Winter is now here and the calls have been coming in since the fall “We’re heading south for the winter and won’t be using our car. What is the best way of saving some premium?”
Like most things to do with insurance, every situation is different and the answer is sometimes not so simple.
First, most insurers certainly allow credit when a vehicle has been put in storage. The typical minimum duration is 45 days. Store your vehicle for 6 months and the savings can really add up, so this should be taken advantage of.
If you have more than one car and only one is being stored, if you’re driving one South for example, it is usually a simple matter of removing “all coverage except comprehensive” on the stored vehicle. The insurer will calculate the refund based on the time left until your next expiry date and send a refund. It is absolutely critical that you arrange ahead of time to add the coverage back on, obviously before the vehicle will be used. Usually, it’s just a phone call.
Human nature being the way it is, care still needs to be taken when storing your car. A situation arose a few years ago when a client forgot to set the parking brake on a sloping driveway. The car, with NO collision or liability insurance on it, rolled out of the garage, down the driveway, across the road, and hit a parked car. It was uninsured (and expensive), but could have been much worse had a pedestrian been involved.
If you only have one car be extra careful. By removing “everything except comprehensive” you also remove the very important Accident Benefit/Medical coverage, which then eliminates any “automobile related” bodily injury protection such as if you were hit by a car while crossing the road. When you only own one car and it is being stored, it is best to use the “temporary suspension” option, which eliminates liability and collision coverage but preserves much of the Accident Benefit protection. The only drawback with this option is that the insurer does not calculate the premium refund until the previous “driving” coverage has been restored.
Speaking of “suspending” services while away, remember to consider suspending your other non-essential services such as –
– Newspaper delivery- TV or music streaming services (unless used at your destination)- Home internet- Turn your heat down (or in summers turn off your air-conditioning)- Subscriptions or other unused memberships
The Insurance Advisors @ Guthrie Insurance Brokers Ltd – www.guthrieinsurance.com