September is the start of the nation’s boat haulout and winter storage season, by now you should have your winter storage plans mapped out if not already begun. As boaters prepare their vessels for a long winter nap it’s time to check the boat’s insurance policy for “Ice and Freeze” coverage. This coverage is sometimes offered as a policy rider or endorsement and is affordable, so you may want to check your policy now.
For boats stored in states where below freezing temperatures are the norm, Ice and Freeze coverage takes care of winterizing mistakes that can leave your engine unprotected when temperatures tumble or when winter storms knock out the heat to indoor boat storage facilities. However, even boats located in temperate states that are winterized and stored in the water can be hit be hit by sudden cold snaps.
“Ice forming inside a poorly winterized marine engine block creates a tremendous amount of force causing damage that you may not learn about until springtime,” said GEICO Marine Insurance Vice President Mike Pellerin. “When freeze damage occurs after a do-it-yourselfer winterizes his or her boat, having Ice and Freeze coverage can help protect the boat owner.”
This affordable coverage does come with one caveat: Most insurers do not offer the coverage once temperatures drop, usually the end of October, so check with your insurer before then. BoatUS offers GEICO Marine Insurance policies that can add this coverage for as little as $25. To get a free quote, go to BoatUS.com/Insurance.