With an early-season heatwave, boating is more popular than ever. Be sure you’re prepared – protect yourself with boat insurance
With such an early and long spell of heat this summer, British Columbians are retreating to the water in droves. As a result, boat sales are booming as people look for new ways to beat the heat!
It’s easy to see why. Not only is boating a great way to enjoy our BC rivers and lakes but it’s a fabulous way to enjoy time outdoors with family and friends and make the most of what is typically a pretty short summer.
Relaxing and carefree, boating is so much fun. But… accidents do happen. The unexpected can happen on the water as it does on our roadways, and while some choose to forgo boat insurance, you never know when you might be victim to really bad luck.
Whether it’s a boat, jetski, or another kind of watercraft, marine or boat insurance offers a variety of protections that provide you with valuable peace of mind knowing that you and your loved ones are protected from financial losses in the event of an unfortunate accident.
Marine or boat insurance — the basics
As you explore boat insurance, you’ll discover that there are two main types: pleasure craft (ski boats, pontoon boats, sailboats, yachts, jet skis, and personal watercraft) and commercial marine (fishing boats and ocean cargo, for example).
With a focus on pleasure craft boat insurance, there are four kinds of coverage:
- Property. Financial protection when it comes to any physical damage to your boat or watercraft.
- Personal Liability. Protection against financial losses in the event you damage the property of another property or cause physical injury.
- Uninsured Parties. You are protected from having to pay for medical expenses if you are injured by an uninsured party.
- Medical Payments. Insurance helps to pay for any medical expenses you might incur.
It’s common for many people to purchase property and/or personal liability insurance coverage. This is great because, without insurance, you risk just about everything you have (money, car, and even your home) if, due to an accident, the other party comes after you for damages.
When people purchase boat insurance they choose a coverage that is considered ‘all risk’ – covers any risks that are not specifically excluded in your pollicy. You can also customize your boat insurance policy to include specific perils.
Depending on the details of your watercraft – cost, size, and your intended use of the boat, your HG Insurance representative may ask you to fill out a marine survey before we can extend coverage
To get the right coverage, ask yourself the following questions prior to talking to your insurance agent:
Who will be the primary operator of the watercraft? – Most policies have terms and conditions regarding who can operate the watercraft. Breaking the terms can result in claims being rejected.
Where will you take your boat – regions, locations, etc.? – Where do you plan to operate your boat primarily. This information could impact the premium you pay.
Where will you store your watercraft? – Your insurance agent will need to know about possible risks while the boat is in storage so they can tailor your boat insurance coverage accordingly.
Be aware of any exclusions in your boat insurance policy
Do expect limits to what your boat insurance policy will cover.
For example, it’s unusual for a policy to cover damage incurred if you engage in a race or competition with your watercraft. You’re unlikely to be covered if any aquatic or land critters damage your boat. These can be rather costly perils so be sure that you understand the limits of your insurance policy.
When you speak to an insurance agent, have them clearly identify the limits of your policy and can answer questions about how to tailor your insurance to cover more unusual perils.
Know what information to provide to get the right insurance
To determine premiums accurately, your insurance agent will assess a variety of information about the watercraft and about you. Be familiar with the information that can impact your premiums:
- Type of boat (type, length, engine size, etc.)
- Who will operate the boat
- Where the boat will be stored
- If you have a claim history
- Safety licensing
Your provider will develop an insurance policy that is best suited to your unique needs to try to reduce your premiums as much as possible. Prior to meeting with an agent, be prepared with the following:
Boat specifications – make, model, and size. This information should be identified in the user manual of the watercraft.
The market value of your watercraft. It’s recommended you bring supporting documentation.
Details about how often you expect to use the watercraft and how it will be used. and what it’s typically used for. This information will ensure the most appropriate premium.
Boating experience, licensing information, and any claims history. As with any insurance purchase, a record in good standing may reduce your premiums.
Unfortunately, while many people get the valuable protection they need before heading out, there are others who do not. And they’re taking a huge risk. As with operating any vehicle, there are many risks and variables associated. Accidents happen!
But you can protect yourself. When you know you’re protected by a marine or boat insurance policy, you enjoy your summer on the boat so much more.
Before you head out on the water GET IN TOUCH with an HG Insurance representative to get the boat insurance you need along with tremendous peace of mind!