Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter - A Time to Take Stock

Here we are in the middle of a cold and snowy winter. Although I am sure you need no reminder of that. Just look outside your window. The view is probably much like what we see.

This time of year it’s fun to dream of warmer days aboard your boat. And although your boat is likely tucked away until spring, now is a good time to evaluate what is needed for the upcoming boating season. For instance:

- Does the boat require any maintenance? What about the trailer?
- What new gadgets are you thinking of adding?
- Are all the water toys in good working order and will they be ready to go once the summer fun begins?
- Are you planning any boating trips? If so, do you have charts of the new waters where you will be heading?
- What about your boat insurance?

Boat insurance? I know what you are thinking. Boat insurance is not something that tingles the boating imagination. However, now is a great time to consider if you are adequately covered should an unfortunate situation occur.

Here are some things to consider:

Liability – Are your limits high enough to protect you and your passengers should an accident or incident occur involving your boat? Even if your boat’s wake causes damage on shore, you could be liable.

Boat Value – If you have not updated your insurance for several years, you could be paying too much. Your boat has likely lost value over time and could possibly be insured for less. Or, ask your agent about an Agreed Value insurance policy. An Agreed Value is a value of your boat determined and agreed upon by both owner and insurance underwriter at the time the policy is purchased.

Deductibles – Are you able to afford slightly more out of pocket in the event of a loss? If so, you can lower your premiums with a higher deductible.

Personal Property Coverage – Your boat is insured, but what about the GPS Chartplotter, the brand new $600 wakeboard, and the new stereo system with subwoofer, amp, and tower speakers that you just added. Have you really taken the time to calculate all of the extra items that you keep aboard your boat? The amount might surprise you.

Navigational Area Coverage – When you first got your boat trailering to local inland lakes was your typical boating experience, but now you are keeping it at a marina at the Jersey Shore. Are you adequately covered to boat in a coastal environment?

Diminishing Deductibles - This new coverage option from BoatUS automatically discounts your deductible by 25% each year you remain claims free! Once your deductible reaches $0, it stays that way as long as you remain claims-free and insure your boat with BoatUS.

These are just a few of the many things to consider when comparing boat insurance policies. Do yourself, your family, and your boat a favor this off-season by taking stock of your insurance needs. It will provide the peace of mind necessary to enjoy all of those other fun activities of boating.

Here are some insurance providers that specialize in boat insurance. They all offer free quotes. Contact each of them to compare.

NBOA (National Boat Owners Association)

Boater’s Choice

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