It’s that time of year again… boating season! With summer quickly approaching, there is nothing quite as exhilarating as boating. More than 75 million people in the U.S. participate in recreational boating each year. There are many questions around boat insurance, what it covers and even if you need it. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers surrounding watercraft insurance.
- Why do I need boat insurance? Is it required?
If you are new to boating, you may be under the impression that your homeowner’s insurance will cover your boat. In most cases, this is not true. Many homeowner’s policies will have a small amount of coverage for small boats with either no engine or a very small one. Just like auto insurance, your boat can get damaged, you can cause damage to someone else’s boat, or you can physically injure one of your passengers or someone else. In all of these instances, insurance helps to cover the cost that would otherwise be covered out of your own pocket. At the very least, every boat owner should have liability coverage. Some states require that you have liability coverage at least and other states do not require any type of watercraft insurance. If you take a loan out to buy the boat, the lender will most likely require that you purchase boaters insurance.
2. What does boat insurance cover?-Collision Damage: Repair or replacement of your boat in the event of a loss. The may or may not include clean up of the wreckage.-Bodily injury Liability: Covers injury you might cause to someone while using your boat-Additional coverage options: medical payments, fishing equipment, oil spills, personal property, roadside assistance, uninsured and underinsured coverages
* the amount of compensation you receive for a claim depends on a few things; your deductibles, limits and whether your boats insurance covers actual cash value, agreed value or replacement cost
-Comprehensive: Provides compensation if your boat is vandalized, stolen or damaged in an incident other than a collision
-Property Damage Liability: Covers damage you might cause to someone else’s boat, dock or property
-Your boat insurance policy may include the following:
3. Who does boat insurance cover?
Boat insurance covers boat passengers as well as the owner. Passengers are covered under the liability portion. Depending on the policy, this may or may not extend to water skiers you are pulling behind the boat. Anyone you give permission to drive or use your boat is covered under your policy.
4. Is my boat covered when it’s out of the water?
When your boat is attached to your car or truck, you are covered by your auto policy. The limits for your auto policy is the only coverage that would apply in the case of an accident. A boat policy will not cover loss of life, bodily injury, or property damage that occurs while transporting the boat on land. Your homeowner’s insurance may provide a small amount of coverage if it is parked on your property. To fully protect your boat at all times, an umbrella policy is recommended.