Spring is here! For many of us, that means it’s time to dust off our seasonal vehicles and to get our trailers, boats, and other recreational equipment out of storage and ready for use. But before you hit the road or the water, it’s important to make sure your seasonal and recreational vehicles have full coverage on your insurance policies.
Seasonal Vehicles versus Recreational Vehicles
Seasonal vehicles are the kind of vehicles that could technically function year-round but are generally used during a single season, like a convertible or a “summer” car. Recreational vehicles are things like trailers, ATV’s, snowmobiles, boats, classic or antique cars, and motorcycles. Seasonal vehicles are rated like any other all-season vehicle and if you are only using them during a single season, it is possible to remove road coverages during the off-season and save some money. Recreational vehicles however are seasonally rated, which means the insurance company has already accounted for their seasonal use in their premium. In many cases, insurance companies will not allow road coverages to be removed from seasonally rated vehicles since they are already charging premiums based on their seasonal use.
As mentioned above, it is possible, and some clients do choose to reduce or remove insurance coverage on their seasonal vehicles during the off-season to save money (more on that in a minute). Generally, we don’t recommend that, because failing to re-add coverage before using those vehicles again can lead to serious financial consequences in the event of an accident or other unexpected events. It may also leave you without important Accident Benefits coverage even if you are a passenger or a pedestrian involved in a motor vehicle accident.
For example, let’s say you own a convertible that you only use during the summer months. In the fall, you decide to remove the insurance coverage to save money on your premium. Come spring, you take your convertible out for a spin for the first time, but you’re involved in an accident that causes significant damage to your car and injures a passenger. Without proper insurance coverage, you could be responsible for paying for the repairs and potentially any medical expenses incurred by your passenger out of pocket.
Instead, we would recommend to our clients the OPCF16 Suspension of Coverage and the OPCF17 Reinstatement of Coverage endorsements rather than just reducing or removing coverage. These endorsements keep important coverage such as Accident Benefits in place in case you need it and provide savings during those times your vehicle is parked and not being used.
Do you actually Save Money by Removing Coverage?
Like we explained above, seasonal vehicles are rated like any other all-season vehicle and reducing or removing coverage during the off-season can save some money. For recreational vehicles like trailers, boats, motorcycles, and snowmobiles, insurance companies are already charging premiums based on seasonal use. They understand that these recreational vehicles are only operated for a certain portion of the year. Therefore, removing or cancelling coverage for the winter months can often result in little or no actual premium savings (assuming the insurance company will even allow the removal of coverage in the off-season). Considering the risk of possibly forgetting to re-add coverage come springtime or creating a gap in your insurance history, and the minimal premium savings, we strongly recommend that clients keep those items listed on their policy year-round.
Before you take your seasonal or recreational vehicles out of storage, be sure to contact your Staebler Broker to re-add the necessary insurance coverages. Put your mind at ease by ensuring that you have the protection you need in case of an unexpected event.
Life Changes can Impact your Insurance Coverage
It’s also a good time of year to review your insurance policy generally to make sure you have the right level of coverage for your needs. We all know that things change and this can impact your insurance needs. We recently wrote about such changes that are important to tell your broker: for both Personal Changes and Business Changes.
If there have been changes in your life, it may be necessary to update your file and adjust your coverages accordingly.
Take the time to review your policy and contact your Staebler Broker to ensure you have the right level of coverage for your needs. That way, you can enjoy your recreational activities with peace of mind, knowing that you are protected in case of an unexpected event.
. . .
Staebler Insurance is a general insurance broker specializing in auto insurance, home insurance, small business, and commercial insurance. Staebler brokers proudly serve Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Listowel, Fergus, Elora, Wellington County, Perth County, Waterloo Region and southern Ontario. Click here to get started.