Before you put your boat on the water, it may pay to be certain your insurance is ship-shape.
Boats are often significant investments, and the right insurance policy can help protect them. Here are a few tips, courtesy of Eaton Insurance:
- Evaluate your specific needs. Insuring a boat is different than insuring your car or home.
- Similarly, a specialized boat policy could cover things like the cost to replace lost or damaged fishing gear and costly services such as emergency on-water towing and fuel-spill cleanup. You probably wouldn’t get this coverage by adding a boat to a homeowner’s policy.
- Consult with an independent agency – like Eaton Insurance. Unlike “captive” agents who represent only one company, independent insurance agents and brokers are licensed insurance professionals who represent several companies. They can offer you a variety of coverages, review and evaluate your policies, suggest new coverage options that meet your changing needs and answer your questions.
“An independent insurance agent or broker can make sure you have the specialized coverage you need to protect your boat or bike,” said Jim Lloyd, of the Progressive Group of Insurance Companies. “Some insurance companies provide only bare-bones protection for your boat or motorcycle by simply adding it onto your existing auto or homeowner’s policy, but independent agents and brokers can review and evaluate your needs to help match you with the company that will provide you with the combination of specialized coverage, service and price that’s best for you.”
Sinking boat insurance myths
You don't believe in the Loch Ness Monster. You don’t believe your friend caught Jaws fishing off the Florida coast. So why do most boaters believe boat insurance covers them wherever they go?
In a leading insurer survey of more than 1,000 boat owners, a few insurance myths were floating around. Here's a sample of the findings and the facts behind each:
Myth: Everyone pays more for insurance because of the hurricanes from a couple of years ago.
Reality: Even though it’s believed by 74 percent of respondents, it isn’t true. Boat insurers generally price policies based on claims in each state. For example, Ohio customers won't pay more for insurance because of hurricanes in Florida.
Myth: Boat insurance covers me anywhere I decide to go boating.
Reality: Seventy-six percent of respondents believed this one. The reality is some insurers only provide coverage where the boat is used most. Insurers may limit coverage to 100 nautical miles of your home port. Progressive provides coverage virtually anywhere you decide to go in the continental U.S. and Canada.
Myth: I’ll get a better insurance rate if I buy from the same company that insures my home or car.
Reality: Buying more than one product from the same insurance company doesn't mean you get the best rate – even though 45 percent of respondents thought so. Boaters can save by shopping around and combining specialized policies from different companies.
"It’s important to understand what’s available," said Dominic Mediate of Progressive. "You want to be properly protected in case your boat is stolen, you get into an accident or contents are damaged. We’re separating fact from fiction so boaters can make the best insurance decisions possible."
Mistakes happen, especially when you’re somewhere unfamiliar, but the results of a recent survey may still surprise you.
The survey found that among RVers, a spouse is more likely to be accidentally left behind than the dog.
A survey from a leading RV insurer found that the most common blunders made while traveling are:
- driving away with the steps extended
- backing into something
- misjudging overhead or side clearance space
- not connecting taillights correctly
- running out of gas
The survey found that 53 percent of RVers spend a month or more each year traveling the open road, and 42 percent travel more than 500 miles per trip.
Traveling the open road in an RV can be a great adventure, but sometimes it gets a little bumpy. That’s why RVers were also asked about their insurance. When mishaps happen, you want to get back on the road fast—ideally with all of your passengers on board.
Only 28 percent bought a stand-alone insurance policy with specialized RV coverages. In fact, 54 percent simply added their RV to their auto policy, and 14 percent didn’t buy any RV insurance.
Although mishaps can sometimes be funny, they can also lead to costly damages. Simply adding your RV to your auto policy can leave you woefully underprotected. It’s important to know what coverages are available to adequately protect yourself and your vehicle.
Did you know that you can get snowmobile insurance that is very similar to that which you purchase for your car? Things like, Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability, Comprehensive & Collision, Uninsured/Under insured Motorist, Roadside Assistance are all part of the protections offered to common snowmobilers.