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Why You Should Insure a Seasonal Vehicle Year-Round

June 10, 2021
3 mins
Beautiful interiors of a classic car during an exhibition of retro and vintage cars

Do you own a seasonal vehicle such as a vintage automobile you only drive in the summer months? There’s a valid argument to be made to insure it throughout the year, whether you’re using it or not.

Seasonal or recreational vehicles that you drive for a portion of the year and store in the off-season may include:

  • Snowmobiles
  • Classic automobiles
  • Motorcycles and mopeds
  • All-terrain vehicles
  • RVs and motorhomes
  • Travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers

You might think cancelling the car insurance coverage on your vintage auto or the motorcycle insurance on your bike when you’re putting either into storage will save you money. But by doing so, you’re exposing yourself to significant financial risk, and you may be subject to a cancellation fee.

For instance, what happens if a fire, flood, or natural disaster damages or destroys your seasonal vehicle? Without year-round comprehensive coverage, you have no protection and will be responsible for paying for repairs or for replacing the vehicle on your own if it’s a total loss.

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Three things to do to get your seasonal vehicle on the road

The first day of summer is less than two weeks away. With that in mind, here are three things you should do when taking your summer vehicle out of storage and before you hit the road (or trail):

1. Reactivate your road coverage

While your classic car or motorcycle was in storage, your insurer temporarily suspended its road coverage, including its third-party liability and accident benefits. Before you take to the open road again, contact your insurer or broker to get your coverage reinstated and ensure the policy is up to date.

2. Ensure the vehicle licence plate is registered

Double-check with your province’s transportation ministry and ensure your seasonal vehicle’s licence plate registration is active and, if required, the plate sticker is valid for this year. Each province or territory has specific licensing requirements for seasonal vehicles.

3. Make sure the vehicle is roadworthy

Any vehicle that has been mothballed and sitting idle for several months needs a thorough check-up to ensure it is in good working condition. You can likely perform many vehicle maintenance requirements on your own; others might call for a mechanic or technician to do. Regardless, check all fluid levels, including oil and coolant, inflate the tires, and if you used plastic to seal the exhaust pipes and air intakes when you were storing the vehicle to keep the moisture out, don’t forget to remove them.

Temporary or Seasonal Car Insurance?

If the seasonal vehicle you have is a vintage automobile, you might wonder if purchasing a temporary or short-term car insurance policy is your best bet.

Look at it this way: temporary car insurance is useful if you want a policy that lasts a few weeks or months. Snowbirds, for example, might opt for such a policy while they are in Canada. Seasonal insurance will extend the comprehensive coverage on the vehicle for the entire year, which protects it from damages related to theft, vandalism, fire or a natural disaster.

Liam Lahey

Liam Lahey is a versatile, seasoned writer and editor. He worked as both a staff writer and freelance writer for many business and technology publications as well as for several newspapers. He writes about home, auto, and travel insurance, and is a media spokesperson for RATESDOTCA.

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