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Does a lay up mean your not completely covered?!?! No!

Old 04-13-2011, 06:59 PM
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Default Does a lay up mean your not completely covered?!?! No!

Obviously, in my field of work, I talk to a lot of boat owners throughout the course of the day. Some calling for advice and others calling to get quotes or bind their insurance coverage.

There is one aspect of the policy that comes up in nearly every quote I give or advice giving conversation that I have and that is the lay up. Often times boat owners assume that having a lay up on your policy means that you are not covered at all during that period of time. This is only partially true.

Allow me to explain... If a lay up period is listed on a declarations page then the carrier assumes that the boat is not being used on the water during this period of time. These dates typically coincide with the boater's "winter dates". During the lay up period the boat would be covered for all storage and transit exposures according to the policy form but NOT for any on water use.

So just because your season is over and your insurance policy enters it's lay up period, does not mean your not covered for damage to the boat. Some boaters think, that they can cancel an insurance policy because it is "safe" in their storage location during that period of time. Do not make this assumption. I have seen plenty of winter claims comes in for various reasons. Here are some things that happened last year:
  • Roof from the building where the boat was stored in collapsed due to the weight of snow and damaged the boat.
  • Barn was broken into and outdrives and electronics were stolen off the boat.
  • Fire started in the garage.
  • Fire started by a another person's boat that was stored at the same facility as our client's boat. The fire damages to boat.

Don't assume that your boat is so safely stored during winter that you opt to let your insurance lapse until spring.

Keep your policy in force and if you have a lay up on your policy, just don't put the boat in the water.

Last edited by WakezoneINS; 04-13-2011 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:38 PM
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I forgot to add something to the above....

Not all policies have designated lay up dates on the declarations page. Most of the carriers that write high performance boats will have a lay up. I think one of the only exceptions to the high performance carriers at this time is American Modern. They do not designate lay up periods on their policies.

Lay up policies "credit" a portion of your policy to some degree for not using the boat on the water during your lay up period. So having a lay up period on your performance policy will likely lower the rate.

However, if your carrier doesn't do a designated lay up period, don't think that you're not getting any credit. You likely are. Your lay up discount is factored into the rate you pay per $100 in coverage on your boat. For example, the rates paid per $100 in coverage for a MI based policy where you're lucky to have 5 months to boat vs an AZ based policy where you could technically boat year round is less money per $100 in coverage. So the "assumed" lay up time is already factored into your rate.

Hope that makes sense. If you need clarification or have questions about lay up periods, let me know. I'll be happy to answer.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:12 PM
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Stacy - curiosity here but let's just say you have a client with layup 11/1 through 5/1 and there is an abnormally beautiful Virginia April Day that this hypothetical client wants to drop it in, what is the process for doing so (if there is one)?

Eric

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Old 04-14-2011, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by seafordguy
Stacy - curiosity here but let's just say you have a client with layup 11/1 through 5/1 and there is an abnormally beautiful Virginia April Day that this hypothetical client wants to drop it in, what is the process for doing so (if there is one)?

Eric
If you do have a lay up listed on your policy then you would need to contact your agent and have the policy endorsed to lift the lay-up period for the designated period of time you wish to use the boat. There is typically a charge to do this because having a lay up reduces your premium and gives you credit. When you lift a lay up you have to pay back that credit. The carriers we work with charge about a $100 for a weekend.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by WakezoneINS
The carriers we work with charge about a $100 for a weekend.
Answer's my question...!!!
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by WakezoneINS
The carriers we work with charge about a $100 for a weekend.
Hi Stacy, would the same be true if you wanted to take your boat to Florida for a weekend in the winter or do a poker run during the lay-up?
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Panther
Hi Stacy, would the same be true if you wanted to take your boat to Florida for a weekend in the winter or do a poker run during the lay-up?
Great question!

For the most part, yes, same procedure, same concept. However, the additional charge is a little different because the $100 charge is to lift the lay up within your existing policy navigational territory.

If your policy territory isn't defined to include Gulf or Coastal Waters of Florida, then you would be endorsing for two different things. Typically, when our clients who are in the Northeast take their boats to Florida for a poker run during their lay up time, their paying around $250 for the week. Granted, that is average. If you have a very high value vessel, then that rate could be a little more.


If you are someone who takes their boat down to Florida multiple times during the winter, then it is important to discuss that with your agent. There are policies out there that have year round use allowance and include navigation throughout the entire US up to 150 miles offshore but that are rated based on your main mooring state so you don't pay more for that ability to use the boat in the winter. Endorsement charges can add up so it's good to talk about winter trips with your agent.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:41 PM
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Good info, thanks Stacy
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:44 AM
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Would it usually be a problem to shift your layup period around? Say the layup is from Sept. 1st to April 1st and you wanted to change it to Oct. 1st to May 1st? Great info!
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by fireboatpilot
Would it usually be a problem to shift your layup period around? Say the layup is from Sept. 1st to April 1st and you wanted to change it to Oct. 1st to May 1st? Great info!
Typically no. If you keep the time even then there should be no effect on your premium. Most carriers will give a credit for each month of lay up (up to 7 months total). If you shorten your lay up time, then premium goes up.

Changing dates though for even time is something that can be done in a matter of an email or phone call with no hassles.
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