It’s that time of year again where the outdoorsmen (and women) in our area put away the boats and golf clubs and take out the skis and ice fishing gear. As you prepare for your first winter fishing trip, you will want to make sure you are able to answer the question “am I covered?” Many people believe their homeowners insurance will provide protection while ice fishing but that is not always the case. The answer to the question “am I covered” may be more involved than you think.
The first step is determining what type of ice house you own and use. There are two types, those with axles and wheels and those without. Once you have established the type, the second step is to contact your agent about how to protect it.
If you have one permanently mounted on axles and wheels, it should be added to your auto policy. Your auto policy will provide liability protection while the ice house is being pulled, but could exclude property damage to the trailer depending on your policy. Some companies may require you to insure it on a completely separate trailer policy similar to an RV policy. This may entail additional transactions before the coverage is bound (i.e. premium payment, application, or photos). You will want to make sure you have liability coverage while on the ice and not attached to your vehicle as many companies will exclude liability when it is not connected to the pulling vehicle. This is something you will need to check with your agent as it is policy and company specific.
If your ice house is a permanent structure that is not on axles, you may need to add an ice house endorsement to your homeowner’s policy. You and your agent will determine a set limit to insure the structure. This will be a separate limit and deductible from your personal property coverage. Temporary ice tents or ice boats are covered under the personal property section of your homeowners policy. However, you are not required to list temporary tents on a separate endorsement. This type of ice house is subject to your policy deductible under your homeowners insurance should a covered loss occur.
Understanding your policy and how it will react to different situations is important with all lines of insurance. The best way to make sure that you have coverage for certain property is to review your policy on a regular basis with your insurance agent. This allows you time to go over any questions or concerns you might have about your insurance or personal belongings you own. Before ice fishing this year, make sure you understand your coverage as you don’t want to end up on thin ice with thin coverage.
Insurance Sales Agent
Insure Forward, Fargo
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