Seasonal motorcycle insurance

8 minute read Published on Oct 15, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

A biker adjusting his helmet

Do you live in a part of Canada that faces extreme cold come the wintertime? If so, then the odds are high that you don’t ride your motorcycle year-round. Thankfully, seasonal motorcycle insurance exists.

Whether you’re looking for Calgary motorcycle insurance or Toronto motorcycle insurance, BrokerLink can help you find coverage that meets your driving habits, including those who drive seasonally. Keep reading to learn more about seasonal motorcycle insurance in Canada.

What is seasonal motorcycle insurance?

Seasonal motorcycle insurance in Ontario is when a policyholder only insures their bike for part of the year. During the other months of the year when they’re not riding, i.e. the winter months, they cancel or suspend their policy.

In most cases, seasonal motorcycle insurance policies are six months in length. Most insurance providers do not sell six-month policies to customers. However, they might give you the option of changing, pausing, or cancelling your policy during the months of the year when your motorcycle is not in use.

It is important to note that cancelling your motorcycle insurance policy over the winter may not be the best course of action. After all, just because you aren’t riding in, doesn’t mean it isn’t vulnerable to damage. Although it might be protected against damage from collisions, there is still a lot that can go wrong, even while it’s parked, ranging from theft to property damage.

Keep reading to learn more about how seasonal motorcycle insurance works, what standard motorcycle insurance covers, and how BrokerLink can help you find a flexible and affordable policy.

The risks of cancelling motorcycle insurance over the winter

Although you are within your rights to cancel your motorcycle insurance policy for part of the year when you aren’t riding, there are several risks to doing so. We outline some of the main risks that come with cancelling your policy below:

You could be in violation of your contractual obligations

If you lease or finance your motorcycle, then cancelling your insurance policy could put you in violation of your contractual obligations. When you agree to lease or finance a motorcycle, you sign a contract.

Although it varies between leasing companies, this contract is likely to stipulate that you must have valid auto insurance for the duration of the term. Thus, if you choose to cancel your motorcycle insurance policy, even temporarily, you could be in breach of your contract. This could lead the leasing company to cancel your lease.

You may have to pay early termination fees

Depending on the insurance company you purchased your policy through, you may be forced to pay early termination or cancellation fees if you decide to cancel your policy before the end of the term.

Since most policies have one-year terms, cancelling your policy after only a few months might incur a fee. Having to pay this type of fee could significantly reduce the savings you would gain from temporarily cancelling your coverage.

You could have difficulty obtaining insurance in the future

When you cancel an insurance policy, it appears on your insurance record. Your insurance record is something that all insurance companies in Canada have access to. Thus, if you make a habit of buying and cancelling motorcycle insurance coverage, a future insurer will see that and they may refuse you coverage as a result.

Remember that motorcycle insurance coverage is mandatory for all motorists in Canada. Thus, you won’t be able to legally drive your motorcycle until you can obtain coverage from a provider.

The cost of your insurance policy may go up

Cancelling a policy partway through the term and buying a new one down the line can cause your insurance premium to go up. Remember that insurance companies are underwriting behind the scenes, meaning rates can easily change from year to year.

Plus, the more cancelled policies on your insurance record, the higher your rates will likely be. Find out how much motorcycle insurance costs by contacting BrokerLink today.

Your motorcycle could be damaged or stolen while in storage

Another risk of cancelling your motorcycle insurance policy for part of the year is that your motorcycle could be damaged or stolen while in storage. You might think you eliminate all risks if you aren’t riding your motorcycle, but this isn’t true.

A fire could break out in your home and damage your motorcycle, or a thief could break and enter and steal the motorcycle from your garage. In either of these scenarios, if you cancelled your policy, your insurance company wouldn’t cover you.

You would be forced to pay for the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle on your own. However, if you maintain coverage, even just comprehensive coverage, you would be financially protected if an incident occurred while your motorcycle was in storage.

You won’t be able to ride your motorcycle if you change your mind

One final risk of cancelling your motorcycle insurance plan over the winter is that you won’t be able to ride your motorcycle if you change your mind. In other words, if you want the flexibility of being able to hop on your motorcycle during a warm spell, you need to retain your car insurance coverage.

It’s also generally recommended that you ride your motorcycle every so often in the winter to ensure the bike’s parts remain lubricated. Take extra precaution when doing this, and remember you won’t be able to do this if you cancel your policy.

Cancelling motorcycle insurance vs. changing your policy

As you now know, cancelling your motorcycle insurance policy for part of the year is not recommended for several reasons. That said, we understand that you may not want to maintain your full coverage year-round when you aren’t riding. If you wish to purchase a seasonal policy that does not offer comprehensive coverage year-round, contact BrokerLink.

We can explain the ways in which you could modify your coverage to reduce your insurance costs but still offer some protection for your motorcycle. Modified policies may also be referred to as lay-up policies. They minimize or temporarily pause certain coverage types, like third party liability coverage and collision coverage while keeping your comprehensive coverage intact. Comprehensive coverage is what you need to protect your bike when it’s parked or stored during the winter.

