If you're the proud new owner of a watercraft, congratulations! Whether it's a boat, jet ski, or another type of seafaring vessel, you're sure to have many hours of fun on the water ahead.
Before you take your new toy out for a spin, though, there are a few things you should know about watercraft insurance. In this article, we will cover the following four tips to help you get started:
- Why you need a watercraft insurance plan
- Why adding watercraft liability is a must
- What your watercraft policy does and does not cover
- How to find the right watercraft insurance provider for you
Without any further ado, let's get started.
TIP #1. GET WATERCRAFT INSURANCE (EVEN IF YOUR STATE DOESN'T REQUIRE IT)
Although watercraft insurance is only explicitly required in two states as of this writing (Arkansas and Utah, strangely enough), obtaining a policy anyway is very much a common-sense part of boat ownership. This is because of the high financial investment and inherent risks involved with water-based activities such as tubing, deep-sea fishing, or just cruising around the lake.
In addition, many marinas and boat rental companies require owners to have proof of watercraft insurance. So, if you want to utilize these services, you'll need to obtain the proper coverage.
TIP #2. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE FULL WATERCRAFT LIABILITY
While a basic watercraft insurance policy may cover the cost of repairs or replacement to your own vessel, it may not protect you from any liability related to damages or injuries caused by your boat. This is where watercraft liability insurance comes into play.
Similar to automotive liability policies, this type of watercraft coverage helps financially protect the insured from any costs associated with the bodily injury caused to another person—whether they were a passenger, aboard another boat, or simply swimming in the water.
In addition to protecting you against potential legal liabilities, watercraft liability insurance can further help to prevent expensive lawsuits and protect your personal property, should the worst ever happen.
TIP #3: KNOW WHAT YOUR WATERCRAFT POLICY DOES AND DOES NOT COVER
To get a better understanding of your watercraft insurance policy, it's important to familiarize yourself with the specific scenarios that are covered or excluded from your policy.
For example, some watercraft insurance policies do not cover damage caused by engine breakdowns or mechanical failure. Additionally, coverage may be limited for certain types of events such as wrecks due to negligence or intoxication.
To help protect yourself from these and other common water-related risks, be sure to read through your policy carefully and consult with your insurance provider for further clarification.
TIP #4: FIND THE RIGHT WATERCRAFT INSURANCE PROVIDER FOR YOU
When it comes time to choose a watercraft insurance provider, know that not all brokers are created equally. There are many factors that can inform your decision, including cost, coverage options, customer service, and areas of expertise.
To help you find the right provider for your needs, start by consulting with friends and family members who have boats of their own. They may be able to recommend a particular insurer that they've found success with in the past. You can also reference online review sites like Yelp or Angi to see what other people are saying about different providers in your area.
Keep these four tips in mind as you search for your watercraft insurance provider and you'll be ready to hit the waves this summer with full peace of mind. Happy boating!
TRUST CHRISTENSEN GROUP WITH YOUR WATERCRAFT INSURANCE NEEDS
At Christensen Group, we take a unique approach to watercraft insurance coverage, and you’ll experience the difference immediately. Not only do we take the time to get to know you and your unique needs, but we also have extensive experience on all sides of the negotiating table—underwriter, adjuster, broker, and even buyer.
Our experienced watercraft insurance experts will be happy to help provide tailored property and liability protection for your jet skis, fishing boats, and if you’re lucky, yachts. Contact a member of our team today to discuss the best solution for you.