Fall temperatures are in the air. Snow flurries are possible in the next few days. I think the days of 70-80 degree temperatures are almost behind us.
When the weather starts to turn more towards winter, it is time to put away the motorcycle, boat, and sports car for the winter.
This is also the time that many people make short-sighted mistakes with their insurance coverage.
It is normal to think that since you are not riding the motorcycle or having the boat on the water any longer, that you should just remove the insurance all together for the winter and then put it back on in the Spring when you want to use it again. After all, that will save a few bucks, right?
Very, very, very wrong.
One of the criteria that insurance companies use to rate how risky you are is whether or not you have any gaps in your insurance coverage. Taking your insurance coverage off that motorcycle or boat in the winter creates a gap in coverage and when you try to add it back on in the spring- you may be surprised to find that the rate has literally doubled because you no longer had continuous insurance coverage.
Doubling your rate in the summer is usually not worth the price savings of taking it off for a few months during the winter. Especially when you factor in the hassle of those warm winter days when you want to take the bike out. Having continuous coverage means that you don’t have to mess with calling the agent to put the coverage back on and then trying to take it back off. You know you are covered no matter what. The open road beckons in January??? Go for it!
To help you out, there are some insurance carriers that price motorcycle and boat policies to be less expensive in the winter months and more expensive during the peak riding/using months. That way you feel like you are paying less during the winter when you are not using your motorcycle/boat/etc to it’s full capacity. The policy is likely costing the same, but the payment structure makes more sense logistically. Of course- paying in full for the entire year up front is usually going to the least expensive option no matter where you buy your insurance and then you don’t have to worry about it because it will have been already paid for.
Also- if you store your car, boat, or motorcycle for the winter- remember that it can still get stolen or damaged by vandalism, fire, or storm damage. Not to mention those mice that like to live in storage barns. This is yet another reason why you don’t want to take all of your insurance coverage off your item!
For automobiles that you put into storage for the winter you can “suspend” the vehicle by just having comprehensive coverage on it- and you can put liability back on it if you decide to take it back out to drive it on a nice day. Check with your agent- because some policies require you to keep the liability back on for 30 days when you do this before suspending it again.
Regardless- the important thing is that if you do take any coverages off your items, especially cars- don’t forget to call your insurance agent once the item is out of storage! Otherwise you could be exposed to liability damages if you have an accident and you were not properly covered. Your insurance agent can’t be expected to guess when you are taking your car out of storage for the spring time!
Having motorcycles, boats, snowmobiles, ATV’s, and sports cars are fun. Be sure to communicate with your insurance agent to make sure that you have the proper coverage to avoid unexpected costs in the future.