If you are among the 12.7 million boat owners in America, you probably consider your boat to be more than just a watercraft. Your boat is your ticket to an exciting summertime. This is why you should consider insuring your favorite summertime asset with boat insurance. It is therefore advisable to separate your homeowners’ policy from your boat insurance. Below is an ultimate guide to boat insurance to help protect you and your vessel.
Why Is Boat Insurance Important?
While your homeowners’ policy may be perfect for a small-sized boat with limited horsepower, it does not cover all boat-related risks. Homeowner’s policy is tailored for assets that are mainly on dry land. You wouldn’t even think of insuring your car under the homeowner’s policy. This because a vehicle has many different needs to that of a home. In the same way, your boat has different insurance needs. Boat insurance comes in handy for marine-related incidents and risks such as wreck removal, environmental damage, and salvage works. However, it is very unlikely that authorities will pull you over to ask for boat insurance. This does not in any way mean that you don’t need to insure your boat.
How Does It Work?
Boat insurance is much similar to other types of auto insurance. The amount of premium you pay or how much protection you get is dependent on the amount of coverage, type of insurance coverage, and deductible. Always consider the type of boat you have and where you take it when shopping for ideal insurance coverage. Below are the relevant factors involved in buying boat insurance:
The Type of Vessel You Own- the policy you get for your boat is directly related to its type. Is it a sailboat, a professional boat, dinghy, yacht, or a boat club?
Age of The Vessel - this is important as boats tend to depreciate with time.
Operation -where will your vessel operate? The rivers, bays, lakes, or oceans?
Residence - will your boat be used as a primary residence?
The Boat’s Condition - here, the vessel will be inspected to check if it meets the U.S coast guard standards.
Ownership - how many owners does the vessel have?
It is advisable to have all this information when making a call to the insurance agents. It makes the process much quicker and simpler. Assess the risks your boat might face in the future by clearly determining how you expect to use the boat.
Types of Boat Insurance Coverage
Collision Damage: Covers most costs related to the replacement or repair of a boat due to collision. This is similar to what is offered within a homeowners’ policy. However, it is essential to note that the coverage does not include towing or cleanup of wreckage expenses.
Comprehensive: This will cover most risks that do not involve a collision. These include tide damage, theft, or vandalism.
Salvage: This entails the costs of removing your boat if you cannot navigate back to shore. Unknown to many, it is exorbitant to have your boat towed. This is why it is wise to have it included in your insurance policy.
Personal Property: This covers everything that is in the boat, such as furniture or valuables. This cover is essential for residence boat homes or cruisers.
Injury: This coverage caters to the cost of damage or bodily harm you might cause to an individual while using your vessel.
Consequential Damage: Pays for damages that arise from long-term use of the vessel, such as rot, sea corrosion, or mold.
Specialized: This is special coverage that covers a specific item or equipment against theft or damage.
Agreed Value - This insurance policy covers the vessel based on its value at the time of writing the policy. It costs more since it doesn't consider depreciation of the value of the boat.
Actual Cash Value: in this coverage, the amount of compensation you get is directly related to the boat's cash value when it is declared partially or totally lost. Most insurers will insist on this type of boat insurance as the boat ages. See also 5 Easy Steps to Boat Finance
What Happens If You Don’t Insure Your Boat?
While recreational boating can be considered a generally safe activity, accidents or mistakes are bound to happen. One advantage of having your boat insured is that you receive liability protection. This can help waive off the cost of liability lawsuits in the event you are at fault during an accident. If you don’t have boat insurance, you cannot receive any liability protection or even compensation for the losses you incur during the occurrence of a marine-related risk. Boat replacement or repair tends to be very expensive.
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