The U.S. Coast Guard reported $43,670,424 in boating property damage in 2006 in addition to 3,474 injuries and 710 deaths within U.S. waters. (uscgobating.org). Registered boat owners who did not own boat insurance at the time of these accidents could have been liable for the medical costs of the injured parties had the fault of the accident been proven to be theirs.
Why Boat Insurance is Useful:
Many expenses can be involved in boating accidents including but not limited to towing and clean up costs, damage repair of one’s own boat, company boat or another person’s boat, Boating and marine insurance is designed specifically for boating and/or open water related accidents and unforeseen damaging events. There are many different types of boating insurance that cover different types of boats, coverage levels, and liability insurance.
The coverage and protection a boating insurance policy provides may also include legal protection, stationary/parked boat protection, damage protection from accidents, natural hazards, insurance for accidents in international waters, and financial coverage of owners, occupants and other boaters.
Deductibles, fees and rates may differ between boat insurance providers and it may be a good idea to compare several boating insurance policies for quality, cost and coverage terms and conditions before making a choice.
Boating Insurance Providers:
Some organizations deal exclusively in boat insurance while others also sell auto, home and recreational vehicle insurance. There are unique advantages to each of the companies. For example, with an auto insurance provider one may obtain a multi-coverage discount if one also insures vehicles and a home through the company. In the case of the exclusive providers, the features of the boating policy may be enhanced and specialized. A few of the companies that deal specifically in boating insurance are listed as follows:
Specialized Boat Insurance Providers:
*National Boat Owners Association (NBOA)
*Boat U.S. Marine Insurance
*Global Marine Insurance Agency
There are many local, regional and international boat insurance providers and when one will be traveling across international waters it may be necessary to have extended insurance protection features. If one has a good relationship with an auto insurance provider, they may be able to provide added incentives that a stand alone policy may not provide.
How to Choose the Right Boating Insurance Policy:
Several considerations might be considered before deciding on the right type of boat insurance. Each different policy package may cost a different amount based on some of the following factors:
*Number of operators
*Months of operation
*Docked boat coverage
*Liability or full coverage
*Low or High deductible
*Commercial boat coverage
These factors are best left to the individual boat owner/operator to decide as each situation may be unique in terms of financing, usage and wishes of the insured. Talking with other boat owners, insurance agents and researching insurance providers thoroughly can aid in the boating insurance decision. If one has an expensive boat, the coverage level should ideally be higher.
To summarize, boating accidents occur just as automobile accidents occur. Whether it be damage from a capsized boat, collision or a passenger accident, boating insurance can save one years of debt, financial burden and worry. If one is a boater and does not have boating insurance, there is a risk of seriously damaging one’s financial holdings in the event of being sued for liability on property or person.