We had our first snowfall of this winter season this past week and the phone calls have started from our clients looking to reduce or eliminate coverage on their motorcycles. They’ve stored their bikes at the back of the garage and don’t intend on digging them out until Spring arrives in March or April. Why should they pay for insurance they do not need? Since all motorcycles plates in Massachusetts expire on December 31 some customers want to remove their bikes completely from their policies until they are ready to ride again. Sounds logical but there’s a catch.
Massachusetts is a compulsory insurance state. You must have insurance on your motorcycle in order to ride on the roads. The RMV is notified anytime the mandatory insurance coverage is removed from a vehicle with non-cancelled plates. Although expired plates are not “active” they have not been cancelled and that is a big difference. If the mandatory liability coverage is removed from a bike with an expired plate the RMV starts the clock running. If coverage is not added back on within 30 days the plate is revoked. When the owner goes to reregister the bike in the Spring he is hit with an extra $100 reinstatement fee in addition to the regular registration costs.
The simple rule is this. If you want to completely remove insurance coverage while your motorcycle is in storage you need to cancel your plate with the RMV. You can either bring the plate to the RMV or go on-line to www.massrmv.com and cancel your plate. Otherwise you can attempt to reduce your liability coverage down to the state minimum limits. Your particular insurance company may have rules that impact that too.
If you have any questions or would like a quote on motorcycle insurance please email me at jolson@columbiainsuranceagency or call us at (781) 598-5000. We are happy to help.