Getting Boat Insurance

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Posted by: Captain Woody - Comments Off on Getting Boat Insurance

Boat ownership is much like owning other vehicles; most require insurance especially when financed. To protect their investment lien holders require insurance on the vessel or vehicle. Even if it’s owned outright you should still consider getting it insured. There are lots of situations that could go wrong when you own a boat including sever liability issues. So, good but affordable insurance will go a long way towards protecting you and that investment.getting-insurance-photo
Insurance is like insurance companies are not all the same. When buying boat insurance do your homework; make sure you’re not buying a pig in a poke.

Here are some thoughts on acquiring affordable and solid insurance.

Shop Around: Make a cost and coverage comparison of at least 3-4 insurance policies from different companies. This helps you locate a policy that offers maximum coverage for an affordable price. Purchase boat insurance from a company that has a good rating.

What’s It Actually Worth: Know what your boat is worth. Today’s market has likely reduced the value of your boat. This might allow you to reduce your premium.

Agreed Value or Actual Cash Value: What’s the difference?

Agreed Value normally costs more however it does provide higher compensation levels. In the event of limited loss it pays the replacement cost of items and will pay the stated policy value if the boat is a total loss.

Actual Cash Value is less expensive because it depreciates all losses and pays you less in nearly every claim. Mutually these policies have benefits but only you can decide which best for you.

What It Covers – What It Doesn’t: Essential coverage usually includes salvage recovery, accidental damage, fire, flood, and storm damage, theft, vandalism or malicious acts, and liability coverage. Make sure you understand exactly what coverage you’re getting as well as what’s not covered.  You need to identify its coverage and the amounts it pays. What about environmental issues, i.e. fuel spills, clean-up and property damage? Does your insurance pay to remove the sunken boat? Not necessarily; it often depends on your coverage and insurance company. If the policy doesn’t make sense ask them to explain in a language you understand. Plenty of policies exclude these type coverage’s.

• Your boat sinks and is covered by insurance, but what about salvage cost, clean up and removal charges.

• Are you protected against hurricane damage? Usually at additional cost with higher deductibles.

• You’ve decided to stay out overnight but weather forces you into a neighboring marina. While there your boat catches fire. Does your policy cover the damage to the marina and other boats, and to what extent?

• While docked or anchored your boat sinks because your automatic bilge switch failed, is the consequential water damage covered? Your policy might exclude losses caused from a failed part.

• Storing your boat at home would not require contractual liability.
However, most rental storage or marinas have, hold harmless provisions in their contracts. Does your policy satisfy this hold harmless agreement?

Drop the Comprehensive: Consider a liability policy that still protects you from lawsuits if you damage someone else’s property or someone gets injured. Do this only if your boat is paid for and you can financially suck up repairs, damages or the loss of your boat. When considering liability only coverage makes certain they include medical coverage for passengers, salvage removal, fuel spills and uninsured boater coverage.

Pay the Small Things: Try to handle the smaller claims yourself, don’t submit claims for minor problems save it for the larger ones. Ask about a larger deductible and always asks your insurance company for a discount.

Safe Boater Course Discounts: Boating safety courses are offered throughout the country, covering all types of recreational vessels. Qualified volunteer organizations, such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron, and others sponsor boating safety courses. Many times insurance companies will offer discounts if you take and pass an approved safe boating class.

This article is owned by Capt. Woody Gore and is copyright protected. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by Capt. Gore. wgore@ix.netcom.com