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Lay-up insurance is a form of seasonal motorcycle coverage. The months this option is available could differ based on where you live or the projected precipitation calendar for the winter.

The essence of lay-up insurance is that it removes the liability portion while providing comprehensive and (sometimes) collision protection while keeping the motorcycle in storage. Since many riders don’t explore the open road in icy or snowy conditions, you can save money while meeting the terms of your lender lien on a financed bike.

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If that option is available from your insurer, it is the best choice because it reduces costs while providing the protection needed if unforeseen circumstances occur. Cancellation can save money as well, but you lose the protective qualities of an insurance policy.

What Happens If I Cancel My Motorcycle Insurance?

The snow starts falling in September. You decide to pack up the motorcycle and store it in your garage until the world thaws. That could be February or March.

Is it worth paying for a complete insurance policy in those circumstances?

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Not really. Why pay for liability insurance when you aren’t driving the motorcycle?

If there is a lender lien, you likely agreed to keep full coverage on the motorcycle. When you cancel even a portion of the insurance, there is a risk that they could repossess the bike.

Canceling coverage also means you’d be responsible for any damage to the motorcycle while it is in storage. You’ll have to pay for the repairs if the building floods or fuel lines freeze.

You’d likely have a total loss if someone stole your motorcycle during that time. Your only hope would be to have the police recover the bike with minor damage.

Additional Reasons to Consider Lay-up Insurance

Lay-up insurance provides motorcyclists with continuous coverage. If you decide to cancel a policy, there are no guarantees that you’ll receive the same rates when requesting a new quote when it’s time to ride again.

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If a beautiful day arrives, you can also talk to an insurer about their options for riding during the winter. Some companies let you take the bike out a few times, even though lay-up insurance aims to keep it in storage.

If you have an older bike that doesn’t have a vintage or antique value, it might be cheaper to cancel your insurance during the winter. This option works best when you only ride with liability coverage. For everyone else, a lay-up policy is the best way to protect your assets.

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Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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