Factors to consider when choosing boat insurance from Mango's blog

Every year, hordes of Americans head towards the beautiful oceans, rivers and lakes for a refreshing ride in their boats.

When driving a boat, there are numerous aspects to consider such as the availability of adequate fuel, the presence of GPS to be on track, the status of the engine as well as fishing equipment considering it’s one of the most common activities when on a boat. However, one aspect that individuals tend to overlook and eventually regret later is boat insurance.

If you intend on purchasing boat insurance, there is ample information publicly available to help you get an economical and comprehensive deal. A good place to start would be with the BoatUS (Boat Owners Association of The United States). The BoatUS provides a few guidelines to consider when looking for boat insurance plans. The guidelines are in the form of questions that you should ask when contemplating a particular boat insurance plan. These questions can also assist you if you have an existing plan so as to find out if the existing plan is worthwhile and provides enough protection.

One of the primary questions you should ask from your potential insurance company is if you would have cover for the salvage cost of a boat. Some policies may provide cover for salvage cost while others would assume you would take care of these costs. Insurance is usually acquired for the purpose of protecting those large, costly assets such as a vehicle or the structure of your home. Salvage cost is similarly expensive and a good insurance company should provide cover for salvage cost.

For boat insurance, the most costly insurance claims usually involve storms that destroy or sink the boat. They can be destroyed by damage resulting in sinking or they can be forcefully moved and crashed in to an obstacle. In these scenarios, the boat insurance plan should provide coverage to retrieve the boat from the water or remove it if it is inadvertently sent towards a third party’s property. Depending on the plan, you may be offered numerous options. A plan that is considered insufficient may pay for the cost of a boat if lost but would require the owner to pay some of the salvage cost from his own account. Filing a claim can be rather complex. Of course, most insurance companies provide documented instructions but sometimes it can still be quite the hassle. A good insurance company will walk you through the entire process and provide as much assistance as possible when you make a claim.

Insurance companies tend to handle claims differently. If you are looking for convenience, you should opt for an insurance company which will do all the tasks necessary to be compensated. There are insurance companies who require the owner to perform tasks such as hiring a salvage company in this case but will later compensate you for the cost. Of course the cost would exclude the labor charge. Therefore, if you have a more expensive option that would perform all the tasks themselves it could still be worth it provided you don’t mind the extra fees for the convenience provided.

Another advantage of choosing an insurance company who will take care of the tasks themselves is that since they are in the industry, they would know the perfect contractors for a job and may even be provided with discounts for continued business. Such insurance companies are usually companies that specialize in boat insurance and other marine insurance plans. Another aspect to consider is if you will be covered for consequential damage. With boat insurance, if damage is cost due to a particular issue, this is known as consequential damage. Certain insurance companies don’t cover consequential damage which can be rather inconvenient and may even defeat the purpose of being insured in the first place; therefore it is important to always make sure consequential damage cover is provided. Imagine if your boat happens to sink and it is discovered that it was caused due to normal wear and tear, you won’t be covered! Don’t take a chance.

If you happen to reside in an area prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, you should make sure that your policy should cover transporting the boat from higher ground as this tends to happen following a hurricane.

Another important element to consider particularly if you have a good track record and you have are rather disciplined is what sort of incentives are offered if you don’t make a claim for a considerable period of time. There are insurance companies that reward customers such as reducing the deductible while providing the same amount of coverage.

Another final tip would be always consider using the same insurance company for your boat insurance as the other plans such as health insurance if the option is available. This makes the whole process more convenient as well as may result in you receiving a discount.

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By Mango
Added Nov 8 '11

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