Boat Insurance: Learning the Ropes
Boating is a great hobby. If you go boating frequently, you know to never leave the shore without the essentials such as fresh water and life jackets. However, there’s one other thing you shouldn’t set sail without: an insurance policy. Coverage can cost as little as $300 per year and could save you from large monetary loss due to damage or medical bills.
Is Boat Insurance Required?
In some states, you must have liability coverage for your vessel to protect those around you. Some marinas also require insurance for the watercrafts that are docked there. If you have a loan out on a boat, your lender will probably require that you have insurance, just like if you had a loan out on a car.
What Types of Boats are Covered?
Most motorized watercraft are covered by boat insurance, including fishing boats, pontoon boats, paddle boats, leisure crafts and yachts.
Canoes, kayaks and personal watercrafts or jet skis are not usually covered. However, you may be able to buy extra coverage for these small vessels.
What Does Boat Insurance Typically Cover?
Your policy should include both property damage and bodily injury liability. Your liability coverage would pay for other vessels or property, such as docks, you collide with. It will also cover the medical bills and other expenses if someone is injured by your boat. Passengers inside your watercraft are also covered by liability. Check your policy to see if passengers outside of the vessel, such as someone being pulled behind the boat on a tube, are covered. If you frequently allow tubing off your boat, make sure you are covered.
Collision and comprehensive may also be a part of your boat insurance policy. These are very important, because unlike liability, they cover you and your boat. Collision repairs your vessel if you hit another boat or structure. Comprehensive protects your watercraft from other damage such as vandalism or theft of the boat itself. Comprehensive also protects you from hitting marine obstacles, such as logs in the water.
You might also consider coverage to pay for repairs to a trailer you are pulling, the contents of your boat such as fishing equipment (which are most likely not protected from theft under your comprehensive coverage), water towing service and roadside assistance.
You also may want to think about under/uninsured boater’s coverage, which will cover your vessel in case it is struck by someone with insufficient insurance to repair your vessel or pay for your medical bills.
If you live in area affected by hurricanes, tornadoes or other severe weather, consider storm damage coverage.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
The amount of coverage depends on several factors. If you drive a small, very valuable speedboat, you probably need more coverage than if you have an older pleasure boat. There is a higher chance of you or someone around you being injured by a faster vessel, and damage can be worse at fast speeds.
The more your boat is worth, the more coverage you should purchase to avoid a large financial loss. You should be able to pay the amount of your deductible, the maximum amount you will pay in case of an accident, out of pocket unexpectedly.
If your watercraft has an expensive engine, your coverage may include repairs for engine damage during an accident or even a blown engine due to a defect. Check to make sure that this is the case if you feel that engine damage or failure would be a large financial burden.
How Much Will My Boat Insurance Cost?
Like all types of insurance, there are many factors in the cost of each individual’s policy. These can include where you live, as different states have different rates; the boat you insure, its age, type and size; the size of the motor in your vessel and what powers it; where you use the vessel, inland waters or open seas; and the different coverages that you choose.
Call an Infinity agent today at 1-800-INFINITY or Get Your Boat Insurance Quote Online!