What Kind of Shape is Your Boat in after the Winter?

March 19, 2024 | by admin

Boating season is almost here, but if you haven’t winterized your boat properly it may have damages and repairs in the spring. You may need to file a boat insurance claim.

Most boat insurance policies in Canada require winterization as a condition of coverage. If you don’t winterize your boat, it may result in a claim denial, or even loss of insurance coverage, related to damage that could have been prevented by proper winterization. Carefully read the details of your boat insurance policy on winterization.

You can expect to provide proof that your boat was properly winterized for your insurance claim.

What kind of shape is your boat in after the winter?

Here’s what you could be facing in the spring if you don’t winterize your boat:

Snow load damage: If you live in a region that typically gets a lot of snow, you will need to regularly remove snow and ice from your boat cover or tarp. Excessive weight from snow accumulation can damage the cover and your boat. Melting snow or ice can lead to flooding on your boat.

Poorly fitting tarps and boats that don’t have winter frames can result in boats that have crushed windshields, smashed hatches, bent pulpits and damaged canvas tops.

The longer that snow sits on the windshield and the top of your boat, the greater the chance of damage, especially when there are freezes and thaws and the snow gets heavier or has a layer of ice on it.

It’s important to have taken the time and care to properly winterize your boat. If proper care was not taken to winterize your boat, then this type of loss could be excluded under your boat insurance and you would be responsible for the repairs.

Western Financial Group’s boat insurance experts will help you get the right boat insurance at the right value for you. Boat insurance provides financial protection if your boat is involved in an accident, is damaged, or stolen.

Pests and rodents

These critters look for warm places to stay during the winter. Damage from rodents is covered, but it’s important to check on your boat regularly because these animals can cause severe damage to your boat quite quickly.

Damage due to freezing: Many boat policies can exclude damage caused by freezing but some insurance providers will cover it if you can prove that your boat was properly winterized. Damage due to freezing can include split pipes, cracked engine blocks, damaged hoses, and flooding.

Vandalism: Boats that are stored in unsecured or isolated areas may be vulnerable to vandalism, including graffiti and broken windows.

Is there winter boat insurance?

No, there’s no such thing as a separate insurance policy for the winter season for your boat.

Know your boat insurance policy’s winterization requirements. Some insurance policies have specific requirements for winterization, so check with your insurance provider to see if there’s anything you need to keep in mind while putting your boat away. This will help avoid nasty surprises when you are getting your boat out in the spring.

Here are some tips to get your boat ready for spring:

  • Inspect your engine.
  • Clean your boat’s hull
  • Charge your battery
  • Engine oil and filter changed
  • Fuel tank stabilized
  • Clean the boat’s interior
  • Inspector your trailer
  • Inspect the boat’s canvas
  • Safety check for all necessary or emergency supplies
  • Check your registration

If you don’t have the necessary skills to do your own boat maintenance for the spring, hire a professional. Do it sooner than later so that you can be ready to start enjoying boating season.

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