Many boat owners think they don’t have to worry about freeze damage if they live in temperate states or if they keep their boat in heated indoor storage areas in Northern climates. However, every year the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) Marine Insurance Program gets freeze-damage insurance claims for boats in Southern states hit by a hard freeze, and claims for boats stored indoors in Northern states where storms took out the electrical power – which usually means no heat. So the first rule of winter storage for any boat is to winterize properly.
Even then, small winterizing mistakes like not draining all of the areas of the engine raw-water system, can easily destroy an engine. For that reason, BoatUS says ice and freeze coverage may also be a smart option for do-it-yourselfers who want peace of mind, or for trailerboaters who store their boat in a heated garage or travel between warm and cold states.
Typically offered as a policy “rider” to boats stored in Northern climates, it’s inexpensive. BoatUS offers the add-on coverage for as low as $20. However, there is a deadline to purchase this coverage as most insurers don’t offer it once temperatures get cold, usually the end of October.
BoatUS says the good news is that boat owners in more temperate states often have this feature added to their policies automatically, but boaters should check with their insurer.
For more information on boat insurance or ice and freeze coverage, go to www.BoatUS.com/insurance or call 800-283-2883.
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