Boat Insurance Basics – Insurance for Boats

Boat owners have one thing in common; they love the water. If this is true of you as well, then you will find owning a boat to be an exciting, satisfying experience. However, when you decide to purchase a boat, it comes with its own set of risks. Unforeseen circumstances, such as a storm, damage that causes sinking, collision, or theft, can suddenly cost you large amounts of money if you were not properly insured. A variety of risks cause financial burden because of the damage they cause to your boat, including its many components. There’s also a risk of bodily injury to others, and damage to other vessels. Protect your finances by obtaining adequate insurance coverage for your boat, so that you can enjoy your time on the water without worry.

Types of Boat Insurance Coverages

When owning a boat, it’s imperative to understand boat insurance basics. Due to an assortment of risks associated with owning and operating a boat, you also have a range of options when searching for the right insurance policies. The following is a list of the types of boat insurance coverages available:

Agreed Value Hull Coverage – When you purchase your boat, you have the option of selecting an agreed value hull coverage, which means the policy will cover a total loss amount, as agreed upon prior to receiving the insurance policy.

Total Loss Settlement Endorsement – Having a new boat can cause a lot of worry when you think of what might happen if you have a complete loss. In this event, the total loss settlement endorsement will step in and provide you with a percentage of the amount of insurance in order to replace your boat.

Elective Actual Cash Value Hull Coverage – In the case of a total loss of your watercraft, the elective actual cash value hull coverage will provide you with depreciation on your boat. When you choose this type of coverage, you are able to choose from a variety of coverage types that corresponds with a premium you can afford.

Liability – If you are looking for basic coverage in the case of an accident that may cause property damage or an injury, you can purchase a liability policy.

Increased Limits – After choosing adequate liability coverage, you can extend the limits set forth by the policy according to your expected risks for a broader range of protection. So if you have a boat accident that causes property damage which goes far beyond your general liability limits, having increased limits would provide you with more coverage and therefore cost you less money out-of-pocket.

Annual Policy – As opposed to some other insurance policies that are only available during certain seasons, an annual policy will provide no-hassle coverage year-round, regardless of the time of year.

Toxic Waste Liability – Owning a boat means that it’s important to not only know boat insurance basics, but also how it can negatively impact the environment, if not careful. Keeping the ocean clean is an important concern of boaters. By owning a boat, you are risking spilling oil or fuel from your vessel which can lead to possible lawsuits, even if it was an accident. Toxic waste liability coverage protects you against accident-related pollution.

Personal Property – At any given time, you will have a variety of personal property items on your boat, from swimsuits and wetsuits, to fishing gear and safety gear; a personal property policy protects the personal property from damage that might result in the loss of property. 

Medical Expenses – Accidents happen, and an unfortunate side effect is the potential harm or injury it can cause to you or anyone on your boat at the time. If your boat comes into contact with another boat or is involved in another type of accident, and someone on the boat gets harmed, a medical expenses policy covers the cost of medical care. 

Uninsured Watercraft – If you are involved in an accident with another boat, and they don’t have insurance, then you are responsible for the cost of repairs to your own boat. However, if you have an uninsured watercraft policy, you will have adequate protection against boat owners without insurance. 

Water Sports Liability – You and your friends are likely to participate in water sports after owning a boat, such as wakeboarding or waterskiing, and you should have insurance to cover possible accidents which lead to property damage or bodily injury. Many times, water sports liability is included in a general liability policy. 

Trailer Coverage – If you plan to tow your boat to other locations, as may be necessary from time to time, trailer coverage offers protection if something happens to damage the trailer. 

Wreckage Removal – If you get involved in an accident with your boat and there is required removal of wreckage, the wreckage removal policy covers the cost of removing such items.

Enjoy your financial freedom and boating adventures by giving yourself peace of mind with insurance policies that will cover a variety of risks associated with owning a boat. By choosing these types of coverages, you can have a fun time with your boat, and not worry about accidents that can occur.