Owning a boat or personal watercraft is an enriching experience, whether you’re a casual marine hobbyist or enjoy going out on the water daily. However, specific responsibilities come with owning a vessel, and you may be wondering, ‘How do I buy boat insurance?’ Many different aspects go into choosing boat insurance, so it is essential to make an informed choice.
You were searching for insurance for your watercraft but needed help figuring out where to begin. I’d like you to please follow these tips to help you get started so you can make an informed decision when you find the best marine insurance for your needs.
Insure Your Boat: 8 Tips for Your Boat or Personal Watercraft
1. Find the Right Boat Insurance Plan for You
A wide array of vehicles fall under the banner of marine watercraft insurance, so you’ll want to find a policy that fits what you own. Insurance of this type can cover sailboats, jet skis, yachts, and just about everything in between. You can find a policy specifically designed to handle the type of vehicle you own to get coverage tailored to your needs.
The size of your vessel is also essential when finding the right plan. Specifically, a large boat may have a policy stipulating how large of an area you can operate the vehicle within. If your boating takes you out of the premises detailed in your policy agreement, you won’t be covered under that insurance policy for that time.
2. Get an Inspection for an Older Boat
If you’re looking to insure an older boat, there are a few preliminary steps you should take before starting your search for the right policy. You’ll want a professional to look over the boat to see its current condition. Can you have that inspection documented so that all of the details of your vessel are on the record?
This crucial first step will help you get the coverage you need. I think an accurate assessment of the boat’s condition and value provided by the inspection will be helpful for the insurance provider you work with. They’ll be able to use that inspection to get you a policy that matches the vessel that you own.
3. Choose the Type of Coverage You Want
Boat insurance is flexible, so there are several different types of policies you might take out when covering your watercraft. For example, agreed hull value policies are among the most common types of other policies. For this arrangement, you and your insurer will decide on an amount that will be paid out to you in case of a total loss of your vessel. This amount depends on the total value of your vessel.
However, there are different types of coverage if this arrangement differs from what you’re looking for. For instance, you could get an actual cash value policy with a payout that fluctuates based on the market value of your boat rather than a pre-agreed amount. Depending on your needs, you may also want minimal coverage that only applies in cases of injury or damage to property rather than insuring the vessel itself.
4. Consider if Anyone Else Will Operate the Vessel
Your plans for using the vessel may also play into the type of insurance you need. Ask yourself if you’ll let anybody else take the wheel of your vessel before you decide on the right insurance policy for you.
Could you ensure that your coverage includes coverage for other operators before letting anyone else take command of your vessel? It’s also important to note that most states have laws prohibiting minors from operating personal watercraft, which could negate your coverage if you let a minor pilot the vessel.
5. Seek Out Coverage for Any Possible Liability
While the primary concern you may have when looking for insurance is covering your vessel, there are other situations to remember. For example, consider a situation where your boat hits a giant wave. The boat is fine, but somebody hurt themselves, falling hard on their seat. You’ll want liability coverage, so you aren’t on the hook for medical expenses.
Another situation you’ll want coverage for is any accidents involving an uninsured boater. Similar to issues that arise when you’re interested in an auto accident with an uninsured driver, the other boater not having insurance could leave you without any help paying for damages. Please look for a personal watercraft insurance policy that covers you in case of a collision with an uninsured boater.
6. Look into Additional Coverage Options
There are some additional insurance options available for your watercraft that may be worth looking into. For example, look for an insurance plan that covers any expenses related to salvage work if your vehicle is a total loss. Your policy can also include coverage covering the cost of environmental clean-up in case of a fuel spill.
7. Find Out if Bundling Can Get You a Better Deal
Getting your boat insurance policy to cover other properties you own can provide you with potential savings while also giving you the convenience of getting all your insurance services in one place. For example, you might get one insurance policy that covers your home, car, and boat. Finding an insurance provider with all your needed services can make your life much easier.
The drawback is that a bundled boat insurance policy may come with different coverage than an individual policy might offer. For example, a bundled policy may only include coverage for some specific cases, such as salvage work or wreck removal. Please check all the details with your insurance provider to ensure you get all the coverage you want.
8. Shop Around to Get the Best Price
After hearing just one price, you want to avoid purchasing; the same applies when looking for boat insurance. Research the insurance market and get quotes from multiple providers before deciding. That will help you recognize a good deal when you see one so that you know you’re getting good value for your money and the coverage you need.
If you want to work with a local insurance agent with a long track record of success and service, please get in touch with our team. We’ve got you covered if you wish to insure your watercraft, home, vehicle, or anything else. Contact iInsure today, and let us help protect you!