Recreational Insurance FAQ

What questions should I ask when buying insurance for a boat?
When buying insurance for your boat, it is important to know what questions to ask your insurance representative. The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) suggests asking the following:

  • Will personal possessions such as fishing or water-skiing equipment also be covered?
  • Will the boat be covered for actual cash value (depreciation) or agreed value?
  • Are there any lay-up periods, in dry dock, as for instance from December to April?
  • If I hire a crew will it affect my liability coverage and include workers compensation coverage?
  • Are there discounts for safety equipment or safe boating courses?

You may be asked by the insurance representative about the use of the boat — for instance are you using it to cruise on a lake or are you boating across the Atlantic? Answer truthfully because any untruthful statement may cause future claims to be denied.

The I.I.I. advises owners of jet skis and waverunners to purchase a PWC policy to protect them in the event of an accident. The PWC policy covers bodily injury, property damage, guest passenger liability, medical payments and theft. Liability limits can start at $15,000 and be increased to $300,000. Typical policies may include deductibles of $250 for property damage, $500 for theft and $1,000 for medical payments. Additional coverage can also be purchased for trailers and other accessories. A $6,000 PWC insured for a premium of $400-500 could include $300,000 worth of liability coverage, guest passenger liability, physical damage for theft, accident or other calamity such as wind damage. Owners should talk to an agent or company representative for more information about the type of coverage that would best suit their needs. Finding the right coverage may require shopping around and diligence on your part. However, taking the time now to review your insurance needs may mean smooth sailing for the rest of the season.

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