Even though it’s too cold to ride your motorcycle during the winter, it’s important to maintain an insurance policy that will protect it. Some people think that, just because their bike is tucked away, it’s automatically safe. But the truth is, damage can happen at any time. A snowstorm can weigh down a tree to the point where it collapses onto the shed that houses your motorcycle. A deviant can break in and spray paint graffiti on your bike. A neighborhood kid can accidently throw a ball through your garage window and knock a shelf-full of items onto your bike, scratching the paint. Any number of scenarios can result in the need to file a claim, even during the off-season.
However, some people, particularly those who buy more expensive policies, wish to save the expense during wintertime when there’s virtually no risk of a collision claim. But, because the need for minimal coverage remains, insurance companies have evolved from offering only comprehensive policies into offering a variety of options designed to save you money when your bike isn’t in use.
One option is to utilize storage insurance, which is when, upon notification, your insurer will remove all coverage aside from comprehensive (and often liability). You still need comprehensive coverage because it protects your bike from non-collision related incidents, such as fire, severe weather, theft and vandalism. This solution was developed because it helped motorcycle owners maintain necessary coverage while reducing costs, which helped insurers increase profits that would otherwise have diminished from bike owners cancelling policies for the winter. Mark your calendar and set a reminder on your phone to switch your coverage back to normal once spring arrives (which goes for any of these options).
Another option is to maintain full coverage (particularly if your insurer won’t allow you to reduce coverage) but raise your deductible. Your deductible is the amount you must pay when filing a claim before your insurer pays the remainder of the claim. The higher the deductible, the lower your monthly premium generally costs. Because the risk of filing a claim is much lower during winter motorcycle storage, raising the deductible is typically a good way to lower costs without worrying much about the cost a claim. To be on the safe side, it’s recommended that you only raise the deductible to the higher amount you could feasibly afford at any given time because though the risk of filing a claim is much lower, it is still there.
The last option, though not the recommended one, is to remove all but liability coverage. Liability insurance is required of all motor vehicles and can cover you if, for instance, your bike falls on a neighbor you gave permission to use some tools from the shed where you store your bike. While some bikers maintain an assortment of coverages during riding season for comprehensive protection, other riders buy the bare minimum liability coverage year-round. If you’re not protecting your motorcycle while you ride it, you won’t need extra coverage to protect it while it’s being stored.
Contact your insurance agent today to talk about the best options for maintaining motorcycle coverage while saving money during the chilly off-season.