October 2007

Importance Of Boat Insurance That Provides Proper Coverage

By Jeff Schawelson

Spending time on the water is a great way to get away from it all.  But, you would never dream of taking your boat on the water without boat owner’s insurance. How can you be sure you have the proper coverage?

As a boat owner, protecting your boat from damage is probably your number-one insurance priority. But, protecting your legal liability is equally important.

Operating a boat can result in accidents involving other boats, property, and injuries to people. Just one accident can lead to a lawsuit or medical expenses that far exceed the cost of your boat.

Whether you’re enjoying your boat on the water, or maintaining it on land, accidents can happen.  So, in addition to property coverage, your boat owner’s policy should offer liability protection and medical payments protection.

Watercraft Liability coverage covers your legal liability for bodily injury and property damage up to the policy limits for accidents resulting from the ownership, maintenance, or use of your watercraft. It may also cover your legal defense.

Watercraft Medical Payments coverage may pay medical expenses up to the policy limits for you and other occupants of the boat injured by an accident resulting from the ownership, maintenance, or use of your watercraft.

Whatever type of watercraft you own — from a PWC to larger cruisers — your boat owner’s policy should cover your boat and commonly used boat equipment such as —

  • Anchors
  • Skis and their tow ropes
  • Dinghies to service your watercraft
  • Oars
  • Detachable canopies
  • Seat cushions
  • Extra fuel tanks
  • Life preservers
  • Motor tools
  • Electric trolling motors
  • Trailer

A reliable boat owner’s policy doesn’t stop with coverage to your boat and its equipment.

The policy should also include —

  • Newly acquired watercraft: Pays for covered damages to a boat that you’ve acquired over the past 30 days.
  • Reasonable repairs: Pays for reasonable repair costs necessary to protect your boat or its equipment from further damage.
  • Emergency service: Pays up to $500 for reasonable costs that result from emergency service to your boat, motor, or boat trailer.
  • Wreck removal: Pays up to coverage limits for reasonable expenses caused by any attempted or actual raising, removal, or destruction of the wreck of your boat.

To qualify for payment, the wreck must be caused by damage that is covered by the policy, and removal or destruction of the wreck must be required by law.

It’s important that your boat insurance should cover it all and provide you with a full range of protection.

Make sure to ask your insurance agent these questions —

  • Are my trailer and boating supplies covered?
  • Do I get discounts for completing boating-safety courses? Which ones?
  • Am I covered for both inland and ocean boating?
  • Are there any unique exclusions or exceptions in my state/area?
  • Are younger operators covered?
  • Will I receive the actual cash value or replacement cost if my boat is totaled?
  • What payment options are available?

If you're a boat owner, talk to your agent about boat owner’s insurance, If you do not have an agent call me Jeff Schawelson at State Farm Insurance and leave your worries in the wake. 

I can be reached by phone at (602) 788-6700, by e-mail at jeff@jeffaz.com or visit www.jeffaz.com

 State Farm boat owner insurance doesn't cost much, and it covers a lot.  Ask me about protecting your boat with the right coverage at the right price.