Romanov Report 37 - Apr 14, 2006

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"Partially At-Fault"

When there's an accident and one driver is found to be "At-Fault", many times the other driver is designated to be "Partially At-Fault". These "partially at-fault" designations hold as much weight as being "Completely At-Fault" and send many good drivers' insurance rates skyrocketing. Here's what we wrote about this in the last Romanov report:

Partly at-fault

After reading this, over 500 of you voiced your opinion about the unfairness of the "Partially At-Fault" rule by sending me your thoughts. As promised, I am sending a letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty, along with all of your comments. I am asking him to address the "Partially At-Fault" designation and for his government to take the necessary steps to change the situation.

Insurance Experts and Where You Can Turn To For Help:

This week I was contacted by Glen Williamson who is the Executive Director of the General insurance Ombudservice (GIO), an organization set up to mediate between insurance companies and drivers with respect to the "Fault Determination Rules". In other words, if you have a dispute with your insurance company that you can't resolve, GIO will help you out. They also mediate for home and life insurance issues, and much more. Their contact information is as follows:

Telephone Number: 1 877 225-0446


Bad Bikers Go To "Insurance Heaven"

As the motorcycle season revs up, here are 7 things drivers should know about, given that bike insurance is rated very differently from car insurance. They are:

1) HOV lanes: Most larger cities like Vancouver and New York allow bikers riding alone to drive in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane. They have found it to be safer. However, this isn't the case in Toronto, so be careful. Most motorcycle accidents are as a result of the driver of a car not seeing the bike. Only motorcyclists with a passenger can travel in the HOV lanes in Toronto.

2) Free Parking: Wow. Motorcycles get to park free on the streets of Toronto. So hop on the back of your friend's bike for the next Blue Jays game.

3) Bikers with "Clean Records" pay higher rates: Bikers ask why it costs as much to insure a motorcycle as it does a car. Motorcycles are smaller and on the road for half the year. Many bikers avoid bad weather conditions, as they're often camped out under bridges, even when it rains. This rate comparison shows very little difference between motorcycle and car insurance rates for good drivers:

Insurance: Clean Record, for the Metro Toronto area:

Car: $1,472

Motorcycle: $1,495 (higher)

4) "Tickets and Accidents" count differently: Surprisingly, tickets and accidents do not affect motorcycles rates like they do cars. And an accident affects car insurance rates for 6 years, while your insurance rates are only affected by a motorcycle accident for 3 years.

Two Tickets

Car: from $1,885 to a high of $5,730

Motorcycle: average $1,495


Car: from $2,680 to a high of $7,852

Motorcycle: average $2,177

The severity of motorcycle injuries, reported by Kingsway General Insurance, is greater than those of car accidents. It's not unusual to have million dollar payouts, due to the severity of the injury, but also the length of time required for rehabilitation. Surprisingly, that doesn't translate to higher insurance rates for motorcycle drivers with tickets or accidents.

Interestingly, if you have an accident with your car, your insurance rate will skyrocket, but having an accident with your motorcycle, won't affect your insurance rate that much.

5) "Secret" Rates (This is what you need to send your motorcycle friends): Some insurance companies have "secret" motorcycle rates that can only be accessed by combining your car, home and motorcycle insurance with the same company. The best way to pay less for motorcycle insurance is to find which insurance company offers the lowest insurance rate for the car you drive through

The spread between insurance rates are hundreds, even thousands of dollars apart. Finding a $700 car insurance savings goes a long way to paying for the rider's motorcycle insurance. Then combine all your policies under one company for even more savings.

6) Rates are calculated by region, not postal code: Moving from one postal code area to another does not affect your motorcycle insurance rate. Most insurance companies only have 3 territories, unlike auto insurance which is rated by each postal code.

Vehicle Rural(Englehart) Urban(Hamilton) Toronto (Metro) Car: $1,058 to $2,568 $1,432 to $4,364 $1,523 to $5,730 Motorcycle: $964 $1,034 $1,225

Regional rating for motorcycle insurance provides more of an even rate distribution throughout the rural, urban and metro areas. With car insurance, if you cross the street in to a different postal code, your rate can increase by $1,000.

7) The cost of insurance is seasonally weighted: Bikers trying to get a "rate break" by canceling their insurance over the wintertime, find the savings minimal. This is because the premium is weighted over the spring to fall months. Cancellation also means that theft is not covered while the bike is being stored over the winter season.