Summer is almost here and so is Boating Season!

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Summer is almost here and so is Boating Season!

Can you feel it? Summer is right around the corner and so is boating season! Is your boat adequately protected by boat insurance? Whether you’re a fisherman, skier, or just love taking your boat out away from land for a swim, boat insurance is a must-have!

If you have recently purchased a boat, you were required by the lender to carry liability and physical damage on the boat – however – some people pay cash and just assume that their homeowner’s policy will provide the necessary coverage. That is definitely not the case! There is a need for a separate boat policy because it is unique in the coverage it offers. Keep in mind that you can get a discount if you insure your home, auto and boat with the same provider.

If someone is injured on your watercraft or there are damages to third parties caused as the result of a boating accident, you’re a boat policy provides coverage for liability. Coverage is also available for uninsured boaters and personal injury protection or medical payments (depending on your state). Comprehensive and collision coverage can also be included.

Some personal effects coverage for fishing equipment and other personal property you keep on the boat is also covered under the policy. When you purchase comprehensive and collision, towing and labor coverages are also available.

You should be aware of “lay-up” periods that your insurance company may put on your policy since a boater’s policy is different from a home or auto policy.  The “Lay-up” period means that coverage is suspended for specified periods when you’re not using your boat. Unbeknownst to you, you may innocently answer a question on an application stating that you don’t use your boat from November 1 to March 1 – and then – one day you take your boat out in November and have an accident. You call your insurance agent only to find out that you don’t have coverage. I would suggest for your own peace of mind, to have a boat insurer that covers your boat year round with no “lay-up” periods listed.

Now, let’s discuss another important liability issue to be aware of – transporting your boat on a trailer. What coverage is provided while you’re transporting your boat on a trailer? Your vehicle’s liability insurance is the policy that provides coverage because it’s attached to a vehicle and transported on land. Let’s say your boat becomes detached and causes property damage, bodily injury or God forbid loss of life. These coverages are limited to your auto liability limitations. This is why I suggest having an umbrella liability policy that extends over your auto and boat because if damage is caused while your boat is being transported, there is an additional layer of coverage over your auto insurance limits. You are also protected by this additional layer of liability on the water when you add the extended coverage.

Make sure to pay attention to navigational limits placed on your policy. Specifications should state inland waters of the US and Canada or coastal waters of the US and Canada. Depending on the carrier and the type of boat, these navigational limits will vary so make sure not to navigate your boat into excluded waters that have security and political risks.

Is your boat insured? Now is the time to either review your existing policy or purchase a new one to make sure that you’re covered during this summer’s busy boating season. Give me a call – I’ll walk you through the process.

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