Why You Need Boat Insurance
Some people simply overlook boat insurance. They think that nothing bad is going to happen, when in reality, bad things often happen involving boats! If you own a boat, you need boat insurance. In fact, many states now require boat owners to carry Watercraft Liability insurance before they transport or operate a boat. If your boat has been financed, your lender will almost always require you to carry full coverage boat insurance. Again, most people don't think anything bad will happen – but bad things do indeed occur! Vandalism is one problem that you may encounter. This is especially true if you dock your boat in a marina.
Vandalism can also occur when you park your boat at your home, or at a hotel when traveling. When you shop for insurance, make sure that vandalism is covered on your policy. Most issuers of boat insurance will only offer you the Watercraft Liability – but in most cases, you need more coverage than that! Theft is another possibility. Cars are stolen all the time – but boats are stolen as well. In fact, stealing a boat is easier than stealing a car! Boat insurance should cover you in the event of vandalism, theft, sinking, fire, storms, capsizing, stranding, collision, and explosion.
Furthermore, the insurance should cover the boat, the motor, and the trailer used to transport the boat. The boat should be covered no matter who is operating the boat, as long as they are legally allowed to operate the vessel. Boat insurance will typically cover you in the event of malfunction as well. If something happens to your motor, it should be covered by your insurance. It should also cover you in the event that your boat needs to be towed back to shore. What you are covered for depends on what type of coverage you purchased through your insurance agent. For this reason, it is important to know what type of coverage is available. Not all insurance companies will offer all types of coverage, but they will offer Watercraft Liability and Watercraft Medical payments. Watercraft liability covers you just like car liability insurance protects you in the event of an accident where you are found to be at fault. Medical payments will cover medical expenses incurred by you and the occupants of your boat that are the result of a boating accident in the covered water vessel.
Optional insurance usually includes coverage for reasonable repairs, emergency services to your boat, motor, or boat trailer, and wreck removal. Wreck removal is very important coverage to have. If you boat sinks, it will need to be raised before an insurance company can access the damages and pay your claim. This is very expensive, and in most states, the law requires you to remove wrecked or sunken vessels. Boats may be luxury items – but they are very expensive luxury items. Repairing or replacing a boat may not be something that you can easily afford – but in most cases, you will find that boat insurance is quite affordable. However, if you are thinking in terms of cost, and you think that you cannot afford the boat coverage, you can be certain that you will not be able to afford to repair or replace the boat either! No matter how you look at it, you need boat insurance, even if you just purchase the watercraft liability coverage. Again, most states now require this liability coverage for water vessels, and if the boat is financed, the optional coverage may be required as well. Discuss your boat insurance coverage needs with your insurance agent to determine what coverage is right for you and your boat.