Boat owners love the freedom of traversing in a body of water. Navigating an inland lake or the wide sea makes an individual believe that his future and possibilities are endless. This sense of freedom doesn’t mean that boat owners should take for granted the importance of getting boat insurance. As a boat owner, it is your responsibility to your family and other boaters to have insurance that can protect you and others from possible financial liability.
It is crucial to have insurance policy coverage beyond the usual coverage offered by most insurance providers. In fact, most boat owners think that their watercraft is covered under their homeowner’s insurance policy until they experience a loss. For this reason, if you own a power boat, a fishing boat, a yacht, or other forms of watercraft, you should look for insurance with specialized coverage that isn’t usually available in other policies.
When choosing a boat insurance policy, there are two basic sections you need to focus on:
Physical Damage Section: This section covers loss or damage done to the watercraft and its machinery in case of an accident. This section does not only cover the engine and the hull. It also covers the sails and other equipment inside the watercraft.
Liability Section: This section is usually known as Protection and Indemnity. This offers coverage for your legal obligations to third parties. This may cover bodily injury, damage to another individual’s property, loss of life. This section also offers coverage for your legal defense in case a lawsuit arises.
The coverage offered by standard boat and watercraft insurance include:
- Damage to the boat’s engines
- Loss or damage done by some latent defects
- Damage to the mast from racing
- Personal effects
- Accidental damage, such as fire, theft, collision, and sinking
What Should I Look For In A Boat Insurance Policy?
- According to Accredited Insurance Group Inc, actual cash value policies won’t replace your boat if it gets stolen or destroyed. This means that you should look for a policy with agreed value coverage which can give you the value you insured the watercraft for but less any deductible.
- It is also recommended to assess the expensive parts of the boat. Look for a policy that covers those parts in case it gets damaged or destroyed. You should also consider the deductions that may apply when claiming insurance.
- Make sure that you know where you are covered in the water. This means that you need to make sure that the policy covers the waters you wish to sail into.
- Look out for any exclusion in the insurance policy. Keep in mind that all insurance policies have exclusions, so carefully read the fine print. The usual policy exclusions are the following:
- Damage caused by wear and tear
- Deterioration due to age of the watercraft
- Willful misconduct
- Machinery damage after a breakdown
- Theft- unless proper security precautions were taken
- Watercraft damage due to corrosion or osmosis
You should also consider getting a policy that covers fuel spill. For instance, your watercraft might sink or accidentally spills oil. You will be responsible for the cleanup which might result in huge costs.
The author, Kris Lim, is a boat enthusiast who encourages other boat owners to purchase the right boat and watercraft insurance to ensure protection against losses and liabilities.
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