Smooth Sailing: Boat Insurance
Like cars, boats are vulnerable to all manner of mishaps. Therefore, they should always be insured. As a boat owner, you can take two different routes when it comes to insurance:
- Buy a Separate Policy for Your Boat
This option is actually mandatory for some sailboats and power boats of a certain size. If you are in doubt as to whether your watercraft requires its own insurance policy, check with your insurance provider.
- Add Your Boat to an Existing Homeowner's Insurance Policy
This option is suitable for those who have certain types of powerboats (generally those with smaller engines), as well as for owners of jet skis and other water sport vehicles.
If you do require a separate policy for your boat, another thing to consider is the type of policy you want. Boat owners can choose from two different types:
- Agreed Value Policy
With this type of policy, you and your insurance provider mutually agree on your boat's value. For example, if you agree that your boat is worth $20,000 at the time you obtain the policy, you will receive up to $20,000 to cover the cost of that boat should it be damaged or stolen, even five years down the road.
- Actual Value Policy
In this case, you as the policyholder will pay somewhat lower insurance premiums. However, the insurance provider will consider depreciation should you file any claims, and pay the actual cash value of the boat at any given time.
Also, every boat insurance policy should have three main components:
- Bodily Injury Liability If you hurt another boater during an accident, this will protect you from lawsuits and out-of-pocket expenses.
- Property Damage Liability This covers costs associated with damage to other boats, as well as ramps, docks, and other personal property.
- Physical Damage This type of coverage pays for any damages you may cause to your own boat.
When you're ready to shop for a boat insurance policy, seek advice from contact Loretz-Johnson Agency. Also, talk to friends and fellow boaters about what types of insurance they have, and what their experiences with filing claims have been like.
Haven't committed to buying your own boat yet? When you rent a boat or water sport vehicle, always verify that the owner has boat rental insurance. While it isn't a requirement, a reputable renter will carry boat rental insurance to protect both the property and the people who use it.