BOAT INSURANCE

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Different types of vessels insured:
Recreational Boats (Pleasure Craft, PWCs,+)
Passenger Vessels (for hire): Fishing Charter, Diving Charter, Ferries, Cruise Ships.
Commercial Fishing Boats
Tugs & Towboats
Commercial Cargo Ships

Insurance Companies that insure consumers’ homes and automobiles, usually offer their clients recreational boat insurance.

Some insurance companies specialize in boat insurance (Yachts and Small Craft)

Insurance Companies are usually highly regulated.

Many insurance companies offer coverage while traveling through foreign countries, however this coverage may not be accepted by the other country, forcing the mariner to purchase coverage within each individual country. This can be problematic for small craft owners.

Large ships are commonly insured by large multi-national companies such as Lloyds.

Admiralty Law.

Insurance Companies market their insurance policies through:
Employee Agents
Independent Agents/Brokers


From BoatUS

Boat insurance policies can vary widely from one company to the next, unlike home or auto insurance. Which type is best for you? Boat U.S., the nation’s largest recreational boat owners association, has some tips for you.

  • Ask around: One way to find a good insurer is to ask friends who have had a claim in the past. Insurance companies may be good at taking monthly premiums, but how a company lives ups to expectations when something goes wrong is a better indicator. You can also research potential insurance carriers at www.ambest.com/ratings The ratings are the industry’s benchmark for assessing an insurer’s financial strength; look for an “A” rating (excellent) or better. State insurance regulatory agencies are also a good reference and can be found online.
  • Homeowner’s or separate policy for the boat? Consider buying a separate insurance policy for the boat, rather than adding it to your homeowner’s policy as the latter often limits certain marine-related risks such as salvage work, wreck removal, pollution or environmental damage. Whatever amount the boat is insured for, it should have a separate but equal amount of funds available for any salvage work. This means that you’re compensated for the loss of your boat and not having to pay additional, out-of-pocket costs to have a wreck removed from a waterway.
  • Agreed Value vs. Actual Cash Value: These are the two main choices that boater’s face and depreciation is what sets them apart. An “agreed value” policy covers the boat at whatever value you and your insurer agree upon. While it typically costs more up front, there is no depreciation if there is a total loss of the boat (some partial losses may be depreciated). “Actual cash value” policies, on the other hand, cost less up front but factor in depreciation and only pay up to the actual cash value at the time the boat is declared a total or partial loss or property was lost.
  • Your needs first: A good insurer will tailor your coverage to fit your needs so there will be no surprises. For example, bass boaters may need fishing gear and tournament coverage as well as “cruising extensions” if they trailer their boat far from home. You may want “freeze coverage” if you live in a temperate state because ironically, that’s where most of this kind of damage occurs. “Hurricane haul-out” coverage helps foot the bill to move your boat to dry ground.

This information is presented by Boat U.S., the nation’s largest recreational boat owners association. To learn more about Insurance options for your boat, review our helpful FAQs (http://www.discoverboating.com/buying/insurancefaq.aspx

From BoatUS.

HELPFUL INFORMATION ABOUT BOAT INSURANCE
It’s every boat owner’s nightmare—what starts as a beautiful day in your boat with friends or family can take an unexpected turn, ending up in a collision with another boat, a reef, or a buoy. This could result not only in liability expenses and boat repairs, but in medical expenses if someone onboard gets hurt.

In 2019 the US Department of Homeland Security and the National Coast Guard reported a total of 4,168 boat accidents and an estimated $55 million dollars in property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents. The same annual report shows that the top five factors contributing to accidents had to do with operators’ inattention, improper lookout, inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol use.

Boat owners also encounter other non-accidental incidents in the water such as breakdowns, motor malfunctions, or even fuel spillage—events that may leave you stranded, and requiring specialized services that boat insurers can cover for you.

So while sailing is full of adventures, it also poses many hazards for you and your boat. Therefore, the matter in question is not whether you need boat insurance or not, rather what type and how much coverage you should get.

WHAT DOES IT COVER?
Actual Cash Value vs. Agreed Value
Boat insurance providers offer physical damage coverage in two primary ways: actual cash value and agreed value. Out of the two, an actual cash value policy will be the least expensive, because it covers the current value of your boat at the time of the accident, minus any depreciation. Whereas an agreed value policy will cover the amount listed in your policy, as agreed with the insurer at the moment of purchase regardless of how the parts might have lost value over time.

