Protecting your RV, boat, ATV, and motorcycle year-round – Our complete PNW guide
For one reason or another, you aren’t going to be using your RV, motorcycle, or boat for the next few months. Whether due to weather or a busier schedule, you consider canceling your toy insurance policy on your specialty vehicle. But, not so fast… there are many reasons why you may want to keep that policy in force in the off-season.
If you cancel your insurance policy, you may be forced to pay for repairs or replacements out-of-pocket. In addition, during the cooler months, while your toys are parked, events can occur that could get expensive without a valid insurance policy.
Types of claims that could occur during the off-season
Comprehensive insurance claims: Even though your vehicles are secured, theft or vandalism can still occur at any time. Having to pay out-of-pocket to repaint, repair, or replace your toy could put a serious strain on your finances. Catastrophic events like floods or fires can occur during the off-season. If your comprehensive insurance policy is not in effect, you may be responsible to pay to replace your toys without assistance from your insurance carrier.
Liability insurance claims: Accidents can happen at any time, even if your toy is secure. For example, during a party at your home, someone thinks it would be great to take a picture of your Harley. They hop on and fall over, damaging both your bike and themselves. Even if you did not permit them to do so, you may be legally responsible for their injuries. Without a liability insurance policy in effect, you may be responsible for paying for the injured party’s medical bills and recovery costs.
Additional claims scenarios:
- A blustery storm knocks over a tree, and it falls on your parked camper. (Comprehensive claim)
- A hail storm damages your vehicle (Comprehensive claim)
- Your garage catches on fire and burns your motorcycle, boat, or ATV inside (Not home insurance, Comprehensive claim for the vehicle)
- Your RV or Boat is parked in an off-season boat/RV storage facility and is damaged when an unknown party backs their vehicle into it. Unfortunately, they don’t leave their information.
- A thief vandalizes your vehicle, looking for valuable items.
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Keeping your policy year-round makes financial sense.
It may seem like you do not need to keep insurance on your toys during the winter, but it is a good idea to maintain a year-long policy. If someone is injured on one of your toys while it is being stored (even if they are trespassing) and you have no liability coverage, you may be forced to pay damages out-of-pocket. Also, if a warm day comes along and you feel like taking your bike out for a spin and even just filling up the gas tank on the RV, you should have collision coverage.
Lastly, don’t forget about the multi-policy discounts you may be receiving on your primary policy. If you insure your boat, motorcycle, or RV with your home or auto insurance company, you may be eligible for multi-policy discounts. By removing your insurance on your vehicle, you will raise the cost of your other policies.
Winterizing your summer toys
In addition to your insurance policies, doing some minor maintenance and preparation on your specialty vehicle will help keep it running for many years while also keeping your premiums lower by reducing the number of claims. Here are some basic principles to follow for storing your toys for the off-season.
- Motorcycles: With motorcycles, you are most likely going to focus on fluids. Make sure that brake fluid is topped off and the brake lines are clear. Give your bike a fresh oil change and check the tire pressure (and tread wear!). Now is also a great time to make sure that the engine and throttle are performing correctly. If anything sounds “off,” take it in for repairs so that the motorcycle is ready to go when those first warm days arrive. It would be best if you also topped off the gas tank. If your tank is less than full, ice crystals can form in the tank and cause expensive damage.
- RVs: Prepping your RV for winter is a lot like prepping your daily commuter for winter. Ensure your RV has a full tank of gas, oil change, and check the vital engine systems like spark plugs, etc. Make sure the fresh and gray water tanks are emptied and that the tires are checked for pressure and wear and tear. The interior of your RV should also be thoroughly cleaned and while doing so, check for any drafts or broken window seals. Before you seal up your RV until summer, add a dehumidifier or desiccant crystals to help absorb harmful moisture and help prevent mold damage.
- Boats: Like an RV, you have to prep both the interior and exterior of a boat for winter. For the exterior, check for cracks in the hull and scrape off any barnacles or other marine life that made your boat it is home for the summer. If you have an outboard motor, make sure to flush it with fresh water and that all the water is expelled. Inboard motors need to be refilled with antifreeze, so make sure to consult your manual for the proper mixture. The boat’s interior should be cleaned and wiped down with some vinyl protectant to help keep it from cracking in the cold. Make sure that your cover extends below the boat’s waterline and that the cover is snug.
It may seem logical to keep your toy insurance in effect while it’s stored for a season, but it could be a huge hit financially if your toy is stolen, damaged, or liable for an injury. If you have questions about a year-round policy for your motorcycle, RV, boat, or ATV, give us a call! Use one of the links below to call, email, or book a meeting with your local insurance advisor.