Get the Facts about Insuring Your Boat

Before summer winds down, you may want to go for a few more rides in your boat or other watercraft. Do you know if you have adequate insurance to cover your watercraft? Here are some of the most common questions about insuring boats and other watercraft. Read on to separate facts from fiction.
Does my homeowners insurance cover my boat?
It depends on the size of the boat. If it is small with a little engine or no engine at all, like a sailboat, it may be covered. The larger the boat, however, the more likely it is that you will need separate boater’s insurance. A good rule of thumb: don’t depend solely on homeowners insurance, because it will not cover things like vandalism, or if any of your property is stolen on your boat. When in doubt, review your homeowners policy and check with your insurance carrier to see if you have enough coverage.
What does boater’s insurance cover?
You are covered if you hit another boat, a dock or if you run aground. You will be covered for bodily injury if your boat causes harm to others. Comprehensive coverage protects you from a fire on the boat, if someone steals your boat, vandalism, uninsured boater insurance, and any personal property that you may have on board, such as fishing rods and reels.
What WON’T “all risk” insurance cover?
“All risk” covers most unforeseen events. However, it doesn’t cover things like wear and tear over time, dents, damage from freezing weather, or any defects caused by the manufacturer. That’s why it’s often a good idea to get extra coverage.
What happens if there’s a total loss?
In the case of a total loss, you have the option of getting the replacement cost or cash value for your boat. If your policy is “agreed value,” a total loss means you’ll be paid for the cost of the boat at the time you bought it. This is helpful if you own an older boat. “Market value” will pay you for what the boat is currently worth, not what it was worth when you bought it.
What happens if someone else has an accident on my boat?
Like a homeowners policy, if someone other than you has an accident while on your boat, the policy will cover you for liability.
If I only use my boat during certain months, can I get coverage for only those months?
A boat policy offers you greater flexibility than your typical auto and home insurance, because it allows you to suspend coverage during the times when you’re not using the boat. For example, in Massachusetts, during the winter months, you wouldn’t need to pay for coverage while the boat is not in use.
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.

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