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The Five Things You Must Know Before Buying Boat Insurance
If you own a boat, you definitely need watercraft coverage.
Too often, people don't realize that they need coverage for their boats. Some don't even realize that boat coverage is available. Many know it is available, and they think about it – they just decide that this type of coverage isn't something that they need. In most cases, they are wrong! You do need boat insurance, and you need to know what you are looking for when you start shopping for the coverage.
Here are five things you must know before buying boat insurance.
1. Many states now require you to carry watercraft liability coverage.
This coverage will should protect you against any damage that you do to other people or other people's property with your boat. The insurance should also cover you for losses due to theft, vandalism, storms, fire, capsizing, stranding, sinking, explosion, and collision. Call your insurance agent to find out what your state requires, and what their boat insurance policies cover.
2. There is optional coverage that you should strongly consider.
Wreckage Removal coverage is one type of coverage that you should consider. In most places, removal of sunken or wrecked vessels is mandatory, and it is the responsibility of the owner to pay for this removal – which can be quite expensive. This optional coverage will cover those costs. You should also strongly consider coverage that will pay for repairs and mechanical failure, as well as coverage that will pay towing charges should you need to be towed back to shore.
3. Not all insurance companies will cover all operators of the boat that you are insuring.
It is vitally important that you ask about this. Find out who is covered when operating the boat. Some insurance companies will only cover the boat owner as the operator for the rate that was quoted. The rate may go up to cover operators other than the actual owner. Make sure that the insurance agent clearly defines who is covered to operate the boat!
4. Most insurance companies that cover watercrafts offer discounts to people who have taken boat safety courses.
However, each insurance company will only offer the discount for specific courses. Find out which course your insurance company will honor, and make sure you take and pass the course! This will save you quite a bit on your premiums – and you need the safety course anyway! Find out what other discounts you may be eligible for as well. Most insurance companies won't tell you about the discounts unless you specifically ask about them.
5. You will typically get the best rate from the insurance company that insures your automobiles and your home – but not in all cases.
When you are shopping for insurance, call your current insurance company first – but then check with other insurance companies to see what kind of rate you can get. While getting quotes online is very convenient, you should avoid actually purchasing your coverage online. Call and talk to an agent personally instead, or have them call you. Remember that insurance companies are in competition with each other, and they will work with you to get your business. Let each one know about the lowest rate that you have been quoted, and ask them if they can do better!
Before shopping for insurance, think about the investment that you have made in your boat.
Boats are not cheap! Repairing and replacing boats is not cheap either. Make sure that you get the coverage that you need to protect you against all losses involving your boat!
CopyRight Ian D. Major 2005.
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