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 that pays you when you are negligently injured by someone who fled the accident 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 that 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.
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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.