As the Lakeway Area gears up for a new boating season, boat owners should prepare just like auto owners or home owners. They should know the basics of boat coverage and make sure they have the right plan to fit their needs.
What lies beneath
There are a lot of trees and debris under the waters of our area lakes. If you have a boating accident and your boat sinks, you need to be sure you have salvage coverage as part of your policy. No one wants to lose a boat, but if the worst happens, don’t assume salvage is part of your insurance policy. Some insurers will subtract the cost of salvaging a boat from its overall value. That means reduced funds for repair or less back if the boat is totaled.
Today’s boats have many features and options. If the options are factory installed, then they are insured as a part of the boat value. If you retrofit your boat with various accessories, then you need to discuss this with your agent. It may be necessary to add additional coverage for options that were not installed by the factory. Also, there are many expensive ‘‘toys’’ such as skis, wakeboards, and other equipment that should be insured. Don’t forget about all of the personal belongings that you take on your boat. Modern boats can cost thousands of dollars. Ask your agent how your boat will be valued at the time of a claim.
Protect your passengers
Similar to your car insurance, boat insurance offers boat liability and uninsured boat coverage. Consider the injuries, disability, and death that could occur in a boating accident. Boat liability insurance is the top priority. Part of the fun of owning a boat is the recreational value of pulling passengers behind your boat. If you do this, be sure your boat liability covers passenger and skier liability. This coverage is not automatic.
Pay attention to the boat liability insurance limits. Increasing the limits and purchasing a personal umbrella policy is very inexpensive compared to the catastrophic financial losses and heartache that can occur in a boating accident.
What if you have a boating accident and the accident is someone else’s fault, but they have no boat insurance? This is where uninsured boaters insurance applies. Be sure to review the extra premium to increase this part of your policy. You will discover the extra premium is less than you think.
If you want to talk through more details of your boat insurance policy, I invite you to come meet with our team at Strate Insurance Group. We can work with you to make sure you have the right coverage to ensure you and your passengers can stay safe and have fun this summer. Call us at 423-318-5800 or fill out this coverage request form and one of our team members will follow up with you directly.