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Boat Insurance 101

Boat Insurance 101

by May 7, 2015 0 comments

Boats are a tool for charting the unknown, towing the kids on the tube down the river or relaxing in the crisp golden glow of the evening while enjoying that well-deserved weekend sundowner. In the midst of enjoying the pleasures of our well-earned vessels of recreation or relaxation, let’s face it—we are NOT thinking about what could go wrong. More importantly, we are NOT thinking about boat insurance—that possibly necessary evil that should be investigated (at the very least) by all boat owners.

So, where do you, a Queensland Boat owner, stand in relation to your policy for boat insurance?

Queensland law requires all boats over 15 metres in length to have insurance to cover the potential cost of salvage, wreck removal and pollution clean-up. However, while this provision forces those with larger vessels to obtain insurance, the personal benefits involved in insuring a boat undoubtedly extend to those with smaller boats as well.

What is boat insurance and why do YOU need it?

Let us skip first to the blatantly obvious—whether with a tinnie or a yacht, you should have the peace of mind that your investment will be protected in the unfortunate case that any physical damage or loss were to occur to it.

As well as this, you should have protection concerning any liability that may arise as a result of the operation of your boat including loss or damage to another’s property and death or personal injury to another.

Boat insurance can do just that—cover you for loss, damage, theft or injury risks to your craft and its occupants, as well as any costs that you may incur to other people or property through accidental damage.

How do you decide which insurance policy is right for you?

Before anything else, you want to make sure you are looking at policies that cover you to the extent you desire regarding both physical damage and liability issues. Coverage will vary between different policies so it is important that you understand exactly what you are covered for in the case of an accident.

You may choose to simply opt for third-party-only boat insurance policies, which will cover the financial cost of any damages accidentally caused to another person’s boat or property.

This policy is popular for boaties whose boats may not be very expensive, but are being operated on the waterways where there is chance they may cause damage to someone else’s more expensive boat.

What about additional coverage? Some insurance policies will have exclusions, so make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into when insuring your boat. Depending on how far you want your policy to extend, you may need to take out additional coverage to insure personal effects, such as fishing equipment, radars, mobile phones, cameras, etc.

If your boat is not permanently on the water, and you rely on a trailer to transfer your boat from the waterways to your home, make sure you check out whether your policy covers the trailer. You may also want to ensure your policy extends to towing, just in case an accident occurs while your boat is out of the water.

Each policy is different, so it is important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Make sure you know the details of your coverage, and further investigate what it would cost to insure those extras. Better safe than sorry, right?

Shopping tips

The important thing to remember when shopping for boat insurance is that it is a specialty coverage.

  • Do your research and make sure you find the policy that is right for you. There is a lot out there, but there are sure to be a few that are catered specifically to you and the needs of your treasured vessel.
  • Ask questions! And ask lots. You do not want to be in the dark about what you are heading into with an insurance policy.
  • Make sure you know your policy and what it covers, and you know that the insurance carrier of your choice has a history in providing the specific type of coverage you are looking for.

If you follow these guidelines and take some of our tips into consideration, you are sure to find peace of mind while cruising through the water. You will be able to sit back, relax, enjoy that sundowner and know that whatever happens, you are covered.

Want to save money on Boat Insurance?

Often, insurance providers will offer a discount when you take out an umbrella-liability policy—that is, your home, car and boat are all insured by the same provider. Insurance providers will also offer discounts to those that store a coast-guard approved fire extinguisher on board, as well as a ship-to-shore radio.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author, and are not meant to replace professional advice. These tips only serve as a guide in conducting your own research before purchasing a boat insurance policy.


By Kyle Turner 

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