Watercraft Insurance Essentials: Six Things You Need to Know

watercraft insurance

With summer around the corner, it is time to remove the tarps from the boat. This is an ideal opportunity to give it a good clean, and check everything is still working as it should. The emergency radio is particularly important. Remember to give the battery a good charge and test it carefully. Safety comes first when out on the water.

However, despite our best efforts we do need insurance cover, if we accidentally strike a concealed sand bar and damage the boat. This could also lead to whiplash injuries. Did I hear you say, “That’s okay. I checked, and my homeowner’s covers boats.” Unfortunately, most homeowner policies only extends coverage to canoes and small boats. If you have anything larger, you may need to shop for watercraft insurance.

The Six Things You Need to Know about Watercraft Insurance

1. Separate coverage is essential if your craft has anything more than a clip-on outboard motor. The same applies if you have a yacht that is a bit like insuring a house and contents. Your policy should cover collision, capsizing, explosion, fire, storms, theft, and sinking. Remember to ask.

2. There are two types of liability protection available to boat owners. Personal liability protects you against your legal obligations to third parties in terms of property damage, injuries and legal costs. Medical payments insurance is for medical, hospital, and ambulance expenses. Make sure these are all covered.

3. A boat owner’s insurance contract should be comprehensive. This means everybody aboard at the time of the insurable incident benefits. When shopping around, ensure the benefits include liability, property damage, physical injury and medical assistance. Compare the caps and excesses.

4. Watercraft insurance for loss or damage forms the second important aspect of boat owner’s insurance. Replacement boats are expensive and the other party may not have cover if they caused the incident. Make sure the policy includes the boat, the motor, associated equipment, and the trailer. Read the exclusions carefully.

5. Add-on coverages are available to complement these basics. Your broker can advise whether you need protect yourself against emergency recovery, wreck recovery, maintenance costs, and reasonable repairs. If your watercraft is valuable, then you should also consider umbrella cover that closes any gaps.

6. Some companies allow the contract to suspend during winter periods when you have the boat in storage. While this may immediately appeal, this could temporarily remove your insurance against fire and theft too. Moreover, if the kids take your boat out on the water in winter without your knowing, you would have no insurance if something untoward happens.
It thus may make more sense to seek other ways to bring down the cost of your watercraft insurance.

Which Watercraft Coverage is Right for You?

A trusted insurance adviser guides you through the benefits of taking additional safety precautions. We count among these having approved, maintained fire extinguishers, using lower risk diesel, and doing an approved safety course administered by the Red Cross, or Coast Guard. Remember your safety gear before casting off.

Hotwire Insurance Services, a full-service independent agency, works for you and not insurance companies and does not charge a broker’s fee. Hotwire Insurance Services local agents can answer all your insurance requests.

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