Insuring Your Summer Vehicle During the Winter

Winter weather can wreak havoc on a vehicle. Bitterly cold temperatures, snow, ice, slush, road salt; all these things can have an impact on any car. But some cars weren’t meant to be driven during the winter months.

Winter makes your vehicle’s fluids less efficient, affects the battery’s performance, and messes with tire pressure. Plus, all that road salt can corrode your vehicle’s undercarriage, wheel wells, and brakes.

It makes sense to drive some vehicles during the warmer months and put them in storage for the winter, for example, a convertible sports car. But that leads one to question: do you need car insurance coverage for your summer wheels throughout the year if it’s in storage for several months?

Keep your stored vehicle insured

Cancelling your car insurance outright on a stored vehicle isn’t the best option, and there are a couple of reasons you should refrain from doing so.

Firstly, you won’t have coverage if it’s stolen or damaged while in storage. Secondly, you could see a premium increase in the spring when you get a new policy because you now have a gap in coverage.

As well, if you had an at-fault collision while driving the previous year and had an accident forgiveness clause on your policy, you would lose that benefit if you cancelled your policy or applied for a new one.

Penalties for an uninsured car

Driving without insurance isn’t an option, either. You can face stiff penalties if you drive without insurance in Canada.

According to the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, if you drive without insurance in Ontario, you could face a $5,000 fine for the first offence and an insurance surcharge of approximately 25%. You can be charged additional fines of $10,000 up to $50,000 for a second offence. Your driving licence may also be suspended for up to one year.

Your insurance provider may also put you in the high-risk driver category. A motorist who is considered high risk is almost certain to pay a higher premium than one with a clean driving record.

Keep comprehensive coverage

The smartest way to save money on insurance for a car you’re storing over the winter is to keep the policy active by maintaining its comprehensive coverage and suspending its collision coverage. Since you won’t be driving, you don’t need portions of your auto policy, such as liability or collision coverage.

But be advised: without collision coverage, you have no protection if your vehicle incurs hit-and-run damage. Furthermore, if you need to have a mechanic look at the vehicle after removing road coverage, you will have to tow the car to and from the repair shop.

Regardless, keep the comprehensive coverage, which is the part of your car insurance that covers you in case of damage due to storms, fire, or theft.

Other options for summer vehicles in winter

If your car is older, you may be eligible for classic car insurance. This type of insurance is designed for vehicles driven a modest amount during warmer months.

Compare car insurance premiums to find the right amount of coverage for your summer vehicle at an affordable price.

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