It’s not even winter yet, and some people are already putting their motorcycles away for the winter. I was just retained by someone who had a motorcycle accident while riding his motorcycle to his friend’s garage, where he was going to store it for the winter.
You might not put your motorcycle away for another month or two, and you might even want to go for a ride on one of those nice sunny warm days in January! But don’t make the mistake that my client made.
My client thought he would save some money by canceling his motorcycle insurance policy for the winter. That might sound like a way to save money, but it could cost you money.
The biggest mistake he made was to ride his motorcycle to his friend’s garage just one day after canceling his insurance. Obviously, he had no insurance at the time of the accident and did not have underinsured coverage.
If he still had his $300,000 underinsured coverage, he would have received $300,000 for his injuries, but he was struck by someone with a minimum insurance policy.
If you’re going to cancel your insurance for the winter, DO NOT take your motorcycle on the road, even for that short five-minute ride.
Should you even cancel your insurance for the winter? First of all, there are always some nice days during the winter when you may be tempted to go for a ride. If your insurance policy is still in force, you can legally go for a ride anytime you want with the comfort that you and your motorcycle are insured.
Second, there are many ways your motorcycle could be damaged while in storage. Your motorcycle could be stolen or destroyed if the building where your motorcycle is stored burns down.
Third, you may not even save money because instead of renewing your insurance policy, you will be starting with a new policy in the spring, probably at a higher rate than the renewal rate. You may also lose other discounts.
You might be able to choose a winter layup policy that will cover your motorcycle if it is damaged or stolen, but it will not give you insurance coverage to take your motorcycle on the road when the weather gets nice. Don’t forget that there are some winter days when it is just too tempting to go for a ride.
When you start riding again in the spring, Make sure that you check your insurance coverage to make sure you have the same coverage you had before the winter and that you have sufficient underinsured coverage. One of our clients said his underinsured coverage was reduced by GEICO from $300,000 to $25,000 during the winter but wasn’t increased again in the spring.
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Motorcycle Attorney Phil Franckel talks about how motorcycle accidents are different
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website, one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York, well-known for representing motorcyclists. He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and is a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.
Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is a motorcycle accident lawyer and one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Robert began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.