In breaking down Ontario insurance he discovers some discrepencies that appear to be practically criminal:
"My motorcycle was assessed as if it was new — $20,000. But if I have a crash and the 12-year-old bike is destroyed, will I receive $20,000? Of course not. The payout would be more like $4,000 or $5,000. For the insurance companies in Ontario, this must the gift that keeps on giving."
So, you're insured on a new bike no matter what, but you're only paid as little as possible on the back end. That's the kind of quality fairness that exemplifies Ontario's approach to insuring motorcycles.
When I called in to see what a second bike would cost to insure I was told that another bike would essentially double my insurance. I pointed out that I could only ride one at a time and having two would mean both would have fewer kilometres than a single bike. They just smiled and said that's the way it is. If you read that Toronto Star article you have to be asking yourself, "why is this the way it is?"
Last year we went out to B.C. and discovered that my wife could easily rent a scooter with a G license and go for a ride around Victoria. We had a fantastic time and she came closer to considering two wheels as a mode of transport, but not in Ontario.
To ride a scooter in Ontario you need to take courses and work your way through the graduated motorcycle license. Ontario is determined to keep people off two wheels even if it is a much more efficient way of getting around.
The block is systemic, from insurance practices that are out of sync with the rest of North America (and the planet) to governmental regulations that are more focused on milking citizens for license money than they are on offering access to an environmentally friendly, efficient and exciting way to get around. Ontario couldn't help but become more efficient with more people hoping on scooters and motorbikes to get where they're going, but that isn't the vision. Ontario isn't about environmental consideration, efficiency or excitement.
|Free parking, but Ontario makes riding|
so difficult to access that it's empty.
After reading that Star article I'm thinking that Ontario is anti-motorcycle. The government supports an insurance industry out of whack with the rest of the world and throws as many blocks as it can at riding. Ontario may be the most over licensed and expensive place to insure a bike in the world.
Below I looked up costs randomly in the US and the UK and Ontario is way out of whack with the the results. If I lived five hundred kilometres south of here in urban Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (instead of in rural Ontario), I'd be paying about $295 Canadian for my insurance this year (that's with equivalent policy). I currently pay almost $900 a year on a twenty year old bike that I bought for eight hundred bucks. A second bike in PA would cost me an additional hundred bucks, so I'd be paying about $400 a year for both. In Ontario I'm paying three times that.
When I first started riding I considered a new bike for safety reasons. When I requested a quote on a new Suzuki Gladius (a 650cc, mid sized, standard motorbike), I was quoted at about $3000, but most insurers just refused to offer coverage - this on a guy in his forties, married with auto and home insurance and a family. Had I been in England I could have quickly been insured with equivalent coverage AND road support and bike transport in a breakdown for about $950 Canadian in my first year of riding.
Considering the blocks to access on basic scooters and the insurance madness, Ontario isn't maybe anti-motorcycle, it's systemically anti-motorcycle.
|Inside Motorcycles had a good article on the benefits of integrating motorcycles and scooters into a coherent traffic plan.|
It would be nice if Ontario followed the research and encouraged more people onto two wheels.
Just to torture myself I got a quote from Progressive as if I lived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - my stats, my bike. The cost for basic insurance was $75 a year. To get Ontario equivalent insurance it went up to $226 a year.
Are you feeling the love yet?
|£467 works out to about $950 Canadian|