Publish Date: January 2016
You keep up with maintenance of your snowmobile, even in the off-season. You add fuel stabilizer, fog the engine and give your sled a thorough cleaning, so it's ready for storage until the snow starts falling again. Proper maintenance may help keep your snowmobile running well, but you may wonder if you really need to keep your snowmobile insurance while it's stored away safely for a few months.
Snowmobile insurance typically includes coverages that may help protect you and your vehicle from the unexpected. That protection usually extends to hazards that can happen year-round, such as fire, vandalism and theft, whether your sled is on the trails or stored away for the season.
If you cancel your coverage and your snowmobile is damaged or stolen while being stored for the summer, you'll be responsible for the full cost of repairs or replacement. Your snowmobile may still be at risk even on your own property, whether it's in a garage, a shed or covered up on the trailer next to the house.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) says snowmobiles are not typically covered by homeowners, renters or auto insurance policies. So if a fire in your garage damages your snowmobile or a thief makes off with it, those policies likely won't reimburse you for it. You may save a few dollars each month by canceling your snowmobile policy during the summer, but you could be out thousands if you need to replace your sled.
Be sure to ask your agent about any discounts that may be available. For example, if you have your home or auto insurance with the same company as your snowmobile policy, you may be eligible for a multi-policy discount.
Since you won't likely be riding your snowmobile during the warmer months, you may be considering adjusting your coverage until it's riding season once again. While there may be ways to adjust your coverage during the off-season, you may make some considerations first.
Again, even when it's not in use, a snowmobile may be subjected to certain risks. Suppose you lower your coverage limits and your vehicle is stolen. It's a good idea to maintain coverage limits that would help keep your snowmobile protected in the event that the unexpected occurred, even if the vehicle's not in use.
In addition, dropping coverage for a portion of the year could result in the loss of discounts you have in place, even after a new policy is purchased, due to the lapse in coverage.
Keep in mind that liability insurance may be mandatory in some states. Check your state's laws or contact your local agent to help ensure you are in compliance with any laws in your area.
If you do alter your policy, however, remember to change it back to adequate limits and coverages before you start riding again.
A local agent can help you explore your options before you decide what makes the most sense for you. Weigh any potential cost savings against the risk, and make sure you'll be ready to ride as soon as the snow starts to fall again.