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Do I need bike insurance?

An bicycle and car collide. Stock photo by Getty Images

When it comes to car-bicycle collisions, most people probably aren’t thinking about the damage a car will sustain. Generally, a 10-speed with a bell doesn’t pose a big threat to two tons of steel, glass and plastic.

However, a bike can do some damage to a car and in some cases, cyclists find themselves liable for damages.

That was the case for an Edmonton cyclist who smashed into an SUV in 2013, scratching up the bodywork. Months later, he got a letter from the driver’s insurance company demanding $6,200 for the damages.

He didn’t have insurance to cover it, but luckily a crowdfunding campaign helped cover the cost.

Provincial laws generally consider a bike a vehicle, except you don’t need any insurance to drive it. That can mean you could pay a steep price if you cause an accident.

Many car insurance policies also cover you for cycling accidents. In some cases, a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy might cover them as well. Policies vary though, so it pays to check yours.

If you’re not covered by another policy or your existing ones don’t cover you, it’s possible to buy bike-specific insurance to cover liability and other risks that come with riding.

Read more:

Bike riders need to be aware of insurance options

Do You Have Insurance Coverage as a Cyclist?