PEACE OF MIND — THE RIGHT BOAT INSURANCE
Don’t press your luck — underwater roots can poke a hole in the hull just as easily as Hurricane Bertha can break your hull in two. Leaving your investment to chance is a recipe for disaster. You definitely need insurance for your boat. Here are some pointers from Jim Stanley of Global Marine Insurance.
What will I pay? On average, an annual policy will run anywhere from $350 to $650, based on the owner’s experience, the value of the boat and the navigation area where the boat is used. Also, living in hurricane-prone areas can raise your premiums.
How much do I need? Your boat should be insured for its purchase price with an agreed value policy. Also, make sure you have sufficient liability limits. Check with your lake, club or specific organizations to see what liability limits they require. You may consider coordinating your liability coverage with an umbrella policy, if you have one.
Can I package my boat insurance with my house, car, etc. to get a better deal? Sometimes, but keep in mind you might not always get the benefits of a true boat policy. This is especially critical for anyone who is considering using his boat for any type of sanctioned activity — most “package policies” exclude these types of events.
How do I find the best insurance company/agent for me? Of course, the Web is always a good place to start. But the Web can be a no man’s land when it comes to finding an agent you can trust. It’s probably best to ask organizations, manufacturers and dealers — or better yet, see who your ski/wakeboard buddies use. Odds are they have a marine-specific agent they can recommend.