When fall comes many boaters think it is the ideal time to save a few dollars by canceling their boat insurance. However, you may want to consider the following factors before you decide. There’s much more at stake than you might realize.
Your Lender Might Require It
Most people finance their boat purchase, because it’s a costly investment. If you’re paying payments rather than paying the entire cost upfront, your lender probably requires insurance to protect their loan.
Before canceling your policy consider that you could be held liable for the loan, even if your boat’s totally destroyed. Plus, your lender could revoke your loan and ask for full payment at any time. If you lease your boat and cancel your policy, you’ll be held responsible for the value.
Your Marina Probably Requires It
If you’ll be docking your boat in a marina chances are they’ll require boat insurance. They want to ensure that your insurance policy will pay for any damage caused by your boat to their property and other boats.
Risk Increases in Boatyards in Winter
Boatyards are often left unattended during the winter months and this increases the chances of theft, vandalism, and arson. Vessel theft and theft of equipment are two of the top boat insurance claims.
Our weather is getting more unpredictable and boats are particularly vulnerable to lightning, hurricanes, flooding, and fires even when they are in storage. Proper boat insurance can help protect you from the financial impact of one of these events.
Homeowners Policy Offers Very Limited Coverage
Typically, your homeowners insurance policy only covers damage to your boat if it occurs on your property. As an example, it could protect you if your boat’s hit by lightning or damaged in a storm.
However, all policies have limits. A typical policy limit could be as little as $1,000 and usually only covers small boats such as a kayak, canoe, or small sailboat.
Cancelling Could Cost You More
Of course, no one wants to spend more than necessary on insurance. However, cancelling for the winter and buying again in the spring will usually cost you more.
Most insurance companies reward you for each claim-free year and they may offer a loyalty discount too. If you start off with a new policy annually, you’ll pay the full amount.
Boat Insurance Offers Options
If you’re looking to lower costs during the winter, a better option might be to raise your deductible instead. Demonstrating that you’ll taken proper safety measures and will store your boat appropriately may also lower your premiums. A trusted boat storage facility with advanced security measures and climate control lowers risk of vandalism, theft, and environmental damage.
Talk to your agent before you decide to cancel. They can balance coverage with your budget instead of leaving your valuable asset at risk. If need be, you can reduce your coverage for the winter and then reinstate full coverage in the spring.