A lot of people dream of buying a boat, but what they know about insuring it may be a lot less than they think. While insuring a boat isn’t rocket science, it’s important to know that, unlike auto insurance, boat insurance is usually not mandatory. However, because a boat can be such a costly investment and the liabilities so high, the sensible thing to do is to have boat insurance.
Some boat owners see themselves as experts at the helm, but as with driving a car, things can happen that are beyond our control – whether mechanical or accidental – leading to the total loss of our vehicle. Leaving those things to chance without coverage is a risk not worth taking.
Now, without a boat insurance policy you may still have partial coverage through your home or automobile policies. But, that coverage is generally not enough to fully protect your boat should something happen to it. In other words, when you park your new boat in the driveway, it’ll be insured under your homeowners policy. Problem is – only a portion of it will be insured – about $1,000 to $1,500.
Needless to say, it’s probably worth a great deal more than that. If someone was to steal the engine, GPS, fish locator or other expensive equipment from your boat…you would be out of luck – even more so, should the boat be damaged or destroyed. Your homeowners insurance would not be enough to replace or fix your boat. Fact is, to ensure your boat has the proper protection while sitting in your driveway, you need boat insurance.
If you keep your boat docked at the marina, you may have coverage there as well, under the marina’s insurance policy. Don’t take this one for granted, however, or assume anything. Check to be sure as, in the past, marinas were liable for all damages done to your boat, however recently, some have required boat owners to sign contracts, waiving their right to recover damages from the marina. And, others will require you to have a certain amount of liability insurance prior to permitting you to dock at the marina. Therefore, once again, having your own insurance policy makes a lot of sense.
Unless you plan on never taking your boat out on the lake or open water, it’s important to note that, once you leave the docks, the marina will no longer have any responsibility or liability whatsoever. You will be on your own and your boat insurance will be your entire protection. So, in the event of an engine fire on board or sinking mishap…you’ll have to rely on your boat policy to cover the damage or replacement.
Whenever you tow your boat, your auto insurance goes into effect and the liability will be based on your personal vehicle’s liability insurance. But, be aware that any damage done to your boat will still fall under your boat owner’s policy. The same can be said when driving the boat. There’s always an increased risk of damages from accidents, including injuries. That’s why you should double check your auto insurance to ensure that your stated liability limits are adequate.
The benefits and advantages in having boat insurance are obvious. A standard boat insurance policy is comparable to your car insurance. It’s there to protect your boat, any passengers in the boat, and you from liability if someone is injured by the boat. Although policies vary depending on what type of boat you have and insurance carrier you choose, most boat policies will also generally cover emergency services, towing, personal property, and the boat trailer.
Insuring a boat may not be rocket science, but making the wise choice and getting a boat insurance policy can be the smartest thing you do.
Shop and compare that you’re getting the best rate on your boat insurance. Why not get a free boat insurance quote today?
Do you own a boat and is it fully covered by insurance? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.