If you’re a boat owner, you may be asking yourself: why should I insure my boat year round, especially when I only get to use it for a few months? It’s a good question, and one that all boat owners ask at some point. The main reason boat owners cancel their boat insurance after every season is to save money. The truth is, it can actually be more expensive in the long run. If you’re considering only getting boat insurance during the boating season, here are five reasons to carry boat insurance year round.
It’s most likely required.
Boats are expensive investments. Chances are you’ve financed yours instead of paying cash upfront. If that’s the case, boat owners are usually required by lenders to carry insurance all year round. It makes sense, after all, since the lenders are making an investment as well. They need to protect that investment all year, not just during the boating off-season. Besides lenders, marinas may also require you to have boat insurance in order to dock at their facility.
There’s risk out of the water, too.
At a minimum, boat insurance should protect you from fire, theft and vandalism, which, unfortunately, happen all year round. Moreover, these unforeseen events are more likely to occur in the winter months, when boatyards are typically unattended.
Mother Nature doesn’t have an off-season.
While your boat is in storage, it’s still vulnerable to damage from natural disasters like fire, flooding and, depending where you live, hurricanes. Having the proper boat insurance can prevent you from losing tens of thousands of dollars.
Homeowners insurance offers limited boat coverage.
You may think you would automatically be covered under your homeowners insurance policy. The truth is a homeowners policy will only cover damage to your boat while it’s on your property. The amount of coverage offered is significantly less than what you would get with a boat insurance policy. Here’s what boat insurance normally covers:
- Collision damage – Covers repair or replacement of your boat in the event of a collision.
- Property damage liability – Covers damage caused to someone else’s boat, dock or other related property or structures.
- Bodily injury liability – Covers you in the event that you are sued for injuring another person in a boat accident.
- Comprehensive – Covers you in the event your boat is damaged, stolen or vandalized in an incident other than a collision.
It’s more cost effective to carry boat insurance year-round.
No one wants to spend more money than they have to. The thing is, cancelling your boat policy for the winter months and then starting it up again in the spring can be more costly in the long run than carrying it all year round. Here’s why: Most insurance companies, DVA included, will reward you with a reduced deductible each claim-free year. If you cancel your boat insurance policy after each season, you’ll end up paying the full amount on your deductible if you need to make a claim. Loyalty discounts are also often given for maintaining coverage and renewing annual policies.
In the end, the decision is up to you. However, we recommend year round coverage. Let us help you customize a boat insurance policy that’s right for you. Learn more about the Watercraft Insurance Products we offer, then talk with one of our insurance experts today for a customized policy designed to ensure you have all the coverage you need without the extra coverage you don’t.