Mackay Insurance Blog
Is Boat Insurance Still Useful In Winter When It's In Storage?
It’s tempting to cancel your boat insurance in the off-season. But should you?
Now that summer is ending and you’re getting your boat ready for storage, it probably seems natural to cancel your insurance coverage. After all, why would you need your boat protected when it’s not even on the water?
While some consider winter boat insurance coverage to be an unnecessary expense, it’s quite the opposite.
During the summer, your boat is likely skimming across the Bay of Quinte, carrying multiple passengers. And while it’s on the water, it’s obvious how much of a risk it can become - whether that’s to you, the boat itself, your passengers or even other boats on the water.
In this case, this insurance coverage makes absolute sense.
But is boat insurance still useful in winter, when the boat is in storage?
It may not put other boats and passengers at risk while stored away, other factors can put it at risk - like theft, vandalism, fire etc.
In this article, our Mackay Insurance brokers discuss the value of winter boat insurance - keeping your investment as safe and protected as possible during the off-season.
What Does Boat Insurance Typically Cover?
Boat insurance typically covers two things - the boat itself and your liability in the event of an accident.
Let’s break down these coverages in more detail below:
Physical Boat Coverage
Boat insurance coverage protects the physical boat and attached/onboard boating equipment, such as the hull, boat motor, sails and engine.
This all-risk boat insurance covers physical risks such as:
- Weather-related perils,
- Theft and
If your boat is no longer useable (due to one of the above events), your insurance plan provides a loss settlement.
In an Agreed Value policy, insurance companies provide the agreed-upon amount in the policy. Physical depreciation is not factored into the agreed-upon value.
Actual Cash Value (ACV)
In an ACV policy, insurance companies reimburse the current market value. In this case, the insurance company does factor in physical depreciation.
Additional Boating Insurance Coverage:
Most insurance companies also offer additional boating insurance coverages. These are add-ons to your existing policy and offer further protection.
1. Personal Property Coverages
Extra insurance coverage that many boaters invest in is personal items coverage. This coverage protects personal belongings aboard your boats - such as clothing or fishing equipment.
2. Emergency Towing & Assistance Coverages
Emergency Towing & Assistance coverage reimburses you for costs associated with emergency services. This could include towing, fuel delivery or even emergency repairs.
What happens if you experience a boating accident and another party makes a claim against you?
In this situation, liability boat insurance is imperative.
It financially protects you, the boater, if you cause injury or damage to another person’s property or boat.
Note: Liability boating insurance is not required by law. However, it is highly recommended.
5 Reasons Why You Should Insure Your Boat In The Off-Season
Now that you know what boating insurance covers, let’s explore why it’s useful to keep this insurance over the winter months.
1. Theft and Vandalism
Although the in-water risks associated with boating are extensive, out-of-water risks to your boat exist too.
Over the winter months, you can store your boat in several different locations:
- On your property (i.e. in the garage or a boathouse).
- At a marine.
- In a storage facility.
But no matter where you choose to store it, your boat is still at risk of theft, damage and vandalism.
Anyone can steal the boat from your property, vandalize it at a public marine or damage it in a storage facility.
Thankfully, boat insurance covers these types of losses.
But if you do not have boat insurance, you are responsible for repairing/replacing your boat out-of-pocket.
2. Weather Damages
Your boat may have an off-season, but weather conditions are ongoing.
Even if your boat is safely stored away, weather damages can occur.
While your boat may not experience the same weather damages as it would on the water, there are others to consider.
For example, fire and flooding are two high-risk weather events that can cause extensive damage and loss. And without coverage, these damages and losses are your responsibility alone.
3. Homeowners Insurance Might Not Cover Your Boat
If you choose to store your boat on your property, does your home insurance policy cover it?
Yes and no.
Homeowners insurance can cover damages to your boat while it’s on your property, but these coverages have a strict limit.
Smaller watercraft, like canoes and kayaks, are typically covered in full. However, powerboats, pontoons and sailboats are not - leaving you to pay for most of the loss yourself.
4. Some Lenders and Storage Facilities Require Boat Insurance
Although boat insurance is not required by law, some lenders, marines and storage facilities do require it.
These parties are protecting themselves and their investments, just as you should!
5. Canceling or Pausing Your Coverage Could Cost You More In the Long Run
It may seem like cancelling your boat insurance during the winter can save you money. But this is not always the case.
Firstly, you could experience cancellation penalties if you exit your insurance plan before the end of your policy term.
Secondly, insurance companies typically prefer to ensure a boat that has already had insurance coverage in the past.
And thirdly, many insurance companies reward clients with a reduced deductible for each claim-free year. Cancelling your coverage plan would eradicate this reward.
Contact Mackay Insurance For Your All-Season Boat Insurance
Your boat is a major investment. Just like your home, trailer or car is! Keeping it protected, whether it’s in use or not, is invaluable.
Learn more about your Belleville Boat Insurance options from our Mackay Insurance Brokers today! You can reach our Belleville office at 613-966-5740 or our Napanee office at 613-354-2555. We also offer free boat insurance quotes online!