Ahh, spring. A time when your mind begins to turn to ……… summer. Ahh, summer ……… a time when your mind turns to ……. boating. Ahh, boating ……. a time when your mind turns to ……. boat insurance!
If you buy a boat this spring/summer and buy it outright, getting boat insurance will be a choice. If you buy a boat and finance any or all of the purchasing dollars, insurance will be required by the lending institution. They want to make sure their investment stays sound as long as possible.
Just like renters insurance covers more than your couch or clothes, boat insurance covers more than just the hull and motor of the boat. Some of the available coverages for boat policies are:
- Boat restoration/replacement, including motor and permanently attached equipment and trailer
- Replacement of personal effects
- Liability coverage
- Water sports coverage
- Roadside assistance
You will have choices as to the level of coverage and can pick and choose which coverage you want at all (outside of #1 which is the one required by your lender).
Beside the lender requirement, you might wonder why buy the insurance at all. The most compelling reasons are those that pop up for boat owners through the boating season (better known as insurance claims):
- On the freeway, boat and trailer comes loose from car hitting following vehicle
- Due to bad electrical, boat catches fire in marina, fire spreads to marina structure and other boats
- Boat pulling and watching skier runs into other boat, sinking both, pilot of other boat drowns
- Boat hits snag, sinking boat
- Boat being piloted by drunk, goes to close to shore at too high a rate of speed, hitting and killing swimmer
I would like to say all of these are thought up and worst case scenario. Unfortunately, they are well documented claims. Boat insurance isn’t just for the boat.