Ahh… Summer is here, and lake recreation is a favorite pastime for many, and too much fun in the sun can mean an increase in boating accidents.
Not all states require boat insurance, but that doesn’t mean you should go without it. While some states do require for certain types of boats, most marinas will require it if you are docking there.
Some homeowners policies extend coverage for some boats, but it will depend on the length and horsepower. It’s important however that if you are boating, you have the proper watercraft coverage in place. Take a look at the following claim scenario.
Uncle Rick bought a fishing boat that had an outboard motor that was only 25 horsepower. Since it qualified for the automatic coverage on his homeowner’s policy, he decided not to take out a separate policy. His agent noted the file and everyone when about their way. Fast forward to a year or so later and Uncle Rick called in a watercraft claim. His nephew Jimmy who was living with him had taken the boat out with some friends, and there was an accident that involved serious injuries to a few swimmers. When the insurance company went to investigate the claim, it was discovered that the original 25 hp motor had been removed and a 40 hp motor had been added. This automatically voids any coverage on the homeowners’ policy. So since his nephew lived with him, there was no coverage under Jimmy’s parent’s homeowners policy. Therefore, Uncle Rick and his nephew were responsible for all the property damage and bodily injuries that occurred during the accident.
The moral of the story is that watercraft policy is generally inexpensive and can provide you with not only liability coverage in the event of an accident, but physical damage coverage as well. Due to water level fluctuations, lakes can have many hidden dangers like trees or other objects.
Boat insurance is just like a life jacket, you never know when you might need it. Give us a call to discuss your watercraft needs and the companies we work with.