Personal Boat Insurance - Boat Ownership Advice

by : Amy Wells

If you are considering a personal boat purchase, such as a cruiser, a fishing boat, or any other type of boat, you will want to incorporate insurance into the overall cost of the boat. Its a good idea to get boat insurance quotes when you have decided on the make and model of the boat, or when you are ready to purchase. Personal boat insurance is essential for boat safety and security.

The first place to start is with your current auto or homeowners insurance company. A separate policy is best for a boat, because you don't want your liability or premiums tied into your home-owner's policy. You can always sell your boat if the insurance is too expensive, but it is much more difficult to do that with your home. However, if you have your different policy lines with the same company, than you may get more of a discount. After you've gotten the initial quote, you can shop around for comparison quotes before you make your decision.

Similar to auto insurance, boating insurance covers liability to others, and physical damage to the vehicle itself. In addition, there is also additional types of coverage you can add to your policy. If you have a newer boat, or have a lienholder on the boat, you will want or may need to include physical damage coverage on your policy, which covers damages to the hull, parts and machinery of the boat. Agreed value is a type of policy where you and the insurer agree on the value of the boat, usually based on the purchase cost. If there is a loss, the insurer already knows how much to pay for the total loss of the boat. With this type of policy, its important that you keep documentation for the value of the boat.

Another type of physical damage policy is similar to auto insurance, where the insurer pays what the boat was worth at the time of loss, or the actual cash value of the boat. This type of policy factors in depreciation, and is usually less expensive than an agreed or stated value policy. However, you may get less then you would in the event of a boat loss.

Your policy will also include liability, which will protect you if you hit another boat, or someone in the water. You want to make sure your liability limit is high, so you will be fully protected in case of an accident. You will also want to include medical payments, which will cover any passengers on your boat who are injured.

Other essential items in a boat policy are emergency services, such as towing coverage, which provides coverage if your boat has to be towed back to shore because of an accident, and also boat recovery. If your boat has sunk, and has to be brought up to the surface, that type of service can be very expensive, and you want to make sure its covered in your policy. You may also want to consider additional coverage for any extra equipment on board, such as fishing gear and tackle, as most policies have a coverage limit for personal items.

Personal boat insurance is a necessity, and should be incorporated into the overall cost of boat ownership. By comparison shopping, you can usually get a good deal on comprehensive insurance. Its better to have the peace of mind that proper insurance provides, so you can truly enjoy yourself when you take out your boat.