Should You Cancel Your Policy During Lay-up?

Once the boating season is over, and you have your boat cleaned up and tucked away for storage, you might think about saving a few dollars and cancelling your boat insurance policy. After all, what could possibly happen to your prized possession during the winter months when it’s locked away in the garage or in a storage facility? The answer: Quite a lot.

Contrary to popular belief, the amount of claims filed during cold-weather months is shocking. Over the last three years, nearly two out of every ten claims filed from Minnesota to Maine were filed during the fall and winter months. In the off-season, several situations emerge, each potentially costing thousands of dollars in damages. Without the proper coverage, boaters would have to pay for out of their own pockets.

Trying to justify dropping collision coverage – which pays for damages in the event of an accident that would generally occur only when the boat’s in the water? Know this: The majority of boat claims are for fire, theft, vandalism, and flooding – all of which occur year round. Without comprehensive coverage, which pays for damage caused by circumstances other than a boat collision, boats damaged or destroyed by these events would not be covered.

Boaters could also be held responsible for injuries that occur on or around their boats, even during your lay-up period, and even if the injured person was there illegally. Without liability coverage – which pays for injuries to other people or damage to their property if you cause an accident – you, and not your insurer, could be legally responsible for damages or the injured parties’ medical bills.

Also, cancelling your insurance will not make the insurance companies eager to insure you the following year. In many cases, once you cancel a policy, that company will not insure you again for a period of time. Depending on the vessel, some companies will require your boat to have been previously insured before they will consider writing a policy. Other companies offer discounts for a boat with over 6 months of continuous coverage. Moreover, if you have financed your boat, most lenders require year-round coverage. By cancelling a policy for the winter months, you will most likely pay more than what you would have by keeping the policy in effect.

For more information about boat insurance, contact an experienced agent at NBOA Marine insurance at 1-800-248-3512 or complete a free boat insurance quote online.

Get Quote