Coverage Options
Policy coverage options vary depending on the insurer, nonetheless, companies usually feature services such as:

  • Liability Coverage: Usually, the most basic coverage. It protects you from at-fault damages caused to another boat or property.
  • Medical Payments: Medical coverage will pay out for medical expenses that you or any passenger onboard experience as a result of an accident.
  • Salvage: Salvage coverage is also known as wreckage removal. Simply put if your boat wrecks in the water, the insurer will pay salvage costs.
  • Pollution Liability/Fuel Spill: According to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, polluters are responsible for the costs related to oil spill clean-ups and environmental damage. This type of coverage will protect you from expenses resulting from accidental contamination.

Additional Coverage Options
Most insurers also offer additional coverage options that may come handy in specific situations:

  • In-water towing services for whenever you need to tow your boat back to land.
  • Roadside assistance for whenever you experience problems on the road while hauling your boat, such as gas delivery or towing your vehicle and boat to a repair shop.
  • Haul-out to cover haul-out expenses whenever you need to transport your boat to an event or a safer place before a storm.
  • Uninsured/underinsured coverage to cover damages or injuries (to you or any person onboard) if hit by a boater without insurance.
  • Personal equipment coverage in the event of theft, damage or loss of apparel, sports equipment and/or fishing equipment on your boat.
  • Pet coverage so that in case you bring your four-pawed family members on board, they’ll be covered in the event of being injured in an accident.

HOW MUCH COVERAGE DO YOU NEED?
With the exception of Arkansas, Utah, and Hawaii, where some type of liability coverage is required, boat owners don’t need a minimum amount of boat insurance in most states. This means that finding the right policy for you will mainly depend on four factors: first, the type of boat you have, second, what you use it for—fishing, sports, recreation with family or friends, etc.—, third, how protected you want your boat to be, and fourth, how much are you willing to pay.

If your intention is purchasing a well-rounded boat insurance policy, it should at least feature some type of liability coverage, collision, and medical payments. These three options will cover damages caused to property, physical damages to your boat, and medical expenses for you or passengers. Adding extra coverage to your policy such as towing and roadside assistance can also come in handy. Keep in mind that sometimes companies include services in their policies that others offer for an additional cost. In order to find the best policy and price, you should at least get three quotes from different companies and compare what coverage and services they feature in their policies.

HOW MUCH DOES BOAT INSURANCE COST?
A variety of factors influence boat insurance rates; that includes type, length, speed, and age of the boat, as well as your age, boating experience, and credit history. Typically, depending on whether you are considered a high-risk or low-risk boat operator, insurers offer multiple ways to lower your policy rate.

Most common discounts
Just like car insurance companies reward experienced drivers with a clean driving record, insurers are more likely to reward boat operators who take the most safety precautions with their boats. Each company offers popular discounts that can help you keep money in your wallet. Most companies apply discounts for:

  • Boating Education Course: insurers like it when you show them that safety comes first. That’s why holding any state-approved boating safety course certificate is the most popular discount. You can find a list of approved courses in the National Association of State Boating Law Administration.
  • Protective Devices: installing safety equipment in your boat such as EPIRB, GPS, Radar, Depth Finder, or automatic fire extinguisher system can also reduce policy costs.
  • Responsible Boat Operator/Driver: a clean boating or driving record increases your chances of getting better rates.
  • Boat owner’s age: generally boat owners who are 55 years or older get better rates. However, it’s possible to find companies with a lower age limit.
  • Multi-Policy Discount: bundling is an easy way to save money. Many companies give you a discount when you include your boat with your homeowners, life, or car policy.
  • Multi-Boat Discount: having more than one boat listed in your policy can translate into another discount.
  • Payment method: another way to save money is to pay in full or sometimes subscribing to automatic payment.
  • Loss-Free Renewal: some companies may offer you discounts on your deductible every time you renew your policy without having filed claims.

FAQS ABOUT BOAT INSURANCE

Am I required to buy boat insurance?
If by required you mean whether you’re legally obligated to have boat insurance, then it’ll depend on the state. Currently, only three states—Arkansas, Utah, and Hawaii— required boaters to have boat insurance. However, regardless of whether or not it is mandatory, every boat owner should get one, especially considering the many navigational hazards you can encounter on the water.

Is my boat covered by my homeowner’s insurance?
Sometimes homeowners insurance policies include boat protection. Nonetheless, these policies often offer limited protection for your boat and treat it as any other personal property. Most likely it won’t offer the same specialized protection that a boat insurance policy provides.

