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Do I Need Boat Insurance for the Winter?

Updated: April 2018

Even if your boat is stored for the winter, you may want to maintain boat insurance during the off season.

While it may be tempting to cancel your insurance policy to save a few dollars when your boat is laid up for the season, it's important to know that your boat may still face risks while it's in storage. Fire, vandalism and theft aren't limited to the warmer months; they can be year-round risks.

If you were to terminate your boat policy for the winter, and a theft — or some other calamity — were to happen, you could be responsible for paying for any damage yourself.

Covered boats with snow on the ground .


Homeowners insurance may not cover a boat in storage, which is why boat insurance is important. Even if your homeowners policy does extend coverage to boats, the Insurance Information Institute (III) says it would likely only cover a small boat, like a canoe, small sail boat or another similarly low-powered watercraft. And the coverage would probably be minimal, the III says.

If you plan to rent storage space for your boat, you may also want to check with the company to learn about any security measures it has in place and whether the facility provides any insurance for your watercraft.

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There may be some scenarios in which you are actually required to have an active insurance policy during the winter months. For instance, if you have financed your boat, your lender may require that you hold year-round coverage for it.


You may be able to adjust the cost of coverage in the off season. For example, you may find that it makes sense for you to lower your premiums for a time by reducing your limits or dropping some of your policy's coverage types. Talk to your agent to see what is available, and what makes sense for your situation.

Whatever you decide, though, you'll likely want to revert to your original policy come spring. That way, when you pull your boat out of storage, you can begin the season with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have protection for your boat, just in case.

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This content is for informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations.

Coverage subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2019 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.
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