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Whether you view it as a casual hobby or you’re a boating enthusiast, owning a watercraft is a fun and rewarding experience. However, there are some responsibilities that any boat owner should be aware of, including having the proper protection from a reliable watercraft insurance policy. Here are some of the reasons you should never operate a vessel that doesn’t have proper insurance coverage.
The Top 8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Go Without Watercraft Insurance
1. Accidents Are Always Possible
They say that you should always prepare for the unexpected, and that old wisdom holds true when it comes to boat ownership. Your boat is a valuable investment in your life, so you want to protect it against unexpected events such as boating accidents. Over 4,000 boating accidents were reported by the Coast Guard as a result of recreational boating in 2019, and that figure has remained relatively consistent year by year.
If you don’t have proper insurance, you might be left to cover the damages caused by one of these accidents. However, insurance policies can help cover repairs, as well as offering you either a pre-arranged value for your boat or a price determined by the market value of the vessel in the event of a total loss.
2. Someone May Be Injured on Your Vessel
A good watercraft insurance policy protects you from more than just damage to your vessel itself. There are also cases where someone may be injured while on your vessel, due to weather conditions, slip and fall incidents, or any other number of issues. If you aren’t insured properly, you may be on the hook to pay for medical expenses if an injury occurs while on board your watercraft.
Insurance policies can include liability coverage to protect you from these potentially steep expenses. As long as your policy includes this liability coverage, you won’t need to worry about anyone you bring aboard suffering an injury. Your insurance provider will step in for cases such as this, helping to cover any medical expenses or other damages that the person suffered as a result of their injury.
3. Clean-Up for a Spill Can Be Costly
Damage to your vessel isn’t the only responsibility that you have to take into account when operating a watercraft. Fluids in your vessel, such as oil, may also leak in the event of damage to your equipment or mechanical failure. These spillages can have devastating effects on the wildlife and environment where the spill occurs, and cleaning up the damage is a costly procedure that involves plenty of time, effort, and resources.
Boating without proper insurance coverage leaves you at risk of being liable for paying for this clean-up effort. You can avoid this problem by getting yourself an insurance policy that includes environmental clean-up in the coverage that you get.
4. Weather Events Can Occur at Any Time
One issue that all boaters have to contend with is the potential threat that mother nature can pose. Hurricanes and other strong storms can damage or even destroy vessels that are in their path, making them a costly and potentially deadly threat to anyone on the water. You may think you’re safe from these problems as long as you pay attention to weather warnings in your area, but no prediction is completely accurate, so there’s always a risk.
Talk with your watercraft insurance provider about what protection options are available to mitigate the danger posed by weather events. While you’ll still need to take measures to keep yourself and your property safe during extreme weather, you’ll have the reassurance that comes from knowing your boat is protected in even the worst-case scenario.
5. Your Boat Is Still at Risk During the Off-Season
If you only boat seasonally, you may think you only need insurance coverage during the season that you’re out on the water. However, there are still risks that your watercraft faces even during the off-season. For example, natural disasters can cause damage even when the boat isn’t out on the water. You may also be vulnerable to damage from fires or vandalism while the boat is in storage, as well.
Your insurance coverage can work to protect you from these unfortunate incidents. Ask your insurance agent about getting coverage for fires, floods, hurricanes, or other natural disasters that threaten the boat while it’s in storage. You can also get protection for things such as theft or vandalism that you’re at higher risk for during the off-season. In addition, it’s usually more cost-effective to hold a policy year-round rather than just renewing it for the season.
6. Mitigate the Risk Posed by Uninsured Boaters
Even if you have the insurance coverage that you need for your vessel, you can’t rely on other boaters to be similarly responsible. Most states in our country don’t require boat insurance by law, many people operate their vessels without proper coverage. If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured boater and you don’t have the proper protections in place, it may fall on you to cover any of the resulting expenses.
Insurance providers offer safeguards against this potential problem. Ask your provider about getting coverage for incidents involving uninsured or underinsured boaters. Taking the necessary steps to protect yourself now can help to save you from costly expenses later on down the line if you come into contact with an uninsured boater while you’re out on the water.
7. Your Equipment or Personal Items May Be at Risk
There are a number of ways that the belongings you bring on the boat with you could be at risk when you’re on the water. Strong winds can blow loose objects around, causing them to be taken by the wind or fall overboard. A sudden lurch in the ship could also dislodge objects and cause damage or loss as well.
Having proper insurance coverage prepares you for any unforeseen occurrences such as these. Many providers will allow you to customize the insurance coverage policy to include things like fishing equipment, emergency supplies, or any personal belongings you plan on having aboard the ship. As long as your policy covers these items, you’ll be reimbursed if they are lost while operating your craft.
8. You Are Likely Required to Have Insurance
On top of all the benefits that having proper insurance coverage provides for you as a boater, it is also most likely necessary for you to purchase an insurance policy as a boat owner. Most boat owners don’t purchase their costly ships outright, instead going for financing to attain the vessel of their choice. Because this financing represents a steep investment, most financial institutions require insurance as part of the terms of offering a loan to you.
Looking for a way to protect all of the investments that matter in your life without overspending to do so? Our office can help you out with all of your boat, home, auto, or business insurance needs, ensuring that you always have the peace of mind you need in all aspects of your life. Contact iInsure today to learn more about how we can protect you!