You have spent years perusing showrooms and admiring your friends’ boats. Now, it is finally your turn to make one of the most exciting purchases you have ever made – a new boat. As you dream of memories made on one or more of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, it occurs to you, “Do I need boat insurance or will my homeowners insurance provide adequate coverage?” It is a question many new boaters find themselves asking, and one in which the answer may surprise you. Click here to continue reading and find why forgoing boat insurance could spell financial disaster downstream.
An Insurance Mistake You Don’t Want to Make
Imagine you declined purchasing boat insurance, assuming your homeowners insurance will protect your watercraft while it is stored at home, and your auto insurance will protect it on the road. You assume this leaves you vulnerable while on the water, but you ignore the risk since you only plan to use the boat on a private lake with very little traffic. Then one day, a boater that has had a few too many comes out of nowhere and hits the side of your watercraft, sinking it and all of your belongings. Fortunately, everyone is okay and was wearing a life jacket, but you discover the boater that caused the accident is uninsured. Not only are you facing wreckage removal and environmental hazard fees, but you also have no one who will pay to replace your $35,000 watercraft.
If this scenario seems far-fetched, consider this: your homeowners and auto insurance policies are not likely to provide much relief if you are involved in a loss or collision at home or on the road. As the Insurance Information Institute reports, most homeowners insurance policies typically have very low caps on coverage and will only insure small boats and motorized watercraft with motors up to 25 HP. So while it may be enough to replace a couple of kayaks or a small sailboat that burns in your garage, it is unlikely to cover your pontoon boat or jet-skis. Similarly, if your boat is damaged or destroyed in a roadway collision, your auto insurer is unlikely to come to the rescue and will instead defer you to your boat insurance company.
Purchasing Boat Insurance
For most of us, boat insurance should be a separate policy with customized coverage and terms. A policy can be purchased according to each individual’s needs simply by discussing your boating habits with your insurance agent. This may include coverage for a boat trailer, as well as other related gear like tubes, skis and fishing rods. It can also include Uninsured boater protection, which will reimburse you if you are injured or your boat is damaged due to the carelessness of other boaters with inadequate coverage, or no coverage at all.
At the very minimum, all boat insurance policies should provide liability protection, which is essential to ensure you are not financially liable for property damage or injuries for which you are at-fault. Even the safest boaters can have accidents from time to time, and liability protection can ensure you do not have to liquidate your savings accounts or sell assets to pay for another person’s medical expenses or lost wages.
If you are unsure as to what type of boat insurance you need or how much coverage is right for you, contact our office. We can help review your existing coverage, or find a new watercraft policy that is right for you. Call today or request your free, no-obligation boat insurance quote. We look forward to serving you soon.