As the temperatures rise, you may be thinking about taking your boat out for a spin. But, a channel marker disappeared sometime over the winter and you've run aground. "What do you mean I only had a six month policy?" Uh-oh.
Some seasonal vehicle and "toy" insurance policies are only six months, some owners only implement six month policies to start with, others may cancel their coverage at the end of the season. In the off-season, many owners wonder if they can save a few dollars by temporarily cancelling insurance on their bikes, boats, RVs, and jet skis.
Should you drop insurance on seasonal vehicles that are in winter storage? It may be tempting, but it's not the soundest practice. Here are some reasons why.
You Should Keep Yourself Protected
Be certain that your seasonal toys will stay in storage for the entire season. In Massachusetts, some of the nicest weather happens in October and even in the beginning of November. You can still ride a motorcycle or use your RV in these late fall and early winter months. If you cancel your insurance, you'd have to fight the impulse to take your bike out for a ride or cruise the RV to Virginia over a long weekend. If you did, you'd be out there without an insurance policy to protect you against an accident or other unfortunate event.
But, even in winter seasonal vehicles still face risks when they're "safe" in storage. Theft, fire, vandalism, and storm damage are all possible. If you cancel your insurance, and something happens to your bike, RV, boat, or jet ski you'd be left to foot the bill for damages or repair costs out of pocket.
You May Not Save by Cancelling Your Policy
You may not save money by cancelling insurance during the winter months. Some insurance companies take into account the typical riding/boating/touring season when they price a policy, even when spread over 12 months. So, you may not receive a refund for canceling winter coverage.
How You Might Save, There are some options
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), you may be able to purchase a "lay-up" policy, which temporarily suspends everything but the comprehensive coverage on your seasonal vehicle insurance. Comprehensive coverage protects you against an event that has nothing to do with a collision, like theft, vandalism, or other incident that can happen while in storage. Even if you don't have one of these lay-up policies, you might be able to make a similar, temporary reduction of coverages on your own policy. (Be sure to reinstate all your coverages before the season starts again next spring).
Another option might be to raise your deductible off-season to lower your premium. However, be sure you are willing and able to pay the higher deductible if damage does occur while in storage.
Check with Lallis & Higgins Insurance to determine if seasonal coverage options are available.