Simple Tips to Get the Right Insurance for Your Boat

If you are like most boat owners, then you believe only the best boat insurance will do. Unfortunately, buying boat insurance can feel like navigating stormy waters when you don’t understand a few basics. Use this checklist to make sure you encounter nothing but smooth sailing when buying or renewing your boat insurance policy:

Inside or outside? Collect basic information about where and how the boat will be stored when not in use. Is it secure? Weather protected? At home? Out of state? These and other location considerations can increase or decrease the cost of boat insurance substantially.

Exclusions and limitations? Always ask about exclusions or limitations to boat insurance coverage, especially if you have custom work or a rare vintage boat. Other common clauses to specifically review include those covering liability, boat trailer coverage, and hired workers performing labor or repairs to the boat on your behalf. It is often possible to purchase additional riders to make sure coverage is adequate for your needs.

Personal property coverage? Don’t assume your personal property, fishing gear or other belongings are covered by the boat insurance. Most policies require additional coverage, or these items may fall under another policy, such as homeowners insurance. When in doubt, ask your agent.

Perils? Vandalism, wrecks and physical damage are typically covered, but what about sinking, storm damage or hail? You might be surprised to learn that it often depends on the type of boat, your usage and other factors.

June 2009