It’s now officially spring, and spring means warmer weather. Warmer weather means finally taking the boat out of storage and going to the lake, right? As the temperature creeps upwards, it becomes more and more inviting to get out on the water. Swimming, tubing, picnics—all top-notch warm-weather fun. But before you set sail, you need to understand the essentials of boat insurance.
If you have a boat, there are a few things you need to know to make sure that you have the right coverage for your watercraft. Like a lot of fun things, boats are dangerous. And that’s where insurance comes in. Below we’ve come up with the top eight things you need to know when it comes to insuring your boat.
1. Home insurance and boats.
Sometimes the only kind of boats that are protected with your personal property insurance are canoes and small boats without motors. If your boat has a substantial engine or motor, you may have to get separate coverage. Your boating insurance will probably end up resembling your auto insurance policy.
2. Boat insurance protects you from many different disasters.
There are a lot of catastrophes you might encounter while relaxing on your boat. A fun day on the water could turn disastrous. Boating insurance can offer you coverage for:
3. Boatowner’s policies were invented to protect everyone and everything.
Boating insurance provides protection for you, other boaters, your boat, and your equipment. Some of the different coverages that boat insurance gives you are theft, bodily injury, property damage, liability coverage, and medical payment coverage.
4. Physical damage coverage is essential.
Boats are expensive, as is the equipment that goes along with them. Physical damage covers you for certain losses concerning your boat, motor, trailer, equipment, or other boat-related property.
5. There are two main types of liability coverage that boat insurance offers.
Personal liability covers you for what you’re legally obligated to pay to an injured party if there’s a boating mishap. This covers bodily injury expenses, property damage, and legal defense.
Medical payments coverage pays the medical expenses that are incurred due to an accident involving your boat. Hospital bills, ambulance charges, and medical bills can be included.
6. You can purchase additional coverages for your boat.
Property and liability coverage are the basic types of insurance that you need for your boat. However, if you want to purchase additional protection, there are several different types of extra coverages that you can choose from:
- Reasonable repairs: It can be expensive to fix your boat if there’s something wrong with it. With reasonable repairs coverage, maintenance to protect your watercraft from future damage is covered.
- Emergency services: This type of coverage takes care of any expenses that come from needing emergency services.
- Wreck removal: Unfortunately, boats sometimes don’t stay afloat like they’re supposed to. If something were to happen and your boat sinks, wreck removal coverage can help pay the reasonable cost of raising, removing, or destroying your boat. Keep in mind that this is only the case if the shipwreck was caused by an insured loss and removal is mandated by law.
- Umbrella coverage: Umbrella coverage provides additional protection against disasters. Basically, it takes care of any expenses left over if your other coverages aren’t enough.
7. There are ways that you can save on your boat insurance.
It is possible to lower your boat insurance rates. Insurance companies like to reward you when you take safety precautions. Here are a few ways you can save:
- Have approved fire extinguishers on-board.
- Take a state-run, approved safety course through the Coast Guard or Red Cross.
- Use diesel. This can help lower your risk and therefore your premium.
8. Boating policies may allow you to pause your coverage for winter.
Going on the boat in December…yeah, probably not going to happen. Some policies will allow you to purchase coverage only for the time of year that you’ll actually be using the boat, i.e. spring and summer. If your policy allows this and you decide to specify when you want to have coverage, be sure to adhere to those guidelines. If you take the boat out on a nice day during the time that your coverage is paused, you won’t have coverage. Should something happen, you’d be on your own.
When you’re taking your boat for a spin on the water, it’s essential to know that you’re protected against any potential damages or losses that could arise. Remember to make boat safety your priority as spring turns into summer and you start going to the lake. If you want to find out more about what kind of insurance you need for your boat or if you’d like to get a free quote, contact us today. We at InsuranceHub know our boats.