When shopping for boat insurance, you may be surprised to find that there are different types of boat insurance policies available. Many insurance companies will only offer one standard watercraft liability coverage policy, while others will offer optional coverage that you can purchase. In fact, if you have financed your boat, your lender may require you to carry specific optional coverage. There are several different types of coverage that you can add to your policy.
The standard insurance is the watercraft liability insurance coverage which is required by many states. This insurance will cover you in the event that damage is caused to another person or another person’s property by actions taken with your boat whether it is during transport or on the water. Again, many states now require this liability coverage, and each state has its own requirements as to how much liability coverage you need to have. Check with your insurance agent to find out what you are required to have.
Watercraft medical payments coverage may also be required in your state. This coverage pays the medical expenses, up to a specific amount, for you and any occupant of your boat which results from a covered accident. Even if this insurance is not required, you should definitely consider it. Medical expenses are quite high. If you think that you cannot afford this coverage, think about whether or not you could afford the medical bills you will have in the event of an accident without the coverage.
Wreck removal and pollution coverage should also be strongly considered. By law, if your vessel is wrecked or sinks, you will be required to remove it. If oil or gas leaks into the lake, river, or ocean, you will be fined ñ just like the big oil companies are fined when they have spills in the ocean! These fines, as well as the wreckage removal and spill cleanup can be quite expensive without this coverage. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that something like this won’t happen to you!
You should insure yourself against uninsured watercrafts as well. This works just like uninsured motorist insurance when you purchase coverage for your automobiles. If someone who does not have insurance ñ or adequate coverage ñ collides with your boat on the water, your insurance will pay for the replacement of your boat, or for the needed repairs.
Towing and assistance coverage should also be strongly considered. Getting towed back to shore often costs more than having a car towed to a garage! Especially if you are out in the middle of the ocean! You should also ask about coverage to recover your boat and protect it from further damage after a mechanical failure or an accident. These costs do indeed add up. Again, don’t make the mistake of thinking that nothing bad will happen, and don’t make the mistake of thinking that you cannot afford the coverage. If you can’t afford the coverage, you certainly won’t be able to afford these expenses!
Most insurance policies should cover your boat, the motor, and the trailer used to transport the boat. Liability coverage isn’t the only type of coverage that you need in most cases. You should make sure that you protect your boat, just as you protect your automobiles with coverage that includes theft and vandalism, as well as losses caused by storms, fire, sinking, capsizing, stranding, collision, and even explosions. Talk with your insurance agent to find out what type of insurance is required by your state and what type of coverage they offer. Also talk with your boat dealer and lender to find out what type of coverage you are required to have as well.
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