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Bicycle injury or property damage to others - Bicycle Liability

Guthrie Insurance

My wife and I are avid cyclists certainly in Toronto and also in other cities when traveling. Recently I had a close call in avoiding a pedestrian with a child in a stroller. It never occurred to me what might have happened had I collided and there were injuries. Is there such a thing as bike liability insurance or am I responsible?

Andre D. - Toronto

Andre, a really good question. As bikes in Ontario are not licensed or regulated there are no legal requirements to carry liability insurance. It's not unlike runners, skate-boarders, or just pedestrians who might cause injury in their day to day activities. On this basis, thousands of people assume uninsured liability every day often without any thought to the financial repurcussions.

Not being regulated, however, does not absolve one of financial responsibility or liability. If you caused bodily injury or property damage e.g. rode into a car, it is highly likely that the courts would hold you financially responsible and award a judgement against you in favour of the plaintiff. Perhaps this might not be disastrous if it was a few hundred dollars damage to a car but an injury to a child could run $1,000,000+.

Fortunately, your present Condominium insurance package does cover personal liability for bodily injury and property damage and would defend you for this and pay any judgement (on a world-wide basis!) up to your current policy limit which is $2,000,000. Is this sufficient? Depends on how much damage you cause and may require a crystal ball. Good topic for future conversations.

Thanks for the question. The Advisors @ Guthrie Insurance Brokers Ltd

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