Does your marine insurance provider give you a discount for Winter “Lay-up?”
This week, in our Timely Tips column, we’re including a note that our Mechanical Department Manager, Mark Miller received. We think that you’ll find it to be very informative.
Hope you and your family had a great holiday. I was wondering if you had time to take a look at the boat. I am keeping it in the water but had not winterized. Was actually hoping it’d stay semi-warm enough to do some winter boating. I put a lite down there on one cold night we did have. It actually stayed pretty warm. I did notice a small drip in the rear around the shaft. Was wondering what people who do boat all year do or should I just winterize.
Many have pondered that question. Many more negative results than positive though.
- The first question that you need to answer, frankly, is “Are you taking this position because of the economy of pulling your boat and properly servicing it?” If so, it is a false economy.
- Second, “Are you really going to use the boat this winter?” One day, the air temperature may be warm and you may be tempted to take her out. HOWEVER, the water will be very cold. Lethal cold. Do you plan to don a survival suit? If you touch that water, you will have minutes to live.
- Third, “Do you have insurance for taking the boat out in the winter?” (Are you sure? Most don’t.) The insurance usually lapses between December 1st and March 31st. Please check!
- Our fourth consideration is that it really hasn’t been that cold yet. When you installed your light bul b, the water was still 40 degrees. It’s very likely that at some point through the winter, we will have a serious storm and the power will go out. The boat will then freeze and break. Then, the power will return, things will thaw, and the boat will sink – it happens a lot. If you don’t have insurance, you will be out thousands to raise and salvage the boat, and if the creek is frozen, no one will be able to rescue you.
It’s simply not worth it.
I hope this helps,
Mark raises some very important points – including that of the lay-up discount.
United Underwriters describes lay-up as:
…the time period the vessel is not used. Normally lay-up is for boats in northern climates that are not used in the winter months. Boat insurance companies provide a discount in the premium for boats that are laid-up.
The boat can be laid-up ashore or afloat. The boat is fully covered during the lay-up period subject to general conditions. These conditions can include that the vessel is not navigated, it is not ready for immediate use and it is not used to live aboard. Not ready for immediate use means the vessel must be winterized. The use of heat to keep the engine or system from freezing does not qualify for “not ready for immediate use.”
In a policy from The Standard Fire Insurance Company (of Travelers Property Casualty Companies), a sample lay-up period reads, ” It is hereby warranted that the insured boat shall be laid up and out of commission from… (date) through… (date).”
Global Marine Insurance confirms, “If you have a policy that includes a lay-up period, be aware of the dates. Using your vessel during lay-up means that you will not be covered by your insurance.”
Not all insurance providers offer a lay-up period but we, at Ferry Point Marina, feel that it’s very important to stay abreast of your policy stipulations to avoid potential risk to your marine investment. It’s important to observe your contracted dates and haul-out or winterize on time. We encourage you to double-check your paperwork and take adequate precautions. As always, we are here to assist you.
You can contact us for Winterization Services & Winter Storage at: