Beginner’s Guide to Motorcycle Insurance

Posted in: Insurance Tips for Motorcycles | March 25, 2017


It’s very exciting to get started in the world of motorcycle riding. Lots to learn, lots to discover, and endless amounts of fun to be had. Like any other pursuit or interest, the secret to getting the most out of your new interest is ensuring that you are getting a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the details involved.

Here at Riders Plus Insurance, we want to see you have a very long, safe, and rewarding adventure in the motorcycle community, so we do our best to steer you to the experts in every aspect of the sport as you can see from the links in our Resource Centre. We are, of course, a motorcycle insurance brokerage, so we concentrate on what we do best, what we’ve been doing since 1996: providing the best insurance advice to Ontario motorcycle riders that we have to offer. This article is by no means complete, but it’s a start. Call us at 1-877-251-4504 for a complete quote, or try our Online Quoter for a start. Have a great riding season!

What You Need to Know – Beginner’s Guide to Bike Insurance

We congratulate you for making the smart decision to enroll in a Rider Training Course. By completing this course successfully, you will greatly reduce the chances that you will be involved in a motorcycle accident, and that’s great news to insurance companies (and, obviously, great news for you!)

Insuring your bike is a significant expense, and you want to make sure you are getting a competitive rate. Equally important, however, are the details that are involved in the coverage you will arrange. Some rules and guidelines vary between companies, but in general a smaller, less expensive bike will cost less to insure, and so will an older rider. The following general rules tend to be true about bike insurance in Ontario.

Rule number one: Always get an airtight insurance quote before putting money down on a bike. Too often, people find out after buying that sweet bike that was a real deal from a friend’s friend that the insurance cost will be extremely high, or that no insurance company wants to insure it at all. Some bikes are clearly high performance “Sport” bikes that will be expensive or difficult to insure and require a high level of experience and skill to ride. Bikes labeled “Rebuilt” are very difficult and expensive to insure. Be cautious of bikes that have aftermarket frames or engines since these are also red flags to many insurers. Do your homework; educate yourself about the style of bike you are interested in, then find a broker who can explain in detail what the insurance implications are for the parameters you’ve set.

Rule number two: Answer the questions posed by the broker in honest and clear detail. They will check later anyway, so don’t waste your time being evasive or vague. Number of traffic violations, cancellations of previous policies, accidents, other M licensed persons in the household: these and other details are extremely important to determine whether you qualify and how much you will have to pay. If you have had more than one traffic ticket (not including parking tickets) in the past three years, get a copy of your Drivers Abstract at the Ministry of Transportation before getting insurance quotes so that you know exactly what your record is. The Abstract costs about $15.

Rule number three: Remember when you shop for insurance that there are a lot of details to understand, and a good insurance broker will explain things well to you. You need to understand the details, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. There is no “perfect” coverage; the policy that suits you should be personalized. Some people need to have theft coverage on a relatively inexpensive bike in order to feel comfortable, for example. Some people take Collision coverage off their bikes because they have a very tight budget. Beyond comfort level and affordability issues, there are certain limits of coverage that are the minimum that a responsible broker will recommend, such as $1 million liability limit. A good broker will guide you through this decision making process clearly, and will help to ensure you have reached a balance of coverage that fits you.

Rule number four: While the cost of the insurance is obviously important, it’s also very important that you trust your broker and insurance company. Like any professional service that you purchase, you want to ensure that you are dealing with a brokerage that you are comfortable with and that will be there for you if you have questions, problems, or claims. You don’t want to be pressured to bring your car, house, etc., to that broker/agent just so that they will insure your bike. You want them to understand bike insurance; you don’t want to be insured with someone who is hesitant about insuring you, or who has an obvious aversion to motorcycles. If you get conflicting advice from brokers, be patient and make them explain themselves until you are fully satisfied that you understand. You, the customer, must demand nothing less.

Ontario motorcycle riders are required by law to have the following insurance coverages on their motorcycle to get an Ontario plate and to ride legally: Liability, Accident Benefits, Uninsured Automobile and Direct Compensation Property Damage. This is essentially the “basic” coverage that most insurance sales people quote.

The lowest liability limit that you should consider carrying in Ontario is $1 million. The amount of damage that you can do riding a motorcycle is significant, so you want to ensure you are adequately covered.

Accident Benefits covers you for Income Replacement, Medical Rehabilitation, Death and Funeral Expenses, and other things, subject to limits. It is very important to review those limits to confirm whether increasing those limits would be a good idea for you. A good insurance broker will walk you through this issue thoroughly and clearly. It is very important to be aware of these coverage limits at the outset; too often riders discover the limitations of their policies after a significant loss, which is too late.

