Posted on: April 13, 2016 Posted by: Comments: 0

Last Updated on October 6, 2022

Who is ready to go out on the boat? Before you head out on the lake or drive to the coast, it’s time to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage for your boat.

More than 11 million recreational vessels were registered by the states in 2014. The U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,064 accidents that involved 610 deaths, 2,678 injuries and $39 million in property damages as a result of recreational boating accidents. And of course, no one thinks an accident will ever happen to them.

Here are a few things to think about before you put your vessel in the water.

Is liability insurance part of a boat owner’s coverage?

Most boat policies provide for liability coverage for a stated limit of liability. The policy responds when an insured becomes legally obligated for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a pleasure boat. The coverage provided may have a few listed exclusions or limitations, which will likely vary depending on the insurance carrier.

What perils are not covered by a typical boat owner’s policy?

Pleasure boat policies or endorsements provide coverage for “all causes of loss” that are not specifically excluded. Some typical exclusions include overheating of engines and corrosion or rust.

How are physical damage losses adjusted?

Policies differ on the settlement of losses. Some offer replacement cost coverage (cost of replacement or repair), actual cash value (cost or replacement or repair, minus depreciation) and agreed value (an amount agreed upon by both parties to pay for total property loss.)

What coverage restrictions may apply?

Some policies contain restricted navigation territories or time frames. If the boat is operated outside these areas or times, the policy may not provide coverage. Find out if your policy includes any of these restrictions and be familiar with them.

What kind of discounts are available?

Various kinds of discounts may be offered to help reduce the cost of insuring your boat. Discounts may be given for attending safety courses (such as those sponsored by the Coast Guard or the American Red Cross), having a claim-free record, and having multiple insurance policies with the same carrier.

While boating can be a safe and enjoyable activity, it’s important to know the rules and regulations of the water, as well as how to operate a watercraft correctly. Before you pack the cooler and the sunscreen, be sure to launch a conversation with your Allen Tate Insurance agent – so you don’t miss the boat when it comes to coverage, limitations and discounts.

Robin Price
President, Allen Tate Insurance
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