Consumers buy insurance so that many would-be out of pocket expenses are covered when the worst events happen to their material possessions or loved ones. Boats are a costly investment that should be insured as much as your homes or automobiles. Whenever you buy any kind of insurance, it is wise to have a list of questions for the insurance company so that you can better understand the benefits and limits of your policy. These are the most important questions to keep in mind when you are looking to insure your aquatic vessel.
Do I Need Boat Insurance?
Unlike car insurance where every state requires at least some amount of liability insurance, few states require boat insurance of any kind. If insurance is going to be required, it is going to be other entities such as a bank if you are using their assistance for financing or marinas if you plan on using a moore or slip.
While few states require boat insurance, it is still always a good idea to purchase a policy that works for your lifestyle and finances. Similar to auto and home insurance policies, you purchase a boat insurance policy for the unfortunate, unplanned incidents that come with life. With the amount of money that boats often sell at, having a policy to protect that investment and other expenses that come along with any incident that could cause damage such as medical or liability fees make boat insurance a viable and almost necessary option.
Agreed Value or Cash Value?
This is the most important financial question to bring up with your insurance provider. The answer to this question will dictate how much money you will receive when you file a claim for the total loss of your boat. Under agreed value, the insurer will pay out the value that you and the insurer have previously agreed upon. Cash value, meanwhile, involves the insurance company calculating how much the boat is worth after depreciation and wear and tear overtime. Understanding the differences and which your policy uses is crucial.
What other kinds of coverage does my policy cover?
Liability, property, medical, and uninsured/underinsured coverages are important options to consider when choosing a policy. These coverages can help cover other costs not in your base policy. Figuring out which types of coverage are most compatible with your lifestyle will help you come out ahead financially.
Is Emergency Assistance Included?
Most boat insurance policies do not include emergency assistance, but it can be extremely helpful in a pinch. Emergency assistance for your boat can help you when you are stuck out on the water, and some policies extend to off the water assistance. Understanding if this is included can save you the headache when these types of situations arise.
What is my Coastline Average?
Many policies don’t include open-ocean coverage, so knowing how far off the coast your policy covers is an important fact to know. If your policy only covers 100 miles outside the American coast, staying within that boundary will ensure your policy applies and keep your finances stable.
In order to save money, this is always a good question to ask that you can only benefit from. Most insurance companies will offer a discount if you hold another type of policy with them, but these may not be the only discounts you are eligible for. Sometimes taking extra steps such as taking boat safety courses can have the insurance companies offer a lower rate.
Insurance is bought for when the worst happens. Boats are a costly investment, so it is always better to be prepared with an insurance policy tailored to your lifestyle. By asking these questions, you become a more informed consumer that is better able to make intelligent decisions attached to your policy.