I Bought a Boat! Now What? Boat Insurance Basics for Your New Toy

Getting your very own boat is a fantastic achievement. The chances are that you want to hit the water straight away. Before you head to the lakes, however, it is crucial to take care of boat insurance. Without it, you could find your sailing dreams sunk before they even get started.

The world of insurance can be complicated, especially when you throw marine toys into the mix. If you need a boat insurance company, Lake Region Insurance Agency is here to help. We have the experience to know what you need to protect your investment. Reach out to our team of independent agents for a free review of your policies.

What Is Boat Insurance?

Boat insurance works like car insurance, and it offers excellent protection for you and your vessel. With adequate coverage in place, the policy will kick in to cover losses due to collision, theft, and vandalism. It can also include claims from third parties. If someone gets hurt or you damage someone’s property with your boat, your policy may cover those costs or legal expenses.

Boat Insurance Basics to Protect Your Investment

As with auto policies, there are several boat insurance choices available. Your agent can help you tailor a plan to fit your specific needs. Here are some boat insurance basics for you to consider.

Most boat policies will offer the following:

  • Comprehensive Coverage – This piece covers losses due to vandalism, theft, or fire. Plans typically pay for repair or replacement of your boat up to a set dollar limit.
  • Liability Coverage – This component covers the cost of property damage that you cause with your boat. It can include damage caused to another boat in the dock or on the water. And if you are at fault in an accident, it can cover legal costs.
  • Bodily Injury Coverage – If someone sustains an injury because of your boat, this plan can cover medical costs and time for missed work.
  • Collision Coverage – This type of policy covers the repairs to your boat after a collision. It can cover the full replacement value if needed.

Extra Coverage Options

In addition to the core policy needs, boat owners also may choose from a range of extras for added protection and financial security. These include:

  • Uninsured Boaters Coverage – As the name suggests, this protects you if an uninsured boater hits you. Policies can cover the loss of wages and the cost of medical treatment. They may also include other damage sustained as a result of a boating accident. If the liable boater does not have adequate insurance, you will still have protection.
  • Total Loss Replacement – Sometimes, the repairs to a boat would cost more than its value. In that situation, this plan replaces your vessel with the latest model or a comparable option.
  • Actual Cash Value – If your boat is totaled, this plan pays you the value of the vessel at the time of the accident.
  • On-Water Towing – This policy covers the cost of towing if your boat becomes disabled on the water.

All of these extras can help to make your life a little easier if disaster strikes. Your agent can help you choose the correct coverage for you.

Why Do I Need Boat Insurance?

A boat is a significant investment, and insurance helps you take steps to protect it. Boat insurance offers several benefits, including:

  • Financial Security – When accidents occur, repairs and medical costs can mount up quickly. Making sure that you have sufficient coverage helps to alleviate this financial strain. It offers a buffer in the event that things go wrong. Insurance protects your investment and your long-term financial health.
  • Time Saver – Some policies will replace your boat if there is a collision or other damage. If you would not be able to afford a new one immediately, this speeds up the process and gets you back on the water in no time.
  • Legal Protection – Depending on where you moor your boat, you may not have a choice about purchasing boat insurance. Some marinas and some states require at least a liability policy. If you get caught without insurance, you could lose your boating privileges and face steep penalties.

One devastating error some boat owners make is to assume their homeowners policy covers their vessel. Usually, this coverage does not extend to your boat, especially when you are on the water. It’s crucial to check all the details and get the right kind of plan in place.

Remember Boat Safety

Insurance is not a substitute for safe boating behavior. Different areas have various regulations regarding licensing, education, and age of the operator. To keep yourself, your passengers, and other water enthusiasts safe, follow basic safety guidelines:

  • Take a boating safety class before heading out for the first time.
  • Adhere to all local laws for boating.
  • Have plenty of personal floatation devices on board for everyone. It is always safest to wear a PFE when you are on the water.
  • Do not drink and boat. Have a designated driver just as you would for driving a car.
  • Keep a warning flag on board to raise whenever someone is in the water.
  • Pay attention to potential weather events.

We Can Help You Get Ready for the Lakes

If you need boat insurance for your vessel, our team can help you get just the right policy. We also have plans to cover other marine vehicles such as jet skis. To determine the level of coverage you need, we will consider:

  • The vessel’s age and condition
  • The vessel’s value
  • The vessel’s style – for example, fishing boat vs. ski boat

As an independent agency, we can access the policies from a wide range of insurance companies. Our focus is on making sure you receive the best possible plan for your protection. 

Working together, we craft a personalized plan that takes care of the essentials and gives you peace of mind. And our team can help you get all the different types of coverage that you may need, from home to auto to life. 

So if you’re eager to get your new boat out onto the water, call one of our offices to get started. We have staff in New London, Cokato, and Willmar, MN, to serve you.

 

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