If you own a boat, then you are probably already aware of all of the additional expenses that can come up without any prior warning. Having the proper boating insurance is the best way to make sure that you are not caught off guard in the event of an accident or other damage involving your boat. While there are plenty of resources to compare rates for boating insurance online, choosing the best policy for you requires a little more research to make sure that you are getting all of the coverage you need.
1. Do not rely exclusively on your homeowner’s insurance policy.
It is a common misconception that you do not need insurance for your boat because it would already be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. While you may have limited coverage under this policy, it is likely not enough to be able to cover the full extent of damage caused by a boating accident. Before you shop for boating insurance, find out specifically what is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.
2. Find out exactly what a boating insurance policy will cover.
While you would almost certainly be covered for damage from an incident involving a collision with your boat, you will not have coverage for any mechanical failures or defects with the boat’s engine.
3. Decide whether an actual cash value or an agreed amount value is better for you.
There are two kinds of damage coverage for a boat that you can typically choose from. With actual cash value, you will receive a settlement check from your insurance provider in the amount of the value of your boat right before it was damaged or destroyed. On the other hand, with agreed amount value coverage, you will receive a settlement in the amount that you and your insurer agree on beforehand.
4. Make sure that you understand the navigational limits of your policy.
According to Anchor Marine Underwriters, almost every boating insurance policy will come with navigational limits that will dictate how far you are able to take your boat off shore. This is a very important restriction in your boating insurance policy to understand because if you have an accident with your boat outside of the navigational limits set forth in your insurance policy, you will not have coverage for that claim.
5. Make sure that you choose a deductible that you can afford.
In general, if you select a higher deductible, you will be able to pay a lower premium for your policy. The deductible is the amount that you have to pay out of your own pocket when you file a claim for damage to your boat. However, if you select a deductible that is too high for your budget, then you will be stuck without any recovery from your insurance policy in order to have the boat repaired.
6. Make sure that you know the exact dates of any layup periods for your boating insurance policy.
Almost every boat insurance provider will have layup periods during the winter months when you will not be forced to pay the same amount for coverage as you would during summer months. You will be required to store your boat during those periods and are not allowed to navigate it in the water. If you take your boat out on the water during any layup period, then you will be without coverage in the event that your boat is damaged or causes damage to someone else’s property.
7. Make sure that you ask for all available discounts when you sign up for a boating insurance policy.
After you have compared rates on all of your boating insurance policy options, you should make sure that you are also taking full of any discounts that might apply to you. This could include getting a discount for taking a boating safety course, having multiple lines of insurance with the same company or having a boat that is powered by diesel.