As you sail across the sunny waters, with the wind on your face and away from all the corporate world demands, having to worry about your boat insurance would not be a desirable thought. Though owning a boat brings a sense of freedom in the waters, having the right paperwork is important in guaranteeing this feeling.
Having boat insurance is not only law in some states, but it’s also, in a sense, a form of social responsibility. You show care for your boat and the other vessels and people with which you share the waters.
What Is Boat Insurance?
Just like every other insurance cover, boat insurance is all about a set of risks. The insurance cover is tailored around boats and the aquatic environment. Unlike popular belief, boat insurance is also responsible for boats while on dry land.
Depending on agreed-upon terms like the boat’s valuation and an assessment of the operating environment, boat insurance covers several damage claims. The boat’s valuation and setup or premiums take the rate of depreciation in the boat’s value.
How Does Boat Insurance Work?
When purchasing a boat insurance policy, coverage amounts are usually agreed upon depending on the boat’s valuation, the type of cover, and the risks present in the operations environment.
If a risk insured against occurs, you report the occurrence and then file a claim to receive payments to cover for the loss. Some of the possible risks associated with having a boat and an insurance policy may cover that include:
- Property damage can be on the boat or caused by the boat as a result of collisions.
- Bodily harm or injury that is experienced when you are on the boat.
- Theft of the boat or parts of it.
Boat insurance cover works by providing coverage for the following risk instances:
- The coverage will cater for damages up to the extent of the policy, in instances where you are responsible for the damages caused.
- If a different boat is responsible for the damages suffered by your boat, the other boat owner’s insurance will cover the damages caused.
- If the owner of a different boat is responsible for the damages to your boat, and they do not have boat insurance of their own, uninsured boater’s coverage will cover the damages. This coverage takes effect only if you had it before the incident and when the other boater responsible does not have boat insurance of their own.
Boat insurance policies vary in terms of cost, as well as the coverage of the policy. This depends on the understanding you’d have with your insurer. The factors that would determine how much your boat insurance policy would cost you include:
- The type of environment in which you are using your boat: This can be on inland water surfaces or in the open seas.
- What other additional coverages you have from your insurer: The more coverage options you’ve signed up for, the more likely your insurer is to give a discount with every option.
- The motor size of your boat and the form of powering: Bigger motors cost much more than other boat types.
- The boat’s age and size: Just like cars, boats depreciate rather fast. Except in cases where the boat to be insured is an iconic piece, boats tend to depreciate the older they get. This depreciation is because some of the boat’s functionalities seem to wear out with time.
Why Do You Need to Carry Your Boat Insurance?
To save on premium costs, most boat owners cancel their boat insurance payments in seasons like winter, when they are not using their boats as much. Though it might seem a sensible thing to do on a short-term basis, this proves to be quite expensive when you consider the policies’ renewal costs.
Having your boat’s insurance policy payments up to date might seem hectic and even expensive, but it’s sure worth the while. Here are some of the reasons why as a boat owner, you should carry your boat insurance.
There Are Risks on and off the Water
Being a boat owner, you may not always have time to get your boat to the water. If you live relatively far from the waterfronts, you may not want to entertain the risks involved with leaving your boat unattended on the docks. This means that for most parts of the year, your boat is highly likely to be off the water, probably stored up in your garage.
Though the seas and inland water bodies alike are packed with risks that may harm your vessel, research shows that most damages to boats occur on dry land. When you carry your up-to-date boat insurance both on and off boating seasons, it may come quite in handy. Some common forms of risk that occur on dry land include vandalism, fires, theft, and road accidents when the boat is being transported. Having boat insurance covers all these.
Natural Disasters and Accidents Are Always a Risk
Though you can avoid personal and other human-related forms of risk by being extra cautious, the same cannot be said about the dangers resulting from mother nature. Whether out on the sea or dry land, your boat is always at risk of being damaged as a result of natural occurrences. At sea, your boat might be overpowered by a storm, while on land, lightning might strike a tree sending it tumbling towards your garage.
Depending on the arrangements on your boat insurance cover, it is possible to have coverage that covers
An assortment of natural disasters. You should keep up such coverage to date since you cannot tell when and where mother nature might choose to strike.
There’s Limited Boat Coverage in Other Forms of Insurance
While your home insurance policy would cover for damages that occur in your home, even if your boat were on the property and part of the damages, the coverage would be minimal. Having stand-alone boat insurance coverage would ensure that your boat is adequately covered. In some conditions, there are even instances of double pay up by different insurers if you have both the homeowners’ insurance policy and the boat insurance coverage.
It May Be Part Of Your Boat Financing Requirements
For boat owners who are yet to clear their boat purchase payments, it may be part of the seller’s requirements that they get and maintain a boat insurance policy during the entire payment period.