Boat Insurance Explained
You just purchased a boat and now you wonder what do you have to do to insure it or do you even need to insure your boat?
Not all boats need to have insurance.
If it is a canoe, kayak or paddle boat then your homeowner’s insurance may provide some coverages.
If your boat is a motorized water vehicle such as, but not limited to, ski boats, fishing boats, pontoon boats, yachts and jet skis, then you need boat insurance to protect yourself.
Boat insurance protects your summer fun.
An outing on the lake can turn ugly when you find your boat is sinking, or the engine catches on fire.
Prepare for the worst so you will be happy at the time you make a claim.
As with your auto and homeowner’s insurance policies, make sure you have enough personal liability coverage to protect your assets and future earnings in the event of a lawsuit.
Your overall liability protection should be the same across all policies.
No matter what insurance policy you get sued through, you are still protecting the same assets and future earnings.
Saving a few bucks on a cheaper policy will not be worth it if the policy does not provide the right coverages to protect you.
So what information do you need to provide to get a quote on your boat insurance?
Basic Customer Information.
This includes name, birth date, address, phone number, etc.
This includes year, make and model of the boat.
You will also need to know other specific information such as length, number of engines and horsepower, type of engine and hull material.
Make sure you know the true value of the boat.
Maybe you got a great deal on the boat and paid lower than what the market value is.
Make sure you list the true market value and not what you paid if you are doing agreed value coverage.
Have the information on the trailer too.
Where is the Boat Stored?
Is the boat docked, dry docked, stored at the side of your house, etc.
What Coverages Do You Need?
Discuss with your agent what coverages you want on your policy.
For example do you want full replacement value (if available), actual cash value (determined at time of claim), or agreed value (agreed by you and the insurance company)?
Your options on this will vary depending on the age of your boat.
Boating Safety Class
Many companies give a discount if you have taken a Boating Safety Course in the last three years.
In addition to the basic coverages that most companies offer there are always optional coverages that you may want to add to your policy.
Make sure you find out what these options are for your policy and discuss them with your agent to see what is right for you.
Optional Boat Insurance Coverages
Personal Property – Personal items on-board may include cameras, phones, radios, personal flotation devices and any other items that you bring onto the boat.
Some companies may provide limited coverage for personal property.
Make sure you have enough coverage to fit your needs.
1. Fishing Equipment.
For an avid fisherman the cost of the equipment can add up quickly.
There is usually a deductible for this coverage but make sure to add it to your policy if you carry a lot of equipment in your boat.
2. Uninsured Boater.
Just as on the road, many boaters do not carry insurance.
Make sure your policy includes this coverage and add it if necessary.
This coverage is all about protecting yourself from losses.
3. Replacement Cost Coverage
In general, if your boat is less than three years old you may add this coverage on to your policy.
The coverage gives you full replacement value for the boat if the boat is considered a total loss under the boat insurance policy.
4. Emergency Towing and Labor
The coverage provides for on-water towing services.
5. Wreckage Removal
This provides for reasonable costs to have the wreckage of your boat raised, removed or destroyed after physical damage has incurred from a covered loss on your policy.
Optional coverages are just that, optional. If all you want is a basic boat insurance policy that covers your boat only there is nothing wrong with that.
Just make sure to discuss all the options up front so that you know what is and is not covered on your policy.
Making your expectations clear to your agent and then following the recommendations given for coverage options will insure that you are happy with the service at the time you have to file a claim.
I am here to make sure you get the right policy to protect you and make sure your insurance experience is a happy one.
Sondra Wendt – 623-297-1475
EZ Insurance Solutions