Seasonal motorcycle insurance provides coverage for the seasons you ride in the most — spring, summer and fall. And it reduces your coverage and your premium when winter comes around. Compare seasonal, lay-up, temporary or motorcycle storage policies.
How does seasonal motorcycle insurance work?
Different companies handle seasonal motorcycle insurance in different ways.
For example, many northern companies offer motorcycle lay-up policies, in which all coverage except comprehensive is suspended during winter months — which covers your bike if, say, a tree falls on your garage. These policies offer both flexibility and savings since policyholders don’t have to maintain full coverage or cancel the policy entirely.
Other companies may not offer a specific lay-up policy but do allow similar reductions if asked. In this case, you’ll likely need to speak with a representative to work out the situation.
Once you’ve purchased a seasonal motorcycle policy, you can use your motorcycle under your policy’s protection during the seasons stated in your policy. These usually include spring, summer and fall.
In the off season, however, you should refrain from using your bike at all, since it won’t be fully insured. If you’re maintaining comprehensive coverage, your insurance company may also require you to store the bike in a garage.
What’s included with seasonal motorcycle insurance?
Seasonal motorcycle insurance can cover all your basic needs plus any add-ons. However, the main characteristic of this policy is that it won’t cover the months you choose to forgo insurance.
Coverage that may be included during your policy period:
Liability. Pays for expenses related to bodily injuries or vehicle damage inflicted on another driver.
Collision. Covers physical damage to your motorcycle when you’re at fault.
Comprehensive. Pays for damages not related to collisions — like theft, weather damage or vandalism.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist. Protects you from other drivers without enough insurance to cover accident damages.
Loan/lease gap. Provides coverage for total loss accidents in which you still owe money on your loan or lease.
Medical payments. Covers expensive medical bills for you and your passengers stemming from an accident.
Roadside assistance. Provides minor roadside repairs and towing if your bike breaks down.
Trip interruption. Pays for lodging, food and transportation should your motorcycle break down away from home.
Safety gear. Covers your protective gear such as your helmet, boots or eyewear.
Optional motorcycle equipment. Protects customizations you’ve added to your bike, like extra chrome.
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Compare companies that offer seasonal motorcycle insurance
Is seasonal motorcycle insurance worth it?
Opting for seasonal coverage could save money and prevent waste since you’re not paying for motorcycle insurance all year long. This coverage works well for drivers who:
Ride only during certain seasons and not in others, like winter
Want to save money
Need less than full protection for their bikes while in storage
What if I can’t get seasonal motorcycle insurance?
If your current insurance company doesn’t offer seasonal motorcycle insurance, you’ll need to maintain coverage and pay a premium year-round. It’s not ideal for saving money, but could help you stick with your current preferred insurer and keep any perks like a loyalty discount, claims-free bonus or accident forgiveness.
Another option is to cancel your policy for the winter. Keep in mind, though, that canceling a 12-month policy early may not provide the same savings. That’s because some insurance companies factor the usual riding season into their rate already, providing a lowered rate year-round. In addition, your insurance company may choose not to insure you again if it sees a cyclical pattern of canceling and renewal.
Seasonal motorcycle insurance in action
Jackie loves riding her motorcycle in her small Pennsylvania town during most seasons. But she knows she’ll stop riding once the cold weather hits. Jackie calls her current insurance company to see whether it offers lay-up policies.
She discovers that it doesn’t have an official seasonal policy, but the company agrees to reduce her coverage during the winter months. The reduced policy will provide Jackie with minimal liability limits and higher deductibles on all other added coverage. This situation proves ideal for Jackie, who may want to take her bike out for a ride during an unusually warm winter day.
What’s not covered by seasonal motorcycle insurance?
Under a seasonal motorcycle policy, coverage varies based on the current season of the year. Usually, spring, summer and fall will provide full protection for the coverage you choose to purchase.
However, during the off season, your coverage will be suspended or reduced. Note that comprehensive coverage often remains intact during this time. Coverage that may get suspended or reduced includes:
Seasonal motorcycle insurance can offer savings if you’re not using your motorcycle during certain seasons, like winter. In effect, this policy means your bike may not be adequately insured for riding during the off-season.
You can also save money during seasons you don’t ride by decreasing your policy limits, increasing the deductible, canceling add-on coverage or asking your insurance company about discounts for reduced usage.
Yes, some insurance companies offer six-month policies. You can also find shorter temporary policies for a few weeks or months from specialty insurance companies.
These options work well if you’re only using your bike for short periods. However, you won’t get the benefit of comprehensive coverage during the months in storage that a seasonal policy may offer.
Yes. Insurance companies look at how often you ride your motorcycle as one factor for determining your rate. In addition, your reduced usage might mean you have a clean driving record or store your bike in a locked location. These factors can also help you save on your premium.
Sarah George is a writer at Finder who unravels complicated topics about insurance, business and finance. She's been wordsmithing for over three years after graduating with an English Education degree. You can usually find Sarah sipping hot tea and talking through movie plots in her downtime.
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