Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

In this file photo, skateboarders were out in full force at Ashbridges Bay in Toronto last March.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

I read that a guy in Halifax lost his car insurance after receiving two tickets for skateboarding without a helmet and a ticket for driving without a seat belt. I'm all for safety, but the skateboarding tickets seems crazy. How can my car insurance be affected by something that has nothing to do with driving?

– Kristen, Toronto

It might sound a little hardheaded, but a ticket for skateboarding without a helmet shows risky behaviour, says the Insurance Bureau of Canada. And insurance companies don't like risks.

Story continues below advertisement

"Helmet violations, like seat belt violations, are an indicator of risk taking behaviour which might reflect on the driving patterns of the insured," wrote IBC spokesman Steve Kee in an email.

CBC news reported last month that a 25-year-old Halifax man with a clean driving record was told he was getting dropped by TD Meloche Monnex for a seat belt fine –and two other $141.16 tickets for skateboarding without a helmet in a designated skateboarding area. Halifax police said parents could be ticketed – and have their rates suffer – if their kids under 16 are caught on bikes or skateboards without helmets.

What's going on? Well, insurance companies set rates by looking at your driver's abstract, issued by the ministry of transportation in your province or territory. It lists the tickets for violations you've received in the last three years. Parking tickets don't count.

Generally, any violation that appears on your driver's abstract can affect your insurance rates. And for skaters or cyclists, that could include fines for not using helmets.

Each insurance company makes its own decisions on how each violation affects rates, Kee said.

"With this story, we learned that different companies deal with motor vehicle act violations in different ways," Kee said. "We recommend that at the time you do receive a ticket for not wearing a helmet, it's a good idea to call your broker or agent to let them know it was a skateboard helmet infraction, and to see how that may impact your auto policy – if at all."

And if your insurance company holds it against you?

Story continues below advertisement

"You always have the option of changing insurers by shopping the market," Kee says.

When asked for an interview, a spokesperson from TD Meloche Monnex referred me back to the IBC.

So can your coverage be hurt by hitting the half-pipe without a helmet if you live somewhere else in Canada? Good question. Kee says he's only heard of this happening in Nova Scotia.

Only British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have provincial laws requiring helmets for all ages.

"The bigger issue here is one of public safety," Kee said. "The insurance industry is a proponent of any initiative that will keep people in the communities we live and work in safe."

*****

Story continues below advertisement

Send your auto maintenance and repair questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies