If your motorcycle insurance policy has a winter storage option, certain coverages may be eliminated or reduced such as collision damage, liability and SUM coverage.
SUM coverage is an acronym for Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. This is insurance coverage which pays you when you are negligently injured by someone who fled the scene; has no insurance; or has less insurance than you.
Your insurance company may simply charge an annual rate and factor in a discount because most motorcyclists don’t ride in the winter in NY. However, GEICO has two storage plans called Winter Storage Plan 1 and Winter Storage Plan 2.
A GEICO salesperson told me storage plans are now offered only to military and existing customers who had a storage plan and that information about the plans is no longer on their website. However, I found someone who copied from the GEICO website the following about Storage Plan 1: “We will remove all coverage from your policy with the exception of Comprehensive Coverage.”, while with Winter Storage Plan 2, “All coverage remains on your policy.”
It is vital to know what coverage you have if your motorcycle is in storage. If you eliminate liability coverage, you will also lose your SUM or uninsured/underinsured coverage.
One of our clients says he had $100,000 SUM coverage until his bike was put in storage and it was then reduced to the NYS minimum of $25,000 uninsured coverage with no underinsured coverage.
After his motorcycle was put in storage, a friend asked him to ride the friend’s motorcycle from his house to a garage where it was going to be stored. Unfortunately, while doing a favor, our client was in a motorcycle accident, hit by a car which fled the scene and was never identified.
Our client had serious injuries with a value of approximately $500,000 but his friend’s motorcycle only had $25,000 uninsured coverage. If our client still had $100,000 uninsured coverage on his own insurance policy, he would have obtained $100,000 instead of $25,000.
If you have a winter storage plan on your insurance policy, make sure you understand what coverage remains and what coverage is reduced or eliminated before you ride anyone else’s motorcycle during the winter. It’s just when you don’t expect it, that you’ll have a motorcycle accident
Make sure you increase your SUM coverage in the spring to at least $250,000 or more if your insurance company sells more.
We recommend buying insurance from an independent insurance agent which should eliminate a lot of problems in the event you are in an accident.