Does boat insurance cover accidents outside of the water?
This will depend on the type of boat insurance you have. In most cases, insurers will cover physical damages that your boat or trailer (if duly insured) may have experienced as a result of an accident while hauling your boat. However, it probably won’t cover liability damages caused to another vehicle or person in an at-fault accident.

Are passengers covered by boat insurance?
In most cases, insurance companies cover passenger injuries if your policy includes collision or medical payments coverage. Make sure to ask your agent before signing on the dotted line.

From ConsumersAdvocate.org.


Directory of EAB BOAT INSURANCE Subtopics

07 – BOAT INSURANCE: (CAN, GBR, USA,+).
07.01 – Types of Insurance Policies:
07.02 – Claim Processing:
07.02.01 – Filing a Claim:
07.02.02 – Repair Facility Claim Procedures:
07.02.03 – Claim Resolution:
07.02.04 – Subrogation:
07.02.05 – Claim Cases:


Vendor Directories

Canada
United Kingdom
United States


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07 – BOAT INSURANCE: TD
07.01 – Types of Insurance Policies: T
07.02 – Claim Processing: T
07.02.01 – Filing a Claim: T
07.02.02 – Repair Facility Claim Procedures: T
07.02.03 – Claim Resolution: T
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FROM Huey: "I agree with my Uncle, I too have found the articles to be very enlightening. They say that it will take about 100,000 articles to cover the full scope that they have envisioned for the website. They have over 20,000 articles so far and that's doing pretty well, but it could take several years to get the rest. I also noticed that many of the Main Topic Pages and some of the article pages are still in the rough draft stage. I guess that they will fill in as they can get volunteers to work on them. But what I can't figure out is why anyone would spend the time writing informative in depth articles just to give away free to this website for publication? What's in it for them?"

FROM Dewey: "Well Huey, to me It looks like most of the articles on this website are written by very informed people, like boating instructors, boat designers, boat builders, riggers, electricians, fitters, marine repair technicians and marine surveyors. Writing such articles helps establish them as knowledgeable professionals. After all, this website was originally created by a school for marine technicians and marine surveyors. The website is growing in content every day. They even had to move to a bigger, more powerful server because the website's traffic has been growing exponentially."

FROM Louie: "I agree with everyone above. This site is quickly becoming the ultimate reference resource about every aspect of boats and ships for everyone from the beginning recreational boater to the seasoned professional mariner. I use the topic pages on the right sidebar to browse around the website. It's like a Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook for Boaters. Their Members' Library of over 300 popular and obscure books and over 200 magazine back issues that can be viewed online is fabulous. The Academy's magazine is especially informative. On top of that, there is the "Ask-An-Expert program for members where you can get an expert's answer to any of your boat questions. And a whole years membership is only $25. What a deal! I really love being part of this "Everything About Boats" community and help provide thousands of helpful articles free to the public. I think that I'll sit down right now and write an article about my experiences boating with my uncle."

FROM Scrooge: "You rave about this website like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, I think it stinks. Sure, it has a lot of good information for boaters, and they're adding more every day, but it will probably never be finished. Furthermore, I don't even own a boat. And I wouldn't have a boat even if someone gave me one. Boats are a waste of money and time and energy and money! They're just a hole in the water you pour money into. If you gave me a boat, I'd sell it quicker then you could say Baggywrinkle. Then I'd lock up the cash with all my other money so I could keep my eye on it and count it every day. Bah humbug."

FROM Daisy: "I'm just so glad that Donald got the boat so we and the boys could enjoy boating — together. And of course all of the girls, April, May, and June, love to be on the water too, especially when that is where the boys are. Oh poor Scrooge, boating is more fun then you could possibly imagine."

FROM Scrooge: "After seeing how much fun you all have on the water together, I regret that I didn't have that much fun when I was young. I've had a change of heart, and I'm giving each of you a Lifetime Academy Membership."

FROM Editor: "For those of you that have stayed with us this far, many thanks, and we hope that you found this little narrative informative. Your faithful support inspires us to keep working on this phenomenal website. We know that we have a lot more to do. Ultimately, we hope that we can help you enjoy the wonder filled world of boating as much as we do. We are all waiting to see what you have to say about this webpage article. Submit any comments via email To: Comments♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@"). Be sure to include this page's title in the subject line. Also, your corrections, updates, additions and suggestions are welcomed. Please submit them via email To: Editor♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@"). It has been truly amazing to see what we have been able to accomplished when we've worked together. Thanks to all those that have donated their valuable time and energy, and a special THANK YOU to all that have supported this cause with their membership donations."

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