Over 75 million Americans engage in recreational boating every single year, and this popular pastime does come with its own fair share of risks. Having boat insurance before getting out on the water is vital, but there are some unique aspects to this type of coverage.
Here is a closer look at exactly what these policies cover and how to get the most out of your premiums.
These policies are almost like combining homeowners insurance with a vehicle policy. Those with large boats such as a yacht will need a policy that closely resembles homeowner’s insurance while smaller recreational boats will require coverage that is much more similar to auto insurance. At the very minimum, boat owners will want to have coverage for bodily injuries and damaged property. This includes injuries that take place on the boat and injuries or deaths that occur to other parties.
Boat owners should understand that there are some aspects to their insurance that are not the same as vehicle and homeowners policies. For most owners, the policies will not extend throughout the year, and the insurance coverage only takes place during the seasons in which the boat is used. Additional coverage can be purchased for any damage that takes place during the off-season.
Another variable is just how quickly a boat’s value depreciates. Much like cars, the moment the boat is turned on and ridden it will quickly go down in value. With an agreed value policy, the owner will have the boat replaced or be given cash value at a price that was agreed upon beforehand. Market value policies will limit their coverage to the current value of the boat and how much it has depreciated.
Owners will need to consider exactly where and when they plan on using their boat when finding the correct policy. Some policies may only cover freshwater locations while others extend only a certain distance out into the ocean.
Owners may also want to inquire about anything they can do to lower their costs such as taking a boating safety course or installing safety features such as a killswitch.
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