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Accidents Involving Non-Motorized Vehicles

July 13, 2011

We all know that Canadian residents require car insurance to operate a motor vehicle. The same goes for motorcycles and though it’s not required (by law), you can buy insurance for boats and other watercraft to help cover the costs of collisions and other incidents. In fact, if you have financed the purchase of your boat, the finance company may require that you purchase physical damage coverage.

But what about non-motorized vehicles such as bikes, scooters or other non-motorized methods of transportation that do not require insurance? Damages caused by these types of vehicles would not be covered by auto insurance and would have to be paid for either out of pocket or through the individual’s personal home insurance policy. Check with your insurance professional to see what coverage your policy provides. Some home, tenant and condo policies will cover boats up to a particular horsepower.

Another option for coverage and for additional protection is a personal umbrella policy.

Umbrella insurance policies

Umbrella is a term used to refer to a broad liability policy intended to provide coverage in addition to your basic home or auto insurance policy.  In other words it can provide you with higher limits of liability coverage than those included in your standard home, auto, marine or recreational vehicle policy.

They are an additional third party liability protection that covers you for financial costs incurred if you were to be sued for causing damage to another person’s health, property or possessions. It also covers costs to any communal property such as public parks or recreation facilities.

They are usually relatively inexpensive, particularly if you buy them through multi-line discounts with the same company who already manages your home and auto insurance policies.

What if you are the injured party?

If someone else causes damage to you or your property through a non-motor vehicle accident, gather as many details of the incident as you can. In particular, you’ll need the following information:

  • Location of the incident.
  • Names and contact information of the people involved.
  • Names and contact information of any witnesses to the incident.
  • A copy of the police report if there is one as well as the name and badge number of the police officer who investigated the report.
  • Itemized list of damages and the cost to fix them.Name of the insurance company and policy number of the person involved, assuming they have insurance.
  •  Photographs or video of the incident scene, highlighting the damage that was done.
  • Medical records if you or a family member has suffered an injury as a result of the accident.

The more information you can compile, the better. Contact your insurance company to inform them of the incident. If the person who was responsible doesn’t have any form of liability insurance or disputes your claim, you may have to contact a lawyer to pursue compensation for the incident. 

If you have any further questions about umbrella insurance or what to do in the event of a non-motorized vehicle accident, contact your insurance agent or broker for more detailed information regarding your specific claim.