Boat Insurance Coverage Tips

superyacht beached after a storm need insurance

Boat Insurance Coverage Tips 

Do you have boat insurance? We’re not talking about homeowners insurance that covers the rowboat tied to your dock. If you own a boat with a motor bigger than 100 horsepower, you’ll need boat insurance coverage. These specialized policies will cover your boat, some equipment, and much more. Signal Connect has spoken with boat owners who’ve done their due diligence before they insured their craft. The tips they provided, which we’ve shared here, can help you get the best boat insurance.

Do You Have a Yacht or a Boat?

Before you can insure your vessel, you have to know what type of craft it is.  Do you own a boat or a yacht?  The answer to this question comes down to a matter of one foot.  If your vessel is up to 26 feet in length, then you own a boat.  If it’s length exceed 27 feet or more, then your insurer will consider it a yacht.  (Keep in mind that these specifications could change from carrier to carrier.)  Generally speaking, the following insurance tips are listed here with boat owners in mind, but yacht owners can also use this advice, especially the questions to ask insurance providers.

Boat Insurance Policy Types

When it comes to insuring your boat, you have three types of policies to choose from.  The first one is called an “agreed value” policy.  This plan covers your boat based on its value when the policy was written.  An agreed value policy tends to cost more up front, but there is no depreciation for a total loss of the boat.  Note: Some partial losses can be depreciated, depending on the provider and the plan you choose.

The second type of boat insurance policy is called an “actual cash value” plan.  These policies tend to cost less than agreed value plans up front, but they also factor in depreciation of your boat.  These policies tend to only pay up to the actual cash value of your boat at the time it’s declared a total or partial loss.  Insurance carriers tend to insist on actual cash value policies to cover older boats.

No matter which policy you choose, there is a list of factors that marine insurance companies use when providing coverage.  Some of the things they look at include:

  • Type of boat
  • Age of boat
  • Length
  • Value
  • Horsepower
  • Condition
  • Whether or not the boat is used as a primary residence
  • How many people own the boat
  • Where the boat will operate, such as ocean, lakes, etc.

Know Your Boat Insurance Coverage

Before you get boat insurance, there are questions you must ask your insurance provider.  It’s best to get the answers you’re looking for before you sign on the dotted line of any boat insurance policy.  Here are some of the things you should ask and the responses you should look for from your insurance provider:

  1. How much should I insure my vessel for? It’s recommended you cover your boat for the amount it would cost to replace it in the event of a total loss.  This lends itself toward agreed value coverage, which plays the full insured amount when these events occur.
  2. What other coverages do I get with this policy? Some boat insurance policies offer additional payments for medical, personal effects, towing, and certain equipment coverage.  It all depends on the provider you use and the policy you choose.  This is why it’s important for you to ask.
  3. What isn’t covered by my policy? It’s absolutely vital that you know this information.  When boat owners assume that something is covered when it’s not, it can be a rather rude awakening.  Know your policy!
  4. Am I still covered if someone else operates my vessel? Most policies allow for this as long as you give the person permission to pilot your craft.  Don’t assume this coverage is included, though!  Ask your insurance provider if this is specifically covered, and ask them to point out the section in your policy where it’s mentioned.  Keep in mind that additional drivers might increase your premiums.  That’s something else to ask your provider.
  5. Do I have to insure my boat when it’s in winter storage? Some insurance providers require you to do this.  If your provider is one of them, ask about something called a “lay up” discount.  (Your provider might call it something else.)  Whatever term they use, these discounts offer a reduced rate during the months when your boat being stored and you’re not using it.
  6. How do I make a claim? You do not want to be asking this question immediately after an accident or incident.  It’s better to have this information well in advance.  When you’re shopping for boat insurance, ask the provider how their claim process works.  If it’s not quick and easy, then you might want to find another provider.  Another question to ask is if your agent or rep will be available if you need help dealing with a claim.  Once you acquire your policy, always carry claim information with you on your vessel in case of emergency. 

Get the Best Boat Insurance for You

Once you have the best boat insurance, you can relax and have a good time on your vessel.  If you follow the advice above, you have a better chance of making an informed decision on the boat insurance coverage you get for your vessel.  The biggest benefit to taking the time to find the ideal boat insurance is peace of mind.  Once you know you’re fully protected, you can relax and finally have a good time on your vessel.  That’s why you bought your boat in the first place, right?  We wish you the best of luck in your search!  

DIRECTV + Your Boat = Fun Times

Having DIRECTV on your boat is one way to enjoy your time on the water and at the docks. You’ll get your favorite news, sports, and entertainment delivered to your vessel. It’s great for short trips and even longer voyages. Marine DIRECTV requires a marine satellite dome, DIRECTV receiver, and programming package. Oh, you’ll need a TV set, and there’s also some coaxial cable and other hardware involved. That’ might seem like a lot to remember, but you don’t have to worry about any of this.

If you want DIRECTV on your vessel, do you know who you should call to make it happen?  Signal Connect is a boat owner’s DIRECTV connection.  We’re an AT&T Preferred Dealer that specializes in marine DIRECTV installations.  We have two marine satellite experts – David Ross and Josh Weiss – on our staff.  These two will answer any question you have about adding DIRECTV to your boat.  They also can make it possible.  Give us a call at 866-726-4182.