Where Did Winter Go and How Do I Insure My Ice House When it Comes Back?

Although it may not seem like it lately, we have to assume that winter will make an appearance sometime in the near future here in Minnesota, and when it does there will be many of us ready to hit the ice to do a little fishing!

Like many things here in the great northland, there are a wide variety of approaches to the sport of ice fishing, ranging from “not in your lifetime” all the way up to an ice fishing house that is larger and nicer than my home here in town. Those who are staying home or hitting the ice with a sled or a Clam have no need to continue reading, however if you have any type of ice house that isn’t man-portable, this article is for you!

Many people have put a lot of time, money, and thought into their ice houses and their creativity is to be commended. However it should also be protected and that includes the off season when it’s sitting out behind the garage or in storage at a resort. Unfortunately, it is not covered fully by your homeowners policy or the resort’s policy, so it is vital to have coverage in place to protects your investment.

There are several companies that will not insure an ice house, so be sure to check with your agent to make sure that your company will. The insurance companies that do insure ice houses usually classify them as travel trailers….similar to a pop-up, tow behind, or fifth wheel camper. There are some specific options that are unique to ice houses, though, as well as some requirements.

First, just like a camper or a car, most companies will not insure home-made units, although there are a few companies that will, the pricing can vary wildly. Again, check with your agent regarding the options if you built your ice house from the ground up.

Options include things like coverage for awnings, satellite dishes, and personal property outside of the trailer, emergency expenses or debris removal should something happen to your ice house. There are also options for stationary trailers that don’t move very often. There is even a towing and roadside assistance option which can be handy in a variety of situations. These policies are very customizable based on your ice house and your situation.

While the conventional wisdom years ago was to not insure these at all, or at least not during the summer when they are parked, we now recommend full year coverage on all ice houses because of the danger of damage while they are being stored. Many ice houses are damaged or destroyed in summer storms or by vandals while in storage, and it’s always a heartbreaking experience for the owners. Keeping coverage in place is also accounted for in the policy so that you aren’t paying for full coverage while it’s sitting in the weeds rather than on the lake.

Ice houses are great places to ride out the winter and enjoy our lakes and waterways even when they are frozen, but like all of our vehicles, they require protection from the unknown in the same way that a car, truck, ATV, boat, or camper would.


This post was written by Aaron Nicklay, Agent with Farmer’s Insurance. For more information on this topic and more and how Aaron can help protect your business, email him at anicklay@farmersagent.com or call (952) 229-5155.

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