We recently saw an article about winterizing boats and the limitations in their insurance policies that boat owners may face. Is the boat kept in an indoor facility? If so, does it need to be winterized? We contacted Drew Robertson at Skippers' Plan Insurance, The CG&B Group Inc., and we asked him about freezing and ice damage, especially for DIY boat owners.

He explained that every insurance company approaches freezing and ice damage differently. Damage caused by ice is normally excluded while the boat is afloat between  November 30  and April 1. Damage to an engine block due to freezing is also excluded unless the owner can demonstrate it was properly winterized.    

This would require that the boat owner making the claim can show receipts for marina service, purchase of anti-freeze and perhaps a sworn statement outlining what steps were taken. Plainly, the owner is best protected if the marina has professionally winterized the boat.
Insurance companies do not all agree that boats in indoor heated storage are winterized. If there was a power outage and the storage building lost heat, some policies may pay for freezing damage claims but some may not unless traditional steps were taken to winterize the boat.
Since there is no consistency to the coverage it is always ask your broker to clarify the coverage provided for ice and freezing damage and emphasize to your customers, that having the marina or yard professionally winterize the boat is always the best bet in Canada.

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