6 Things You Need To Know About Boat Insurance
Did you know that there are over 75 million people in the US that participate in recreational boating? That’s approximately 25% of the population! The wind in your hair, the thrum of the mainsail on a sailboat, or the soothing sounds of the water. It’s an ideal place to be after being in one’s office after a busy work week. And where there are boats, insurance companies are sure to follow.
1. Why You Need Boat Insurance
It is important to note that, Homeowner’s insurance does not typically cover your boat or any other watercraft liability. In some cases, Homeowners insurance may cover a boat, but this is usually for small boats that have no engine like a canoe, a kayak, or a rowboat. If you own a boat, you should have a separate watercraft insurance policy. Since your boat has nothing to do with your house, and your boat like your car is mobile so it needs a separate insurance policy. This is especially important if you desire physical damage coverage to your boat and it’s contents.
2. What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
Boat insurance typically covers the hull of the boat, inboard or outboard engine(s), boating supplies and fishing equipment, dinghies, medical coverage for injury, liability coverage for property damage and bodily injuries you might be legally responsible for. Wreckage removal (aka a “sunken” or “stranded”) of a boat should be included along with pollution liability, as fuel(s) can escape a capsized or damaged boat quite easily.
3. Is It Covered If It’s Out Of The Water?
Your boat is also covered if it is out of the water in dry storage, or as a result of being hauled out of the water in the emergent situation of an impending hurricane. When it is hitched to a car being transported, the liability of it is covered by your auto insurance, but the physical damage to the boat would need to come from the watercraft policy.
4. What Happens in an Accident Where You Are Not Driving?
If somebody other than the owner is driving the boat without compensation as long as it is with your permission then they are covered under the conditions of your boat insurance. If you rent the boat to others, the policy may not apply. The same is true for a paid captain or crew. Therefore, consulting with your Agent can help avoid these gaps by ensuring certain endorsements are added that could cover these exposures.
5. Is it Covered Everywhere I go?
Not all boat owners are aware that there maybe navigational limits set in their boat insurance policy. Most navigational warranties only cover “inland waters of the US and Canada or coastal waters of the US and Canada” for small boats up to 26 feet. In this case, you need to know where your boat is allowed to roam and this usually depends on how large your boat is and your insurance policy. In some, you will need to consult with your insurance professional to add a broader navigational limitation endorsement if you are going out in the ocean and/or for especially long trips up and down the Eastern seaboard.
6. Other Options for My Boat
Some other options one should be aware of include coverage for electronic equipment, such as GPS, Loran, Sonar, and fishing equipment, or foul weather gear, water sports equipment, and other gadgets. These items can add up in the event of loss and should be totaled up every season.
Of course, these 6 tips are just the tip of the iceberg. Be sure to contact your insurance professional to see if you have proper coverage for your boat. Happy boating!