Typically, boat owners are not required to carry insurance unless the boat has been collateralized for a loan. Insurance should not be thought of to meet requirements, but to cover your risks. Inland waterways can get very busy in the summertime and storms can come up quickly offshore so protecting yourself, your investment and others should be a priority consideration.
Boats sink; it’s a fact of life. People get hurt when there’s a collision; it’s also a fact of life. According to reports offered by the Insurance Information Institute, there were over 4,000 boating accidents reported in 2013. The most economical way to protect yourself from a financial disaster is to transfer your risk to a boat insurance policy that, in most cases, is very affordable. Similar to the personal auto policy, the boat policy is a package deal that can be customized by endorsement to meet your individual needs.
If you think your homeowner’s insurance will provide protection, think again. A homeowner’s policy only provides coverage for small boats and must usually be less than 25 mph horsepower and the coverage typically has a low cap and excludes liability coverage that in most cases, is the primary risk to be covered.
Bodily Injury Liability
This coverage will protect you in the event of an at-fault accident. It pays for injuries you cause to others that include medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering and legal expenses. This is where an accident can become very expensive for the boat owner.
Property Damage Liability
This is the coverage that pays for damage you cause to a 3rd party boat, dock or other structures.
Hull coverage provides protection for your boat, trailer, and attached equipment. This coverage will pay to repair or replace your boat, trailer or attached equipment subject to the deductible you selected. This is the coverage that will reimburse you for repair or replacement of your boat if it is stolen, vandalized or damaged for reasons other than a boating accident.
• Medical Payments – Med pay reimburses for injuries to you or passengers on your boat without having to prove liability.
• Uninsured Boater – This coverage pays for your injuries in the event you are involved in a boating accident with an uninsured boater or if the at-fault party (another operator) does not carry sufficient limits of coverage to pay for your injuries.
• Equipment Coverage – Will reimburse you for the costs of replacing equipment on your boat such as electronics, fishing and diving gear that is stolen or damaged by a covered peril.
• Emergency Towing – Reimburses for having the boat towed as a result of a breakdown.
• Cleanup Coverage – This coverage is available for larger vessels and will pay for oil and wreckage cleanup after an accident.
Whether you have a small fishing boat or cabin cruiser, contact an experienced agent who will ask the right questions that will enable you to make informed decisions before purchasing your Boat Owner’s Policy.