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Motorcycle insurance: why year-round coverage makes sense

October 15, 2010


The chilly air and falling leaves are signs that the motorcycle riding season is coming to an end. As you prepare to store your bike for the winter, you may also be thinking about your insurance coverage and how you can reduce costs. Will you save money if you cancel your insurance policy for the snowy months and renew it in the spring?

Motorcycle riding in Canada is seasonal, and the premiums are seasonally adjusted. You will not receive a refund on your policy by cancelling it during the off season. Depending on your policy, you may not pay any premiums during the winter months, and the premium payments will be adjusted during the prime riding seasons, usually charged between March and October. Check with your insurance professional for the actual payment breakdown. It is important to note that one of the ways to qualify for better motorcycle insurance rates is to demonstrate that you have carried motorcycle insurance continuously for a certain period of time. Some companies will allow a lapse in coverage, but some will not. If you cancel your coverage and want to reinstate it at a later date, you may need to prove that you had prior insurance, and show a record of your accident and conviction history. Since motorcycle insurance premiums are typically only paid seasonally, it may be more convenient to continue your insurance coverage year-round, especially if you plan on taking your bike south with you when you go on vacation. In addition, if you have theft coverage on your motorcycle and you cancel your policy for the winter, you will not be protected if your motorcycle is stolen during the winter season.

Reduce your motorcycle insurance costs

Motorcycle insurance is considered a specialty insurance product and not all companies insure against this risk. If you do find an insurer who offers this type of coverage, it may be fairly expensive. To reduce your annual insurance costs, consider these points:

  • Contact your auto insurance company. If you already have car insurance, check with your insurer to find out if they sell motorcycle coverage. They may offer a discount on the premium if your car is insured with them as well.
  • Choose a bike that costs less to insure. Certain motorcycle models cost more to insure than others. For example, “sports” bikes could carry a surcharge on top of the regular insurance premium, and motorcycles that are more likely to be stolen could have more expensive coverage.
  • Install an anti-theft device. Some insurance companies will offer a discount if you install an anti-theft device. There are now a wide range available for motorcycles-check with your insurance professional to find out which models will earn you a discount.
  • Drive carefully. This may sound obvious, but tickets and accidents will increase your insurance premium. It really does pay to ride safely and obey the rules of the road.
  • Increase your deductibles. A higher deductible will reduce your insurance premium. Consider the value of your bike and the cost of potential repairs, and raise your deductible to a level you can afford.
  • Compare insurance quotes. Motorcycle insurance rates vary by company so it is a good idea to get several quotes before you make a decision. Be sure to use the same types of coverage and limitations with each insurer so you can accurately compare the actual rates. A site like InsuranceHotline.com provides a fast and easy to use platform for rate comparisons.