Do I Need Boat Insurance Even When My Vessel’s Drydocked at Season’s End in the PNW? 

Boat Insurance
October 27, 2022
boat on trailer being stored with cover

The reason you have boat insurance in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) is so you can financially protect the perhaps sizeable investment you’ve made. That’s true if that investment was a few thousand dollars or six figures. 

Whether you have a personal watercraft (PWC), sailboat, fishing boat, speedboat, or yacht, bad — and expensive — things can happen to it. And those bad things can happen while your vessel is attached to a trailer in traffic or out on the open seas. And yes, even while parked on your driveway or drydocked in a secure marina you’ve trusted for years. (No, don’t expect the marina to fully financially protect your boat while it’s in their care. More on this later.) 

The point is, you don’t know when, why, or how your vessel might become lost or damaged, at great personal expense. Chances are you have auto, life, and homeowners insurance for financial protection from the unexpected. Why should your relationship with your boat be any different? 

What Boat Insurance Protects Against 

Would you have the cash on hand if your boat sank, was stolen, or sustained thousands of dollars in storm damages? Not many of us do. That’s why we have insurance. 

In the case of boat insurance, you gain financial protection against a range of unexpected and unaffordable events that can include lightning strikes or other weather damage, collision with another vehicle while your boat’s on a trailer or in the water, theft, vandalism, damage caused by guests, and other mishaps. 

Boat insurance further protects you from legal and medical costs if you’re at fault for an accident. 

It’s easy to imagine many of these accidents and incidents happening during boating season, especially when your boat is being towed or launched. For that reason, boat insurance in the PNW seems like a no-brainer, at least during peak boating season. 

But what about when the season is over? Even then, you can probably see the risks of storing your boat in your driveway or other unprotected areas. The PNW is known for its weather, including rain, sleet, ice, and snow. It might get hit by another vehicle, be tossed by windstorms, suffer damage caused by exposure to the sun’s UV rays, or otherwise run up repair or replacement costs. 

If you store your vessel in your garage, it might again be hit by another vehicle, get stolen or deliberately damaged, or suffer smoke or flame damage if there’s a house fire. 

Why You Need Boat Insurance Even While Docked or in Storage 

It would seem that having your boat in dry dock or wet storage at a trusted marina is the safest and most responsible action you can take to keep your boat in prime condition during the off-season. 

It’s certainly a better decision than other storage solutions. But it’s not flawless. Read the contract and boating regulations you’re given when you use or store your boat commercially. Chances are good that the marina won’t maintain full financial responsibility for whatever could befall your boat during all of those months of inactivity. That could include fire, theft, vandalism, animal damage, or other troubles bringing on steep expenses. 

That’s why you need to make sure you have insurance for a docked boat. 

docked boats in marina

What’s the Cost of Boat Insurance in the PNW? 

There are many factors that determine what you’ll pay for insurance for your active or docked boat or personal watercraft (PWC), but it’s rarely more than a few hundred dollars a year in the PNW. These include the age and condition of your vessel; its type, age, and condition; the owner’s boating history; the location in which it will be used; and other factors. 

Factors over which you have total control include the deductible you assume. Your deductible is the amount that you agree to pay for loss or damages before the insurance company takes up the rest of the cost, up to your coverage limits. The higher the deductible you choose, the less you’ll pay for coverage. 

Your independent insurance agent can answer all of your questions and help you shop for the most affordable coverage from a selection of major carriers. They can also walk you through any potential bundling deals or ways to cut costs, their job is to get you the best insurance rates and coverage. That should ease any concerns you might have, even while your vessel is docked. 

Find Affordable Boat Insurance in the Pacific Northwest Today 

Call your Vern Fonk independent insurance agent at (800) 455-8276. Or get a quick affordable boat insurance online quote in the PNW. You can also schedule a face-to-face appointment with a knowledgeable Vern Fonk agent. Just track down an office near you