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Boat Insurance: What you need and why

boatBoating season is just around the corner. Here’s some FAQ’s we often get about how to protect you, your boat and others, so you can enjoy your time on the water!

Are all boat insurance policies the same? No. There are different types of boat insurance. Sailboats, water-ski boats, fishing boats, cruisers and personal water craft each may have different insurance requirements.

Won’t my homeowner’s insurance cover my boat? Many homeowners policies often will have a minimal amount of coverage for really small boats like a sailboat. Also, your homeowners insurance may provide limited coverage if the boat is damaged while parked on your property, but it may not cover stolen contents or vandalism. Discuss with your agent ways to protect your boat additional risks with things like an umbrella policy.

What does boat insurance cover? A boat policy covers:

  • liability if someone is injured on your craft
  • bodily injury that your boat inflicts on others
  • property damage your boat inflicts on docks and other boats
  • physical damage to your boat should you hit something or run aground.

You can also purchase comprehensive coverage against theft, vandalism, fire and flood, personal property coverage for your fishing gear, uninsured boater insurance and even roadside assistance in the event you need a tow.

What about the months I don’t use my boat? Do I need to insure it? A boat policy may allow you to “lay up” or suspend coverage for specified periods when you’re not using the boat. Discuss with your agent the trade-offs to suspending coverages.

What is “Agreed value” vs. “market value” or “actual cash value”? With agreed value, the insured and insurer agree on the value of the boat upfront. If something happens to the boat, you’re going to get paid up to the agreed value. With market value or actual cash value, the boat depreciates; so if the boat is destroyed, you’re going to get enough money to replace the boat’s (current) value. Owners of newer boats and boats that are financed typically go with agreed value. Owners of older boats may consider cash value.

Is my boat covered when I’m trailering it?

When the boat is attached to your car or truck, you are covered by your auto policy should you back into somebody. Note, you are only covered to the limits of that auto policy. Always check those amounts with your agent.

What if my boat isn’t worth much. Do I still need insurance?
You should never be without adequate liability insurance. Accidents do happen and you could be in a situation where someone is seriously hurt or you caused major damage to another boat or facility.

Have more questions on insuring your boat? Always talk to a reputable independent agent who can provide you with choices. We are happy to help. We can be reached at 603-273-0953 or www. Keslarinsurance.com.

 

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