Do I Really Need Boat Insurance?

Posted by SkiSafe         0

To protect your watercraft or not? That is the question at hand. Obviously as a marine insurance company, we highly recommend getting insured. You may have some burning questions regarding the importance of a policy, the coverage involved, and how to get the most out of that coverage. Feel free to skim through or take a deep dive into this boat insurance guide.

 WHAT IS BOAT AND WATERCRAFT INSURANCE?

A watercraft insurance policy, with a boat or PWC, is essentially a contract between you and your insurance company . The contract will help you, the insured, recover financially from unexpected events, such as an accident or a loss. In exchange for an initial payment from the insured, known as the premium, the insurer is liable to pay for claim damages that are covered under the terms of the policy.

WHAT DOES A MARINE INSURANCE POLICY COVER?

Coverage will vary based on your policy. Different watercrafts require different protection plans. Here are some the most common coverage options and features:

  • “All-Risk” Coverage: Covers your boat, trailer, and insured property for all accidental physical damage unless specifically excluded by your policy. This may include damage that occurs from fire, theft, collision, storms, trailering and more.
  • Replacement Cost Coverage: If your new boat is destroyed beyond repair within the first 36 months after purchase, we may buy you a brand-new version of the same boat, with the same features and equipment that you had before the loss even if it costs more now.  
  • Agreed Value Coverage: If your boat is destroyed, you will be paid the agreed value that you insured it for without any depreciation.  
  • Towing and Roadside Assistance: Coverage for towing your boat on the water or on land. Your auto insurance won’t pay for this.   
  • Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability: Protects you against liability for bodily injury or property damage to others as well as for pollution or contamination.  
  • Medical Payments: Provides coverage for medical expenses to others whether you are at fault or not.  

WHAT ISN’T COVERED BY MARINE INSURANCE?

 Again, coverage is dependent on the terms of your policy. For example, if you decide on a liability-only policy, coverage is provided for bodily injury and property damage to others, subject to any applicable exclusions and limits . Now let’s look on the other side of the spectrum; let’s say you opt for the most comprehensive policy available, with coverage for both liability and your boat. Most insurance policies do not cover wear-and-tear . That’s why you want to consistently maintain your boat throughout the year.  For more on maintenance tips, click here.

CAN I UPDATE MY COVERAGE AFTER I PURCHASE MY POLICY? 

Of course you can! To change coverage, contact your broker or the insurance company’s customer service team directly. You can even manage your policy via our online portal. Simply go to the SkiSafe website and click on the ‘Manage My Policy’ button. You will receive immediate confirmation of your coverage changes via email and through the mail if you prefer.  

IS BOAT INSURANCE REQUIRED BY LAW? 

While your state may not require recreational marine insurance , other entities will most likely require it. For example, if you take out a loan to finance your purchase of the boat, the lender will almost always require coverage. If you plan to use a marina, it may also require an insurance policy . But even if coverage is not required, , a comprehensive insurance policy protects your interests and your boat. Let’s imagine some worst case-scenarios – what if you still owe money on the craft and it is destroyed in a storm? What if someone is seriously injured while on your boat? What if an expensive piece of equipment is stolen off your vessel? Rather than face a large out of pocket expense, you can rely on your insurance policy for assistance. Worth it? Absolutely!   

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR DEDUCTIBLE?

What is a deductible anyways? Really, it’s a fancy term for how much you will self-insurance each loss for damage to your boat. You get to pick your own deductible and it only comes into play if it applies to a loss. In terms of your premium, however, the higher the deductible, the lower your premium payment will be and vice versa. Pick a deductible you are comfortable with. Take into consideration what you can afford in terms of premium and how your deductible effects that.

HOW DOES SKISAFE BILLING WORK? 

We charge annually, but you can also put down a deposit when activating coverage with the balance due shortly thereafter. We also offer the option to charge your card or account automatically each year. This will renew your policy for the next year and ensure you do not have a gap in coverage. If you decide to do this, we will only charge you once per year and you can manage the date this payment is made.

WHAT DISCOUNTS ARE AVAILABLE?

We have discounts available that allow boaters to see immediate savings on premiums without compromising their coverage.

  • Boating Safety Course: If you complete a qualified boating safety course, you should receive a discount that reduces your boat insurance premium. Not only will this help lower insurance costs, but it is also a great way to learn basic boating safety. 
  • Clean Driving Record: If you have no accidents and violations on your driving record, your boat insurance rate can be significantly reduced. A spotless MVR helps you save on car insurance and the same rule goes for boating insurance.
  • Navigable Waters: If you navigate your boat in a limited territory, such as inland lakes and waterways, or the confines of the Chesapeake Bay or the Long Island Sound, that can qualify you for an additional discount.
  • Layup Discount: If you store your boat for the winter, or any four consecutive months during the year, it can reduce your premium quite a bit.
  • Multi-Craft Discount: If you have more than one vessel, get a quote for both. Insuring more than one watercraft with us will give you a hefty discount.  
  • Online Discount: We can offer you a discount for initially applying online. You won’t lose out on any service or coverage and can always follow up on the phone.   

DO ALL BOAT-TYPES NEED TO BE INSURED?

Essentially all boats should be backed by a strong insurance policy. Whether operating a fishing boat, sailboat, pontoon, ski boat, PWC, or yacht, they are all vulnerable to potential risks on and off the water. 

WHY SKISAFE?

With bigger companies also offering coverage for boat insurance , you may be wondering why you should go with SkiSafe instead. Well the fact that we are a smaller company is just the reason. Our sole focus is on watercraft insurance and providing exceptional coverage to our boaters. Our underwriters aren’t just insurance veterans, but they are specifically experts in marine insurance. This allows us to make sure we’re giving you the best coverage at the best price available. We can customize your policy to fit your needs. We have never believed in the ‘one-size fits all’ moto. At SkiSafe, we are boaters ourselves. We know and understand the complexities of watercraft and we aim to implement the best coverage in every boater’s policy.


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