Loss or Damage coverage for the motorcycle itself is quite straightforward, but again you want to ensure that you are being advised clearly by your broker. If you have financing on your bike, you will be required to have Fire, Theft, and Collision by the bank/lienholder. Ask your broker what the cost difference is if you have higher or lower deductibles; sometimes lower deductibles cost only a little more than higher deductibles, and that is significant if your bike is stolen or written off in an accident.

For complete details of motorcycle insurance coverages, consult an Ontario Automobile Policy (OAP 1). Riders Plus Insurance will supply motorcycle riders with a copy if they request it: phone 1-877-251-4504 or email

join the conversation

  1. by Liam | April 5, 2017 в 10:07 pm | Reply

    Hey I was planning on buying a 125cc scooter. An insurance companiy gave me a quote of 300/mo. Is it really set to be that high on an M1 license? Since you are required by law to have insurance at all times, how should I go about insuring the bike after just buying it?

    1. by Riders Plus Insurance | April 7, 2017 в 9:39 am | Reply

      Hi Liam,
      We will be glad to help! Give us a call please at 1-877-251-4504

  2. by Ryan Roth | April 12, 2017 в 1:37 pm | Reply

    Im wanting to get my licence and begin riding for the first time but i want to price it out and see if its worth it.

    1. by Myron Kuepfer | April 18, 2017 в 9:40 am | Reply

      Give us a call! 1-877-251-4504 Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm.

  3. by sahil | April 18, 2017 в 12:31 am | Reply

    Hi, how do you classify an fz 09? Not interested in a quote, just curious as to the classification.

    1. by Myron Kuepfer | April 18, 2017 в 9:39 am | Reply

      Hey Sahil, as a brokerage, we have various companies that we can potentially set you up with. The most likely company considers the FZ09 to be insurable in the same way as a cruiser or sport touring bike, so not an issue. BUT please call us before you buy ANY bike to ensure that there are no other issues that could cause you to have either high premiums or simply be uninsurable in the regular market. 1-877-251-4504.

  4. by Trevor osborne | April 27, 2018 в 8:12 pm | Reply

    I’ve recently moved to Burlington from the U.K. having had my motorcycle licence for 18 years I find that I need to take a test here in Ontario as my licence isn’t transferable. . I’m about to do my test & probably purchase a Yamaha xvs1100, same as my last bike in the U.K. what should I expect to pay to insure?

    1. by Riders Plus Insurance | April 28, 2018 в 10:25 am | Reply

      Hi Trevor,
      Please give us a call as it depends on many things! We would love to help.

    2. by dominic perodeau | March 24, 2019 в 4:37 pm | Reply

      Goto Drivetest they will note your experience – you don’t have to undergo the waiting period from M1 to M2 exit – i just got mine done – Had to speak to the Ministers personal secretary as Drivetest wanted me to surrender my UK license (No way as i return to ride) he looked up my DVLA abstract and applied the experience manually NB its ridiculous that an Aussie or Northern Ireland biker can exchange their license without test for an Ontario one but Brits from the Home of Canada’s Sovereign are treated lesser….

  5. by Olivier Descours | September 25, 2018 в 11:16 pm | Reply

    Hi. I just moved from France in Ontario. I have a french motorcycle license since 1991 . I understand that I have to pass the M license if I want to ride . I am too a motorcycle instructor in France since 1994. I’ld like to buy an old 883 sportster, 1999 or 2005 model . Could you give me an idea of the monthly payment for insurance?thanks

    1. by Riders Plus Insurance | September 26, 2018 в 10:26 am | Reply

      Hi Olivier,
      Welcome to Ontario 🙂 Please give us a call and we will do our best to help. The rates depend on many things. Thank you.

  6. by Melanie Ianni-Palarchio | March 8, 2019 в 8:12 am | Reply

    Is the riders safety course mandatory to take in Ontario. Some insurance companies are saying it’s mandatory but I can’t seem to find legislation on it or they want a minimum of one year driving experience?

  7. by Ronald Bartholomeusz | August 11, 2019 в 11:11 pm | Reply

    Looking for few months insurance on a Yahama Virago 1100 cc I am.63 years.old Man in Brampton Ontatio Driving for the past 10 years in Thailand with full licence snd.planning to.get my M1 in.Brampton Ontario this week I need.a quote please advise
    Best Regards

  8. by Amrit | March 15, 2020 в 7:57 am | Reply

    Hi I am 22 years old who have M2 license with motorcycle training complete and I just bought kawasaki ninja 250R how much will insurance cost for me???

  9. by Bill | March 30, 2020 в 9:00 am | Reply

    My partner passed away and I dont ride. What is the minimum insurance i should have on the bike to keep it in my garage until i sell it. Is it fire and theft or comprehensive.

    1. by Tanja | March 30, 2020 в 11:03 am | Reply

      Hey there,

      We’re so sorry to hear that! Please give us a call at 1-877-251-4504 and one of our specialists will help you.

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