Do you collect and drive classic cars? Maybe you ride a motorcycle or snowmobile when the weather’s right? Or perhaps you own a brand new vehicle you only like to drive in the summer?
Well, if you have an Auto Pak policy and choose short-term registration on your prized vehicle, you will have coverage on it when you’re not using it and when it’s not registered, provided the vehicle is in storage.
This feature is applied automatically even if you neglect to inform your insurance broker that you’ve placed the vehicle in storage. Vehicles must be located within Canada or the United States while in storage.
Losses resulting from any use or operation are not covered.
Snowmobiles and motorcycles
Similar to the other vehicle classes, an Auto Pak policy will provide coverage for your snowmobile or motorcycle that is unlicensed at any time during the term of your policy, provided it isn't operated on Crown lands, trails, lakes or any public roadways or spaces.
If you have an Auto Pak policy, you should notify your broker that your motorcycle or snowmobile has become unlicensed.
At that time, you’ll be required to provide the actual cash value of the motorcycle. A value isn’t required for snowmobiles. Your policy will be revised to indicate the vehicle is unlicensed and will allow coverage, even if the vehicle is operated, provided it’s only operated on private land.
Defining in storage
In storage means a vehicle is not being used or operated. It doesn’t necessarily mean the vehicle has to be stored inside a secured building, although that’s certainly the safest and preferred method. The vehicle will be considered in storage if it’s parked in your driveway or yard.
There are instances when you can use the vehicle while in storage. For example:
- Running the engine to keep it lubricated.
- Backing out of the garage to allow some other activity in the garage.
- Moving the vehicle from one storage facility to another on a trailer or with a permit.
Coverage while unlicensed and in storage
You’ll be covered up to the actual cash value of the vehicle (unless you have replacement or repair cost coverage), subject to your deductible and the coverage shown on your policy (e.g. collision, comprehensive, glass, etc.).
Though it isn’t necessary to have your policy revised each time a vehicle becomes unregistered, we strongly urge you to advise your insurance broker and get their professional advice. There are a number of factors that come into play, and you could unintentionally place yourself in an uninsured position.
Using the vehicle while unregistered
This presents a number of risks.
In addition to having no licence plate insurance, you’ll also be voiding the in-storage coverage under your auto extension policy. Worse, you may be breaking the law and could be subject to fines and/or other serious penalties. Your ability to obtain insurance in the future could even be affected.
If you do need to use the vehicle, obtain a valid permit from a motor licence issuer. This allows you to lawfully operate the vehicle for a determined amount of time without invalidating your insurance coverage.
If you plan to use the vehicle frequently, it would be more convenient and financially beneficial to keep the vehicle continuously registered. Situations like this may include:
- leaving the vehicle with a body shop or service station for repairs, as there’s no coverage while the vehicle is being repaired
- displaying the vehicle for sale or on consignment
- doing extensive maintenance or repair work while in storage
Lending your vehicle
You can discuss responsibility for insurance with the person or company with whom you’re entrusting the vehicle. They may have coverage for customers’ vehicles under their business insurance policy or they may require that you provide the insurance coverage.