If you live in a large part of the country, there are several months of the year where you can’t ride your bike. The cold and snow keep your bike locked away and force you to turn to alternative forms of transportation. Since you can’t ride your bike, does that mean you should change or cancel your insurance during the winter?
Last month in our poll, we asked our readers what they did with their motorcycle insurance coverage during the winter. An overwhelming 97 percent of respondents said they did not change their coverage at all. The remaining 3 percent said they changed to their carrier’s “winter coverage.”
With “winter coverage,” also known as layup coverage, some companies offer riders the option of dropping their collision coverage and only keeping comprehensive coverage while their bike is in storage. This covers the motorcycle owner if their bike is somehow damaged or stolen while it is in storage.
Here’s a brief overview of what a few of the major insurance companies offer their motorcycle-riding customers:
- Progressive. According to a company representative, “At this time, we only offer annual policy periods for motorcycles. With an annual policy, you and your bike stay covered year ‘round so you can ride whenever you want. And you only pay for the average number of riding days in your state.”
- AllState. AllState offers riders a full range of insurance coverage options to fit their needs. However, they do not offer a storage discount during the winter. According to the company’s website, “Your policy includes seasonal pricing spread over a 12-month-policy period that accounts for the amount of time riders spend on the road in cold climates, while providing year-round coverage that can be used even on unseasonably warm winter days.”
- Geico. The company best known for its creative commercials does offer riders a winter storage option to lower their insurance rates.
- Rider. Rider is a company that specializes in motorcycle insurance. When we contacted the company, they told us that while they don’t specifically offer “layup” coverage, customers may modify or cancel their coverage at their own discretion.
There are dozens of other major auto/motorcycle insurance providers, so if you are interested in getting the best rate and finding the coverage that best fits your needs, you may want to do some research of your own.
It’s important to remember that if you do go with a company that offers winter storage options and you choose to go with that coverage, you won’t be able to enjoy those rare days where the mercury rises in the thermometer and Mother Nature shines on your neck of the woods.
Also if you have a loan to pay for your bike, you may be required to maintain full coverage all year long.
Make sure to research all your options carefully and then decide which company and which type of coverage works best for you.