Is it Necessary to Insure your Boat?
Most finance companies will require boats to be insured throughout the length of the loan. However, many folks discontinue their insurance once that is paid off and some who buy their boat outright never think to insure it.
Many people operate under the misconception that between their auto and home insurance, their boat, motor, trailer and contents are covered.
The average homeowner insurance policy will offer limited liability coverage for a boat that is 14’ or less with 25hp or smaller motor. However that will not cover in the instance of an oil or fuel spill, and there is no coverage for theft of the boat, motor or trailer. Be sure and check with your agent to see what is / is not covered under your homeowner policy when it comes to your boat.
Now, your auto policy is a bit different. If the boat is being towed, the liability portion of your auto coverage will extend to pay for damages done by you. (Ex: you back into a vehicle with your trailer) However, damages to your boat/motor/trailer are not covered by the Comprehensive/Collision coverage on your auto policy.
If you own and operate a boat, it is wise to properly insure your boat, motor, trailer and contents.
A good boat policy will offer liability which protects the other people in the case of injuries due to a boating accident in which you are at fault and physical damage coverage to protect the boat itself. You can also get coverage for the lower unit of your outboard motor and/or both upper & lower unit coverage for your sterndrive motor, on-water towing, fishing equipment coverage and wreckage removal. Some policies offer agreed value and/or total loss replacement coverage as well. There are other additional insurance options such as Med Pay, Uninsured Boater Bodily Injury and personal property coverage.
As with any insurance policy, it is always wise to document (with photos or videos) the contents and equipment on your boat (trolling motor, life preserves, fishing equipment, depth finders, etc.)
Some boat policies will cover theft of items such as those listed above, but in most instances, there must be evidence of forced entry (EX: the closed and locked compartments pried open).
Another good reason to insure your boat is the discount(s) that may be available to you for multi or companion (or bundling) policies (EX: boat & auto; home and boat, etc.)
Above are several reasons to properly insure your boat, motor, trailer and contents. Don’t wait until there’s an incident, call us today and let us get’cha covered!
Until next time, take care and be an informed boater!
Tommy Curtis and Staff
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