Boat ownership can yield several benefits. Not only are these watercrafts capable of providing countless hours of enjoyment and freedom but become a sizable financial investment.
In consideration of such facts, enrolling in an appropriate insurance policy could prove critical to protecting said property and ensuring those who own such holdings from suffering any economic hardship should unforeseen or untoward events occur.
Continue reading to learn six tips geared towards helping boat owners identify and enroll in the most appropriate boat insurance policy.
Boat Type Matters
The type and size of the boat plays a crucial role in the type of policy the owner should invest in. Yachts, fishing vessels, party crafts, sailboats and even small crafts like jet skis are subject to their own specific coverage. Ultra small crafts such as canoes, vessels with especially small engines, and paddle boats typically do not require insurance coverage.
Liability Coverage Is A Must
At the very least, every boat insurance policy should include liability coverage. This safeguards the owner should said individual’s craft be considered accountable for a damage-inflicting collision with another vessel.
That said, there are other provisions industry insiders recommend policyholders might wish to consider including in their individual coverage. Such concerns include oil and fuel pollution, wreck removal, and legal defense fees.
Understand The Provisions
Boat insurance experts caution policyholders to make sure they completely understand policy provisions. Coverage holders should not necessarily feel comfortable enrolling in a basic, generic policy. Said coverage might not provide the safeguards they need or desire.
Prospective policyholders are firmly urged to consult with an experienced boat insurance broker and reveal important facts such as what specific activities their vessel will be used for, how often said craft will be placed into operation, the type of waterway the boat will be sailed on, the type of cargo to be placed aboard, and any other pertinent information. Once the provider has this data at hand, said entity can tailor a policy most befitting of the craft owner’s specific circumstances.
When choosing coverage designed to cover the owner’s losses if involved in an accident or some other type of untoward incident, prospective policyholders must designate a loss settlement provision. Individuals are afforded two options, actual cash value or agreed amount value.
Actual Cash Value
Those who opt for actual cash value are awarded the value the vessel is determined to carry at the time of the incident in question. Insurance adjusters will determine the craft’s value and cut policyholders a check for that specific sum of money.
Agreed Amount Value
If the policyholder’s craft is completely totaled, insurance companies remit said individuals the value the insurance company and policyholder agreed upon when the coverage was first established. Should the boat be relatively salvageable, the provider will cover repairs but not deduct for depreciation.
Insure Other Pertinent Features
Boat insurance experts recommend policyholders also insure other pertinent components, in addition to the craft in question. Important features to safeguard include safety items such as lifejackets, towing accessories like trailers and important electronic equipment including navigational apparatuses.
Granted, this will increase insurance premiums. However, replacing a malfunctioning navigational system or promptly replacing a stolen or damaged trailer will prove critical should such circumstances arise.
Look For Discounts
Insurance providers often offer various discounts. Specific bargains might be afforded to policyholders who meet criteria such as owning a craft powered by a diesel engine, holding vehicle or homeowner’s coverage with the provider in question, a clean boating record encompassing no previous insurance claims, and certifications denoting satisfactory completion of safety courses.
Who Offers Boat Insurance?
Boat insurance is offered by numerous well-known providers. That said, industry professionals strongly recommend that craft owners work in conjunction with institutions specializing in boat coverage. Representatives of said establishments possess superior knowledge of the maritime industry and are better equipped to tailor policies befitting the needs of boat owners.