Auto Hibernation: Storing Your Motorcycles and Other Seasonal Vehicles

Winter is coming, or so the internet keeps saying. In Victoria, where the temperature has dropped to 14 degrees, people are getting out their puffy down coats, and donning their toques for the brief walk from building to car.  With our cold-aversion (and the rest of the province’s actual cold), our transportation needs change in the fall and winter. If you have a vehicle you insure only in the warmer months, and store in the cooler ones, you will want to set up a storage insurance policy for the vehicle while it’s not in use.

One of the many benefits of private motorcycle insurance policies purchased through Megson FitzPatrick is the inclusion of storage coverage. Whenever the bike is not being ridden, the policy automatically converts to a storage policy, providing you with coverage if the vehicle is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by fire, attempted theft, falling object and more. A requirement of the Megson FitzPatrick’s motorcycle insurance program is that vehicles be stored (during off-season and riding season) off the street. (Garage, carport, driveway, dungeon – all fine.)

For motorcycles and other vehicles insured entirely through ICBC, once the insurance expires, there is no coverage for the vehicle on or off the road. If you have a vehicle with expired or cancelled insurance that you will not be driving through the winter months, visit your ICBC Autoplan broker to set up a storage policy. They are affordable:

Short-term (3 – 8 month) storage insurance policies through ICBC start at $30 and go up from there. Storage policies for motorcycles tend to cost a bit more than other vehicle types, but are still a fraction of what road insurance costs.

And they provide you with coverage should something happen to your vehicle. You can customize coverages on storage policies through ICBC, to make sure you have what you need, and you are not paying for what you don’t:

Comprehensive – that’s your coverage for fire, theft, vandalism, falling object, windshield damage to your vehicle – is the core of any storage insurance policy. You want it.

Third Party Liability covers you if the vehicle damages someone else’s property, or causes bodily injury. So, if your vehicle rolls into and damages another car, this covers you. If your vehicle suddenly catches fire, and burns down your neighbour’s house, this covers you.

Collision coverage is available, but it is seldom purchased on storage policies. It covers you for damage to your vehicle sustained in a collision. As you can imagine, it is unlikely for a vehicle in storage to be involved in a collision; however, if in the example above, your parked vehicle was damaged when it rolled into the other car, there would only be coverage for the damage to your vehicle if the storage policy includes Collision.

It is important to remember that with ICBC, when your regular insurance expires, whether you purchase storage insurance or not, your vehicle cannot be on public roads. If you need to move your vehicle between storage locations, visit your auto insurance broker to get a temporary operating permit, or have the vehicle towed.

Morgan Thomas, BA (Dtn.)
Administration Coordinator & Personal Insurance Trainer