Navigating boat insurance
Let’s start with some quick facts. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association:
- one in 10 Americans owns a boat
- 79 percent of those owners earn less than $100,000 year
- 95 percent of these boats are less than 26’ in length, and can thus be transported via trailer
As you can see, if you are looking for affordable coverage for your boat, you are hardly alone. Fortunately, with some help from your independent agent, the right plan is not too hard to find.
Do I need it?
Yes. Some states legally require it, and a quick internet search can reveal if yours does. But more importantly, without it, you could be on the hook for major costs related to liability or repairs in the event of an accident. If you ever have to make a claim, the average is $11,000.
How much do I need?
Similar to cars, boats lose value when in use. That’s why it’s important to remember these two terms: agreed value and market value. Insuring for market value factors in depreciation, and thus can be a money saver. However, if you intend to replace your boat with something new in the event of a total loss, you’ll want to insure it for its agreed value, so you’ll have enough to purchase a replacement.
Protection for your boat – and from others
So, as we mentioned before, there are a lot of boats out there. Unfortunately, not every boater is going to be as conscientious as you. In fact, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, the leading type of boating accidents is collision with a recreational vehicle. That’s why it’s important to protect yourself against other vessels and operators who may not be carrying the right level of insurance. Uninsured and underinsured watercraft liability option provides coverage for loss that you or other occupants of your watercraft experience from a claim involving an un-/underinsured boater.
More than just boats
You may regularly transport your boat from your home to a dock or marina. If so, boat insurance may help protect your trailers and other equipment, too. One example is watercraft physical damage endorsement, which provides physical damage coverage for eligible watercraft as well as trailers.
All aboard for coverage
You can protect what’s on your boat, too. With an additional unattached equipment endorsement, you can increase coverage limits for equipment like fuel tanks, tools, cook stoves, convenience lights, covers, detachable canopies and similar accessories.
Inexperienced or inattentive operators are the leading contributors to boating accidents. So stay safe, and stay alert. Much like teens and driver’s ed courses, taking a boating class can help you reduce not just your insurance premium, but the risk of getting in an accident.
It’s kind of like a canopy
Once your boat is out of the water, its insured status can get vague. For instance, if you are driving your boat on a trailer, and get into an accident, the coverage in your auto policy takes effect. However, your boat insurance often does not factor in. So, to make sure you are covered both in water and on land, consider an umbrella policy. It’s expanded liability coverage that can help cover you in this scenario (and plenty of high-cost scenarios not involving boats as well).
That’s a boatload of options
Talk to your independent insurance agent today to learn more about (water)crafting the right plan for your boat. The Hanover offers coverage affordable, and easy to add to your existing home and auto policy.
All products are underwritten by The Hanover Insurance Company or one of its insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates (“The Hanover”). Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions and is subject to the company underwriting guidelines and the issued policy. This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage.