Questions to Ask Before Buying Boat Insurance

Maybe you’ve just purchased a boat or are thinking about making a purchase, or maybe you’re an experienced boater. If you’re in the market for boat insurance, there are a few important questions you’ll want to ask that can affect how well your boat and boating activities are covered by your policy.
Is the coverage agreed value or actual cash value? Like most types of vehicles, boats depreciate in value, which can lead to an unpleasant surprise if your boat is damaged and you need to make an insurance claim. The type of coverage on your policy can make a huge difference in how well your boat is covered. Agreed value coverage states the insured value of your boat plainly, so you know exactly how much coverage you have. Actual cash value, however, depreciates the insured value of your boat, possibly leaving you underinsured if your boat needs to be repaired or replaced. 

How much liability coverage is included?
 For most boaters, liability is the single biggest financial risk involved with boating — but it isn’t always our first thought when considering coverage limits. If someone else is injured in a boating mishap, you could be legally liable for injury-related damages as well as damage to the property of others. Your financial exposure could be in the thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars, or even more. Review your liability coverage limits carefully with your broker. 

What happens if my boat sinks?
Losing a boat beneath the waves is a tragedy in itself, but raising the wreckage and cleaning the fuel spillage is an expensive undertaking that most boat owners can’t easily fund. Ask your broker how coverage works in the event of a sunken boat. 

Where am I covered?
 Many boat policies limit coverage to within a certain distance of the coastline or to territorial waters. Before your seafarer spirit carries you too far from home, talk to your broker to be certain your policy covers your planned voyage.