in the event of a collision.