Many boaters live in areas with winter seasons that prevent them from cruising year-round. Some opt to reduce coverage, increase deductibles, or cancel the policy altogether to save money on boat insurance. While these options may lower insurance costs, your boat remains exposed to countless risks during the winter months and they would leave you without protection from such perils.
We would like to present you with a slightly different option - our winter layup discount. If your vessel is laid up for consecutive months during the colder season, we can offer significant savings on the policy. Not only will this save you money, but it will also keep you protected throughout the entire year.
Reasons not to cancel your boat insurance policy in the winter
Canceling your policy during winter has several downsides. While the savings may seem appealing in the short term, canceling and re-upping your policy a few months later may not work out as smoothly as you think.
- You could incur penalties or fees if you cancel coverage before the policy term has ended.
Many providers have a one-year term and may charge a fee for early cancellation. This may reduce any prorated refund you receive .
Example: Your boat insurance policy costs $500 per year and after six months you decide to cancel. While you may expect a $250 refund, you could be charged a standard cancellation fee. This could significantly reduce your savings. Plus, you will be uninsured, and therefore unprotected, if disaster strikes.
- There’s always the chance of boating weather during winter.
If you maintain insurance year-round and want to take the boat out for a spin, you can always call your insurance company and ask them to endorse the policy to allow for temporary use during winter.
If you cancel your insurance, you will still be able to go out for the day. But again, you will be left unprotected if something happens.
» MORE: What's an Insurance Endorsement
- Getting into the habit of canceling your policy during the winter and re-upping it during the summer exposes you to greater risk.
Even if your boat is securely stored and properly winterized, there are still plenty of opportunities for it to get damaged or even stolen. If damage or theft occurs during a period when it was not insured, you would have to pay to repair or replace it entirely out-of-pocket. That puts you at significant financial risk.
Winter layup discount for recreational boats and personal watercraft
At SkiSafe, we offer a generous winter layout discount. It’s designed to help boaters in places with mid- to long-term winters. This discount enables you to maintain sufficient coverage both on and off the water, protecting against theft and other covered losses even when your boat is not in use.
Of course, you should still properly winterize and store your vessel over the winter.
» MORE: A Guide to Winterization
Boat Insurance Coverage
Even if your state does not require boat insurance, maintaining comprehensive boat insurance coverage is always smart. You never want to leave a significant and valuable purchase uninsured. It could come to the rescue if your property is damaged or stolen during the winter season.
Most boaters in freezing temperatures have no intention of boating until the weather changes, making the layup discount ideal. In this case, you may want to consider adding freeze coverage to your policy:
- Freeze Coverage: As an extra precaution, you can add freezing coverage to your boat insurance policy. It’s generally an inexpensive addition and can protect you from a large bill down the road. For example, let’s say you’ve had a professional winterize your boat and you store it at a reputable facility. While in storage the power goes off and the boat sustains freeze damage. This is a situation that could be addressed by freeze coverage under your policy.
» MORE: Winter Boat Tips and Insurance Coverage
In general, an insurance policy is recommended if …
- You wouldn’t be able to afford the out-of-pocket cost if the boat was damaged, experienced a loss, or was stolen.
- You live in an area with unpredictable weather conditions.
- You boat regularly.
- You have a new, expensive boat.
- You are not prepared to pay damages for injuries to a third party or defend yourself against such allegations.