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First in Protecting, Your Time on The Water.
Make Sure You Have Boat Insurance to Weather the Storm If you enjoy fishing, sailing, yachting, or cruising around on a powerboat, make sure you have boat insurance that covers your liability risk as well as your watercraft, equipment and passengers. Perhaps you have a lake cabin and like to tow water skiers or tubing enthusiasts. Maybe you have the party boat and every Fourth of July you load up your vessel with guests, food and libations.
Water activities are a great way to bring people together, but it is important to remember that accidents, injuries and fatalities do happen, especially when alcohol is involved. To get the right coverage that will protect your financial investment, work with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network. A local agent who knows the risks and regulations in your area can help ensure that you are fully covered when you head out on the water.
Critical Steps for Boater Safety
- Take a boating safety course
- Educate your passengers on safe boating techniques
- Make sure all passengers wear life vests
- Follow all rules of the waterway you frequent
- Stay sober, particularly if you are at the helm
- Get boat insurance to ensure you are protected for the risks involved in boating, from liability claims to theft, storm damage and capsizing
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How Boat Liability Insurance Protects You
Boating is a great summer pastime and one of the most pleasurable activities for many people who live near lakes, rivers and reservoirs. But what happens if you cause an accident resulting in injury or property damage to someone else on the water?
That’s where boat liability insurance comes in. This important insurance coverage, also called marine liability insurance, helps you to pay for damages you cause, injuries to others, and legal fees if you are taken to court. Find an agent in the Trusted Choice® network today and get the information you need about marine liability insurance before an incident occurs.
Top 4 Boating Accident Causes
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Excessive speed
Boat Liability Insurance Protects You from Financial Disaster
Some of the most common questions when boaters begin looking for coverage include, “How much boat insurance do I need?” and “Will I be covered if I cause an accident or injury?” By their very nature, water sports come with risks. Unfortunately, boaters do cause incidents each year that lead to injuries and property damage, which is why it is important to have adequate liability insurance.
It is a good idea to get an understanding of what liability insurance is, what it covers, and how much you need to protect your financial well-being. Liability insurance protects you if something catastrophic should happen and you are at fault. For example, in the event of a severe injury or casualty due to your actions or even negligence, an adequate amount of liability insurance can protect you financially.
What Does Boat Liability Insurance Cover?
Liability insurance covers several different financial obligations you may have if you are responsible for an incident that results in harm or damage to other people or property. Depending on the policy and the choices you make, this coverage can include:
- Property damage liability: Covers harm done to another person’s boat, dock, water skis or other possessions
- Bodily injury liability: Covers the costs associated with one or more person(s) injuries, such as medical expenses, hospitalization and rehabilitation
- Pollution liability: Covers you in the event of a fuel spill
- Wreckage removal: Covers your legal obligation to remove debris after an incident
Your boat liability insurance will also cover your legal fees in the event that another person or entity files a lawsuit against you. You may have legal defense costs whether or not you are ultimately responsible.
Without adequate liability insurance in place, these expenses would have to come out of your pocket. When medical expenses and legal fees add up, you could be responsible for hundreds of dollars of damages. The primary reason to get adequate marine liability insurance is to protect your finances after an incident.
How Much Marine Liability Insurance Do You Need?
If you cause severe property damage, injuries, or casualty by negligence or inattention, how much will you have to pay if you are sued? Consider the cost of hospitalization, funeral expenses or legal defense fees. If property damage is involved, consider what you may have to pay out of pocket if you accidentally damage an expensive new boat. It is important to consider the possible costs if something tragic should happen.
When you purchase coverage, you will need to choose the limits of your policy and your deductibles. The boat liability insurance limits you choose will determine how much your insurance company will cover before you must pay out of pocket. Your deductible is the amount of money you’re required to pay before insurance kicks in to cover damages.
Boat liability insurance typically covers anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million in damages. It’s wise to discuss how much coverage you need with a knowledgeable agent. A Trusted Choice member agent in your area will be happy to cover these details with you and help you make an educated choice.
Umbrella Liability Policies for Boaters
You may want to ensure you have the coverage you need in the event you cause a catastrophic accident that costs more than your liability policy will cover. An umbrella liability insurance policy is a safety net with a relatively low cost that will kick in to help cover those unforeseen costs.
While a typical boat liability insurance policy caps at a limit of somewhere between $100,000 and $1 million, an umbrella liability policy can provide extra coverage with a much higher limit, such as $10 million worth of liability. Those who take crew on board their speed boat, “party boat” or other type of watercraft find that the extra protection provides peace of mind.
Getting Help with Your Boat Liability Insurance
An independent Trusted Choice member agent can answer any questions you may have about boat liability insurance, umbrella policies and more. You can find a local agent right in your area who knows your state’s requirements for boat insurance coverage.
Independent agents in the Trusted Choice network are based in over 27,000 member agency locations nationwide. They live and work in your community, so they are uniquely invested in providing personalized insurance quotes and excellent customer service just for you. Find a member agent today and get the help you need with boat liability insurance.
There are many different types of boats out there for personal use. You may have a Bowrider, pontoon boat, fishing boat, or a speed boat that you need to insure against loss, theft, damage and liability. It may seem a little overwhelming to look for the right boat insurance for your needs, especially if you are looking for deals and discounts to make your coverage more affordable.
