Owning a boat is a cherished dream of many Americans who spend year after year saving every penny to one day make that purchase. Unfortunately, that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare when buyers learn that they can’t get boat insurance through traditional channels. To make sure you’re not denied the proper coverage required, follow these steps to ensure proper coverage protection.
1. If your boat is in poor condition, it can be very difficult to insure. Perform regular repair and maintenance for a chance of getting a great policy lined up.
2. Boating violations are the same as motor vehicle violations, so make sure you don’t get too many tickets too often or you’ll be taken as a liability and not be insured.
3. Size matters. If your boat size is too big, some insurance companies might not insure it because of the cost. You may have to seek insurance through companies that specialize in large boats and yachts.
4. BUI. Same concept as DUI. If you have one on your record, your insurance might be more expensive than its normal price.
5. Driving record. Underwriters of insurance policies take many different factors under consideration when writing a policy and one of the things they look at is the driving record. If you have a bad driving record with multiple claims, it can cause an insurance company to drop a client in a heartbeat. Boats are generally very expensive and insurance companies don’t gamble with their investments so make sure you have a clean record.
6. Speed Boats. These fast paced machines are difficult to insure through major companies so you may find yourself paying a high premium for specialized high risk insurance on your beauty ride.
7. Inadequate Number of Life Jackets. Part of the underwriting inspection for your boat is making sure that there are an adequate number of life jackets on board, typically one for every seat or unit of capacity. Failure to provide these at the time of your inspection will probably only hold up the process, but non-compliance will almost always result in the policy not being written at all.
It’s important to remember that boat insurance isn’t that much different from car insurance, and that the laws that govern the water are just as important as those that apply on land. Reducing claims, fines and violations will not only save you money and insure that you obtain coverage, but can also keep you and your loved ones safe.