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Do You Need to Cover Your RV, Boat, or Motorcycle Year-Round?


If you own a motorcycle, RV, or boat, you know it's not a good idea (if not illegal) to go for a ride without insurance. But what about the off-season? As you get ready for winter boat storage, RV storage, or motorcycle winter storage, it's a good idea to keep that insurance policy in place. If you're working on a to-do list for how to winterize an RV, canceling your insurance for the season shouldn't be on it.

There are some significant risks to leaving your motor vehicle in storage for the winter without insurance. Keep reading to learn more about how motorcycle, RV, and boat insurance protect you through the winter.

How Insurance Protects Your Motorcycle, Boat, or RV in the Winter

A lot can go wrong while your vehicle is stored away for the season. Crime, fire, severe weather and accidents are all possible at storage facilities. The proper vehicle coverage during the winter months helps keep your property safe from these risks and helps give you peace of mind if your storage experience doesn't go as planned.

Like renting an apartment, most self-storage and similar sites have insurance for the property, but that probably doesn't include your stored property. In many cases, you'll find that your storage contract limits the liability of the storage provider in this way. Unfortunate incidents can affect small and large facilities alike. Even in the safety of your own garage at home, it's wise to keep your seasonal vehicles insured year-round.

Major Risks When Your Vehicle is in Storage

If you want to know how to winterize an RV, canceling your insurance isn't part of the prep. The same is true for motorcycles and boats sitting in your garage or other storage. When safely tucked away, damage and loss are still possible.

  • Vehicle theft: Most storage facilities take reasonable steps to ensure your boat, motorcycle, or RV stays safe. However, in the event of theft or loss, the storage facility is often not liable. If you don't have the proper insurance, you could wind up losing your vehicle and not have any option to recoup your losses.
  • Facility or garage fire: If there's a fire that damages or destroys your motorcycle, boat, or camper, you'll be glad you kept it insured year-round. An old, faulty wire could be all it takes to spark a major blaze.
  • Winter weather damage: While serious winter storms, ice and the like are more common in colder regions, even the most temperate climates experience occasional severe weather. Hail, hurricanes, tornadoes and strong winds may show up in your area, leading to various problems, including blowing debris and downed branches. If your property falls victim, insurance coverage is there to help pay for repairs.
  • Other Accidents: If another driver smashes into your vehicle, their insurance should hopefully cover the damage. But what if they're not insured? Your coverage would kick in, but only if you have insurance coverage in place all year. And what if your property is scratched or damaged by a vandal or careless storage neighbor? Vehicle insurance is valuable in countless situations, even when your vehicle is in storage.

Because risks are unique to each area, it's essential to read your policy documents so you know what's covered. Year-round coverage may be more affordable than you realize, and you can save even more when bundling with your home and other vehicles.

Talk to your agent for more information about your policy and options for year-round coverage of stored materials.

Update Your Pre-Winter Vehicle Checklist

Pilots use a pre-flight checklist so they don't forget anything when preparing to take off. When you're done piloting your boat, recreational vehicle, or motorcycle for the season, you can create and follow your own checklist, too, so you don't forget any crucial steps.

One item on your list should be “review insurance coverage." Every year, taking a few minutes to verify that your insurance policy is still right for your needs can keep your insurance optimized and may even save you money. If you're not sure or want extra help, reach out to a Westfield agent today to get your coverage on track for the winter season and beyond.