Pleasure boats are often jokingly referred to as “holes into which you pour money.” While it’s true that boating is not inexpensive, boaters insurance can protect you from some of the more unfortunate aspects of owning and operating a boat. Boaters insurance not only covers the craft, but also deals with liability you may generate from incidents or mishaps aboard the boat. Many marinas require boats docked in their slips to carry insurance, but it’s a good idea to carry coverage even if it’s not technically required. The investment you make in boaters insurance can mean the difference in being able to enjoy your boat – and having it sit in dry dock.
Boat Damage and Replacement Coverage
Accidents happen. Boats can be damaged in collisions with other boats or by acts of nature, such as lightning damage. Some boaters’ insurance policies only provide limited coverage for damage to the craft, while others provide sufficient coverage for replacement of the entire craft. If your boat is older or completely paid for, limited coverage (which is naturally less expensive) may be sufficient. However, if your boat is new or if you’re still making payments, it’s penny wise and pound foolish not to obtain replacement value coverage. In fact, your finance company may require such coverage.
Just as cars carry liability coverage, your boat should carry liability coverage as well. If you’re found to be at fault in an accident, liability coverage should take care of the damage to any other craft, vehicle or individuals harmed by the incident. Likewise, if you spill fuel, waste or other undesirable materials from your boat, liability coverage should deal with that as well.
Towing and Labor
If your boat stalls in open water, towing is the only means of retrieval. Boaters’ insurance policies that cover towing will ensure that you’re not stranded if you find yourself in such circumstances. Likewise, if your boat needs repairs, boaters insurance that covers the cost of labor in addition to materials can help ensure that you’re not stuck with a huge bill that can keep your boat dry docked even if it’s totally seaworthy.
The Necessity of Boaters Insurance
Drivers generally understand that auto insurance is a must. However, many boaters fail to understand that insurance should be considered a necessity for them as well. Think of it this way – you’ve paid thousands of dollars for your craft. Doesn’t it make sense to provide that craft with sufficient coverage? By doing so, you can minimize your exposure to financial risk and loss – while maximizing your enjoyment of your boat.