Boat ownership has many luxuries, however, it also comes with many responsibilities. For example, boat insurance, which is required to protect you in case of an accident.
Any watercraft can bring a legal liability, so you want to be as safe as possible, as there are many high liability boating accidents every year in America.
One of the most important things to know about boat insurance is that your homeowner's policy does not automatically cover your watercraft. While it may provide some protection, in others cases it might not. You may also need to have additional boat insurance if your boat is older, as boats lose their value very quickly. Budget approximately 1 to 2 percent of the boat's current value, but there are many discounts available. Many of the same cost-saving strategies you use to shop for car insurance also work with boat insurance.
These terms and coverage options should be considered when buying boat insurance:
All-Risk Coverage: This coverage provides the most comprehensive coverage available for boat insurance. The policy does not exclude any damage or loss.
Named Perils Policy: This level of boat insurance coverage covers only certain named perils. This policy is different than all risk coverage which covers all except the named exceptions.
Coverage: The policy's agreed cash value coverage covers a predetermined value. Although it is more expensive than "actual cash value", the Agreed Value coverage provides greater protection for the owner against depreciation.
Actual Cash Value Coverage: This coverage considers the actual value of your boat when a loss occurs. This is the cheapest option, but will offer less coverage. Boats are very volatile.
Optional Coverage Standard coverage is included in most boat insurance policies. These options include:
Inflicted damage by collision, fire, weather and theft
Boat and boat-related equipment damaged
Bodily injury liability is what you pay if someone gets hurt while on your boat
Medical payments: These are for medical expenses that you and your family members have to pay
Property damage liability covers costs if you cause damage to property belonging to someone else
Guest passenger liability is a boat insurance policy that covers expenses incurred by another person who is driving your boat
Premium Coverage Upgrades
You can choose to add additional coverage when you are shopping for boat insurance. These options may include:
Salvage - If your boat is not towable, you will need to hire a salvage company.
Mechanical Breakdown Coverage: This covers the repair or replacement of an outboard motor, except for general wear and tear.
Additional Equipment - If you have extra property that you wish to insure (e.g., fishing equipment or boat upgrades), you can get additional coverage.
Boat Insurance is a Must-Have for all Boat Owners
A homeowners insurance policy may cover a boat in certain cases. However, there are many limitations. The coverage limit for boats is usually $1,000 or a small portion of your home's insured value. Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover boats. Your homeowners policy won't provide liability coverage and should be purchased via boat insurance.
Anybody who owns a yacht, a personal watercraft, jet boat, or big sailboat, as well as any watercraft with a speed of more than 25 mph, must have boat insurance. Boat insurance is usually required.
How to Choose the Right Boat Insurance
There are two major categories of insurance companies for boat insurance - these are traditional, large national companies and smaller, more niche-specific companies.
A company that specializes in boat insurance might offer you options that suit your needs. However, a national company like Richard Dean Insurance who offer options through Allstate may be more cost-effective. If you're looking for discounts, there is typically the option to bundle multiple policies.
How to Save on Boat Insurance
There are many ways to save money on your boat insurance if you know where to find them. Take a boating safety course. Check with your insurance company to ensure you are able to save money by choosing a course that is qualified. A class can help you save up to five percent on your boat insurance policy.
You can save money by adding safety features, and don't buy more insurance than what you really need. You should choose a policy that is tailored to your boat and your specific needs. You may be eligible to receive discounts if you have a boating license or you are covered under certain types of protection structures.
Keep in mind, too, that your driving record could impact the cost of your boat insurance. Don't forget to look into bundling options that many insurance companies offer. This can be one advantage of choosing a company that specializes in boat insurance.
For more questions about boat insurance coverage and how we might be able to save you money and keep you and your boat protected, give us a call today: (941) 999-3131