Does my boat need insurance while it’s stored for the winter?

boats in storage

Boating season is almost over. The hot days and warm nights that make a day on the water the perfect pastime are about to disappear for the winter, and that means your boat is about to go into storage for the cold winter months. Does that mean you can cancel your boat insurance during the winter months and take a break from paying your premiums? While you’ll enjoy saving money on fuel and maintenance while your boat is in storage, boat insurance is one thing you don’t want to go without.

Boat insurance covers more than just accidents 

You probably think of your boat insurance as protecting you, your passengers and other boaters in case of an accident. While that is true, your boat insurance does more than just that. It also protects you from paying to repair damage to your boat, its equipment, personal property, and more — in and out of the water.

In storage, there are plenty of things that can happen to your boat that could cost severe and costly damage that, without insurance, you’d be left to pay out of pocket, such as:

Storms: Atlantic hurricane season doesn’t actually end until November 30, and you know Mother Nature never likes to stick to a strict schedule, anyway. A late-season hurricane could bring down trees that could damage your boat, winds that destroy the storage facility where it’s kept, and rising waters that could damage your boat or wash it onto neighboring property.

Fire: Fires can happen anytime, anywhere, no matter how secure or protected a facility is. Lighting fires, electric fires, and even arson are not as uncommon as you might think. If your boat is damaged or destroyed in a fire and you’ve let your boat insurance lapse, you’ll be paying to replace or repair it.

Theft: Boat storage facilities are typically secure, but no building is infallible. Boat theft and marine equipment theft in the U.S costs approximately $60 million each year. Thieves may be able to get away with your entire boat or just steal marine equipment they can sell on the black market. Either way, you’re left with an expensive headache after the fact if you don’t have boat insurance.

Storing your boat at home? Homeowners’ insurance may not cover it. 

If you opt to overwinter your boat at home rather than in a boat storage facility, you may think that any damage, vandalism or theft would be covered by your homeowners’ insurance. Unfortunately, that is often not the case. General homeowners policies typically only cover smaller boats like canoes and other non-motorized watercraft. Unless you have a specific plan for your fishing boat, pontoon, speed boat, or sailboat, you’ll be left without coverage in case of a disaster.

Your boat insurance may be cheaper over the winter – Call us! 

Many boat insurance carriers offer winter rates that are lower than the rest of the year. Give us a call today to find the most affordable rates for boat insurance in South Carolina.