Your boat is an important investment. That’s why it’s important to know what types of policies are available and what they cover. It’s also good to do your research and learn about ways you can save even more on your boat insurance policy.
Types of Boat Policies
In our last blog, we discussed the differences between agreed value and market value policies. But there’s a lot more to boater’s insurance policies than that. For instance, you could get marine insurance, which covers a wide variety of boats. Some of these policies cover sailboats, dinghies, even yachts. Yacht coverage may be higher because of the size of these watercraft and the distances they travel. If fishing is more than a hobby for you, professionals can get ProAngler and Charter policies that will cover special equipment, as well as the travel expenses to go to tournaments, etc. Sometimes you can customize your policy to cover only what you want, and nothing you don’t.
What is Covered by Boater’s Insurance
When purchasing your boater’s insurance policy, it’s recommended that you get an “all risk” policy. This gives you a broad range of protection in case of unfortunate events. However, “all risk” doesn’t mean everything. Look over your policy carefully to see what things are omitted. Often an “all risk” policy won’t cover dents, natural wear and tear, manufacturer’s or design defects, or damage from freezing temperatures and ice. You can always add extra coverage, depending on what you need.
Most boater’s insurance policies will cover equipment that goes with your boat, such as oars, life jackets, seat cushions, anchors and more. But make sure you see it in your policy. In addition, most policies will include uninsured boaters liability, towing costs and medical payments in case of an accident on the water. Again, you’ll want to go over these things with your insurance agent to make sure they’re included.
Things that aren’t typically included in your policy can be added, such as an extension if you’re going to be leaving the U.S. and heading to Mexico. This coverage is temporary. As mentioned above, gradual wear and tear isn’t usually covered, so you can get an add-on that covers this. Often the wear and tear will be caused by mold or corrosion, which is a common problem. Finally, you can get special coverage for a specific addition to your boat that may be expensive, such as navigation equipment.
This is only a sampling of the specific types of coverages. You should always ask your insurance agent about other types if you think you may need them.
How to Get More Discounts On Your Boat Insurance
In some ways, boat insurance is a lot like car insurance. Companies will take into consideration the age, size, speed/horsepower and condition of the boat when determining your costs. They will also look at what type of boat it is. For example, is it a cruiser, saltwater fishing boat, performance boat? Is it a houseboat with no motor? They also need to know where the boat will be used—ocean, lakes, rivers, etc. And last but not least, insurance companies will want to know how many boat owners there are in the household.
If you want to get deeper discounts, do everything you can to ensure the safety of your boat. This means getting any available safety features. Some of these include wireless auto tethers that serve as a kill switch for the engine should anyone fall overboard. The more gadgets you acquire that help to protect your investment, you’re likely to be rewarded by the insurance company.
It’s also a good idea to take a boating class. The more training you receive, the better boater you’ll make. Your insurance agent should be able to provide you with classes in your area that will qualify you for discounts. Short on time? Think of it this way—one class could save you 5% or more on your policy every year. It’s worth it.
For all your home, auto, boat and other insurance needs, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. We’re a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.