Comprehensive coverage protects vehicles from damage caused by insured perils, like theft, vandalism, falling objects, fire, wind, explosions and riots, water damage, and other weather-related events, such as hail.

Can I ride a motorcycle without insurance in Canada?

No. It is illegal to ride a motorcycle without proper auto insurance in Canada. The same goes for a car. You are legally required to purchase a valid car insurance policy, whether you are riding a motorcycle in Ontario or a minivan in Alberta. If you choose to ride your motorcycle without insurance in any Canadian province or territory, you could face the following consequences:


If you are caught driving without insurance, you could be issued a ticket. All a law enforcement officer needs to do is run your licence plate number. They will know immediately if you have valid auto insurance or not, and since driving without it is illegal, they can give you a ticket.

Hefty fines

You can face expensive fines if you are caught driving without insurance. These fines vary between provinces but could be as high as $25,000 for a first offence in Ontario and $50,000 for a second or subsequent offence.

The impoundment of your motorcycle

Your motorcycle could also be impounded if you are caught and charged with uninsured driving. The impoundment of your vehicle would also be at your own expense, which may cost more than the cost of a policy.

Jail time

In some provinces, if you are charged with uninsured driving and do not pay your fines in time, you could face jail time.

The suspension of your licence

Your driver’s licence may also be suspended as a result of getting caught driving without insurance. Driver’s licence suspensions can last anywhere from 30 days to 365 days.

What does motorcycle insurance look like?

Whether you are purchasing regular or seasonal motorcycle insurance, your coverage options will typically be the same. First, you will need to purchase all mandatory coverages, like third-party liability car insurance, and then you will need to decide whether to purchase additional protection, like comprehensive coverage. We break down the different types of motorcycle insurance coverage available to Canadian riders:

Third-party liability coverage

Liability insurance kicks in if you get into an accident that you cause. This coverage can pay for legal fees, medical bills, and repair bills, so you don’t have to pay for these expenses out of pocket.

Accident benefits coverage

Accident benefits coverage will compensate you for the cost of medical attention if someone is injured in an accident. This can cover medical expenses not typically covered by government medical plans, such as prescription medication, physio or rehabilitation therapy.

Direct compensation - property damage coverage

Direct compensation coverage will help pay to repair your motorcycle if you are involved in an accident and it is damaged. Your insurance company will respond to pay for the damages, so you can use your own insurance company rather than a third-party company in the event that another party is involved in the accident.

Uninsured automobile coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in some provinces. It protects drivers if they get into car accidents with drivers who are underinsured, uninsured, or anonymous, such as the case of hit and runs.

Collision coverage

Collision coverage is intended to protect policyholders from the cost of repairing their motorcycles if they are damaged. Specifically, collision coverage will cover you for extensive damage due to an accident. Whether that accident is with an object, an animal, a pedestrian or another vehicle.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive coverage is an optional car insurance coverage that can protect your parked motorcycle from all kinds of risks. This is the type of coverage that is especially worth keeping year-round, as it can protect your motorcycle from theft, fire, vandalism, falling objects, water damage, and more while in storage.

Accident forgiveness coverage

Accident forgiveness coverage is another type of motorcycle insurance that many riders choose to include in their policies. Accident forgiveness is additional coverage that can be added to your motorcycle insurance policy as an endorsement, to protect your driving record and to help prevent your insurance premium from increasing if you have an at-fault accident claim.

Note: coverage and eligibility varies by province.

Calculating motorcycle insurance rates in Canada

Motorcycle insurance rates vary widely in Canada. Why? Due to the fact that insurance companies consider multiple factors when setting premiums. For instance, an insurance company will look at where you live, the type of motorcycle you ride, your insurance history, your average mileage, and more when deciding what premium to offer you. Below is a list of the factors that an insurer will consider before setting your motorcycle insurance rates:

  • Where you live and where you regularly commute
  • Age
  • Type, model, make, and year of the motorcycle
  • Past claims
  • Average mileage
  • Driving experience
  • Driving record
  • Insurance history
  • Deductible amount
  • Regulatory bodies
  • How you use your motorcycle
  • Gender

Contact BrokerLink for more information on how motorcycle insurance rates are calculated in Canada. We can explain the different types of motorcycle insurance out there and how adding different coverages to your policy will impact how much you pay for insurance. A BrokerLink insurance advisor can also offer you a free motorcycle insurance quote.

Get in touch with BrokerLink for more information on seasonal motorcycle insurance

Learn more about seasonal motorcycle insurance today by getting in touch with BrokerLink. Any of our licensed insurance advisors would be pleased to assist you on your motorcycle insurance journey. We can help with anything from renewing motorcycle insurance to buying a brand-new policy. We can also advise you on whether to cancel your policy for part of the year or maintain minimal coverage to ensure you’re protected. Learn more about BrokerLink’s motorcycle insurance services by contacting us today. BrokerLink can be reached by phone, email, or by visiting us in person at our 200+ insurance offices.