The beginning of spring is here in Massachusetts! That means the warm weather will soon follow. A great deal of people are looking forward to getting their boat in the water while others are planning to purchase one. Boating is a great activity that provides countless hours of fun and fresh air. That holds particularly important in these times of uncertainty. If you currently own a boat or are planning to buy one in the near future, it is important to find the best boat insurance policy that will fully cover you if there are any damages or even theft.
The following information will help you understand what boat insurance policies are all about. So without further ado, here is your guide to boat insurance.
Do You Actually Need Boat Insurance?
In most cases, the answer to this question is YES. That being stated, there are situations where your homeowner’s insurance policy covers your boat, but they are extremely limited. For example, homeowner’s policies are characteristically caped at $1,000. On top of that, liability coverage, the main component that pays for damage to both your boat and others, is not usually included under your homeowner’s policy. If you own the following type of boat, you do not need boat insurance coverage….
- Boats with small engines
- Any other type of small, slow and inexpensive vessel
If you own the following type of boat, you do need boat insurance coverage….
- Jet Boats
- Large Sailboats
- Personal watercraft such as Jet Ski’s
- Any type of boat that has the capability to go over 25 miles per hour
What To Expect From Your Boat Insurance Policy
First and foremost, liability coverage is the most important piece of the boat insurance pie. In essence, it pays for any damages to the boat itself. For example, if the boat is in an accident while on the water, or being transported to the water, the liability section of your boat owners policy will coverage the damages or replacement costs. Liability coverage also provides financial protection for you if a third party is injured in any manner as a direct result of your boat.
For example, if a guest is injured while on your boat, the liability section of your boat owner’s policy covers the costs if you are sued in a court of law. It also covers their medical expenses. However, there are a few items that the liability coverage does not cover. For example, it does not cover normal wear and tear to the boat, damage caused by mold/insects/ and zebra mussels, or any damage that is caused from sharks and other sea dwelling creatures. In addition, there are two (2) types of damage coverage that you can purchase as part of your boaters insurance policy.
The Actual Cash Value pays you for the value of your boat at the time it is damaged. The amount is not based on the purchase price of your boat. It is based on the current market value of your boat. Your insurance company will determine the current market value based on a plethora of factors such as recent sales prices of same of similar models, age, and deprecation to name a few. The other type of damage coverage is called Agreed Amount Value.
If your boat is completely ruined as in totaled, your insurance company will pay you an amount of money that both you and the insurer agreed upon when taking out the policy or updating it. If repairs can be made to your boat, the insurance company will replace the broken items with brand new ones without making a deduction for depreciation. Typically speaking, Agreed Amount Value is the more expensive option because it provides the best benefit.
In conclusion, if you own a boat, you need to have the proper boat insurance policy in place. Please consult with a professional insurance agent that specializes in providing boat owners insurance. It is important to fully understand exactly what you are buying when it comes to insurance policies. If you have any questions, please call (508) 831-0133 to contact an associate at Zawada Insurance. We are happy to walk you through the details of your insurance policies and explain your coverage options. We look forward to helping you with all of your personal and or business related insurance needs now and in the future.