Typical boat insurance policies have two basic sections: physical damage and liability. Physical damage pertains to accidental loss or damage to the boat and its machinery. Various parts of the boat would be covered in this section of the policy: the hull and engines, sails, personal property, and any other operating equipment that is essential to the boat’s functionality.
Liability Coverage
The liability section of the policy is where you will find your coverages for your legal obligations to third parties, as well as damage caused to someone else’s property as a direct result of operating your boat. For example, let’s say you’re on your boat with your family and some guests. One of the guests on your boat slips and falls, breaking their ankle. The broken ankle would be considered bodily injury. Your policy would also cover you if someone died while on your boat.
Medical Payments Coverage
Another part of a boat insurance policy that is very important is your coverage for medical payments. If the event of an injury to another party, your Medical Payment coverage would cover the costs for any first aid treatments, an ambulance, hospital bills, and any other costs resulting from an injury on your boat. You’ll want to make sure that you have coverages for in place for when people are either coming aboard your boat or if they’re leaving. Always makes sure you have enough coverage on your policy to cover potential injuries to yourself or members of your family.
Uninsured/Underinsured Boat Coverage
When it comes to legal operation of a boat, liability insurance is not required. Therefore, in some instances, it is not unlikely that someone may not be carrying liability insurance on their boat policy. Uninsured/Underinsured Boat Coverage is meant to cover you for injuries sustained that are caused by an operator of another boat that doesn’t have liability insurance on their boat policy.
How Much Will It Cost to Insure My Boat?
This is not a simple question to answer. There are several factors that go into determining the cost of insurance for a boat. For instance, the value, length, and age of the boat; type of boat, type of engine, where you plan to use your boat, and claims history. Naturally, someone who has a long history of filing insurance claims for their boat is going to pay a higher cost than someone who has a clean slate because they are deemed to be higher risk. As is the case with other types of insurance, there are ways to lower the cost of your premium. The easiest, and perhaps most commonly used way is to select a higher deductible for your policy. This is the money you would pay up front out of pocket before your insurance policy kicks in. It may also be possible to include something called a lay-up period which is a period of time in which your boat is not being used (typically during the winter months). Your insurance underwriter may offer a discount for each month you are not using your boat.
Call our office to discuss your options for boat insurance today! We’re here for you!