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Getting Your Boat Back on the Water: Insurance To Do List

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 | February 23, 2018
Boat Insurance To Do List

If you’ve spent all winter dreaming of getting back out on your boat, it won’t be long now before the days get longer and warmer and boating season returns. Before you put your boat in the water, there are some important insurance considerations you should address to make sure you have proper coverage for your boat. Examining your insurance is an essential part of preparing for boating season’s risks.

Don’t let your excitement to sail away keep you from taking care to prep your boat and insurance. Here’s your to do list to ensure your boat insurance is ready for summer fun:

Your Boat Insurance To-Do List

Update Your Boat Insurance Policy

If you had to put your boat away for the winter months, you’ll want to take a look at your boat insurance coverage before you get your boat back on the water. Look back to see if you reduced your coverage for the winter season or switched to a lay-up policy. If you did cut your coverage in the off-season, make sure you speak with your boat insurance agent to up your coverage levels before taking your boat out of storage. You’ll want to update your coverage before making any moves to ensure your boat is fully covered, whatever comes its way.

The winter weather may have been cause to add special coverages to your policy, like coverage for ice and freezing. Speak with your agent about removing this coverage during the warmer months.

Make Sure Your Boat Insurance Policy Reflects Your Current Situation

A new boating season may come after new changes. Have you experienced any life changes since your boat came out of the water? Life changes and changes to your boat itself can affect the coverage you require for a safe and well-insured boating season.

Check on Your Boat Insurance Limits

Before getting out on your boat again, review your boat insurance limits. Double check that your liability coverage is sufficient to cover your assets, especially if you’ve added any in the past year.

Consider your other coverage limits, too. If you’ve made upgrades or enhancements to your boat or it’s depreciated in value, you may want to adjust your coverage. Speaking with your agent can help you determine if the coverage offered by your policy is adequate.

As we cover in our Ultimate Guide to Boat Insurance, your policy and coverage can depend on many different things. Some relevant factors that you should check over include:

  • Age of boat (Has it had damage or depreciation in the past?)
  • Condition (Does it meet U.S. Coast Guard standards?)
  • Residence (Is your boat used as a primary residence?)
  • Function (How is it used: inboard, outboard, utility, cruiser, bassboat, saltwater fishing boat, performance boat, houseboats with no motor?)

  • Ownership (Does it have more than one owner?)

  • Operation (Will it operate in ocean, lakes, bays, or rivers?)

If any of these have changed over the past year, you will want to let your insurance agent know. Also, if you’re planning an international boating trip this year, discuss that with your agent as your current policy may not offer coverage outside the country.

Deductible

Check to make sure you’re still comfortable with your deductible. If you need to file a claim on your policy, you’ll be on the hook for that money. If you’re actively saving or don’t have much saved, you’ll want to think about lowering your deductible, in case of a claim.

Shop Around

If you’re not happy with your boat insurance coverage or the quoted price for a policy, consider shopping around a few different insurers. By shopping around, you’ll be able to compare quotes to see if any one insurer can offer you more competitive rates.

An independent insurance agency, like InsuraMatch, can help you shop multiple insurance carriers at once for boat insurance. An insurance agent is also a great resource for answering your coverage questions and helping you through the claims process.

For more tips on finding the best boat insurance, check out our Ultimate Guide to Buying Boat Insurance.<

Interested in free boat insurance comparison quotes? Our agents can help!

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Ask About Boat Insurance Discounts

Owning a boat can get expensive fast. Luckily, there are ways to save on your boat insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, common boating discounts include:

  • Diesel powered craft, which are less hazardous than gasoline powered boats as they are less likely to explode
  • Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers
  • Ship-to-shore radios
  • Two years of claims-free experience
  • Multi-policies with the same insurer, such as a car, home or umbrella policy>
  • Safety education courses, such as those offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadrons, or the American Red Cross.

Don’t forget about bundling your policy, too. If you have existing insurance with a company that also writes boat insurance, you could save by having multiple policies with the same insurer.

Bottom Line

Getting your boat ready for the season requires more than just putting it back in the water. A thorough boat insurance review will help you safeguard your boat and finances from loss and risk.

Stay safe and have fun!