One of the best ways to save on your boat insurance costs is to work with our Personal Risk Advisors in our network. These agents have access to policies from multiple companies and can comparison shop for you to find insurance that matches your needs. With more than 27,000 member agency locations nationwide, there is an independent agent right in your neighborhood. Contact our Personal Lines Department for assistance today.
Top Boat Insurance Discounts
- Multi-line discount for home, auto, travel trailers and so on
- Multi-vehicle discounts for multiple recreational vehicles
- Claims-free discount for those who have never filed an insurance claim
- New business discount for new customers
- Safety boat courses with emergency first aid certification
If you want coverage for damage or loss on your boat, be sure to inquire about the right insurance for you. You may need coverage for your trailer and any contents in the boat such as life jackets, boat covers or after-market additions and upgrades.
The good news is that your boat coverage does not need to be expensive. Smaller boats can be added on to your homeowners insurance in many cases. If it is a larger boat or one that has high value, you may opt to purchase a seperate policy for it. If you get boat coverage from the same insurance company you use for your other policies, you can potentially qualify for a multi-policy discount.
Additional Discounts and Deals You May Qualify For
- Long-time client and new customer discounts: If you have been with the same agent for many years, ask if you qualify for any loyalty discounts for your years of patronage. By the same token, if you are a new customer, be sure to ask if there are any special deals for new business.
- You do need a driver’s license to operate a boat; ask if they have good driver discounts.
- Ask if increasing the deductible could save you money.
- Consider reducing your comprehensive coverage if your boat does not have significant value.
Don’t Skimp on Boat Insurance Coverage
While it may be tempting to insure your boat for the bare minimum, insuring your watercraft for liability and theft may save you money in the long run. For example, your boat liability insurance offers critical protection in the event that you are held responsible for an accident on the water. If someone is severely injured or killed, a resulting lawsuit can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and legal fees.
When looking for low-cost boat coverage, make sure you find ways to save that won’t leave you with huge out-of-pocket expenses after an incident. Working with an independent agent can provide a distinct advantage to you, as you’ll have one-on-one consultation with a local professional who will get to know you personally and be able to identify your needs. An independent member agent and can provide guidance on the best policy at an affordable rate.
Tips for Making your Boat Insurance More Affordable
- Make sure the information such as year, make, model, horse power and the speed threshold is correct.
- Do not over-insure the boat, motor or trailer. Insure it for what it is worth.
- Always read the manufacturers manual. There are usually safety tips on the manufacturers’ websites. Be sure to report any special safety measures to your agent; you may be eligible for a discount.Finally, it really does pay to shop around to find the best deal on your boat insurance. We will do the research for you, as we are affiliated with multiple insurance companies. We will always help you find the best deals on your boat insurance based on your individual needs.
What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
The exact boat coverage you need depends on multiple factors. Small boat insurance is very different from yacht insurance, for example. However, for most types of boats, the three kinds of coverage in a basic boat insurance policy include:
- Bodily injury liability for expenses related to the injury of another person
- Property damage liability for expenses related to harming another person’s property
- Physical damage for damage to your own property, including your boat and trailer.
You also may want to add additional types of coverage to your boat insurance policy in order to fully protect yourself and your property. Here are some examples of additional coverage:
- Property coverage for equipment such as tools, life preservers, anchors and oars
- Insurance for fishing equipment like your rods, lures, nets and tackle
- Towing coverage when your boat becomes disabled and needs servicing
- Medical payments coverage for hospital and funeral expenses for you or your passengers
- Uninsured/underinsured boaters coverage if you have an accident with another boater whose insurance is not sufficient to cover damages
As with all insurance, the amount of benefit or reimbursement you have in the event of an incident is set at the time you buy your policy. Be sure to talk with an experienced independent agent who can make sure you have sufficient insurance for the risks you encounter.
What Kinds of Boats Need to Be Insured?
You can insure just about any kind of vessel, whether you have a yacht, speed boat or personal watercraft (PWC) like a JetSki. Every type of boat has the potential to be stolen or damaged, and can be involved in an incident that results in harm to another person or their property. Even if your boat is docked or stored in your garage, it can potentially be vandalized, damaged in a fire or storm, or stolen.
Many owners of small watercraft such as canoes, rafts and kayaks assume they will be covered under a homeowners or renters policy. This may be the case, up to a specified limit in your home policy. However, when it’s time to make a claim, you don’t want to be surprised to find out that this limit is not adequate to cover the value of your investment.
Be sure to consider the amount of coverage you would need to repair or replace each of your boats and recreational vehicles if damaged or stolen and ask your agent to help you get the right coverage for those items.
Can You Buy Boat Insurance Online?
There is certainly nothing wrong with getting online boat insurance quotes when you are shopping around. Just make sure you are comparing “apples to apples.” For example, if you get multiple online quotes for boat insurance, you could start by making sure that each includes the same amount of liability, property damage and medical coverage.
Buying insurance is a personal matter, and many considerations go into choosing just the right coverage for you. For this reason, many people choose to work with an independent agent who can provide guidance and answer questions. That kind of support can be difficult to find in an insurance call center or online interface.