Article written by Cliff McGuire, published in the winter 2016 Southern New England Chapter newsletter, editor Gail Van Dine
You know it can be an absolutely beautiful day on the lake, river, or wherever you are cruising in your pride and joy, and some “Bozo” comes flying out of nowhere, hits your boat, and your day turns into a total disaster. Fortunately, no one is hurt, but it could have been a horrific nightmare. The question of your insurance coverage, and the proper coverage, becomes the next important matter to consider. Do you have the right coverage from a reputable classic boat insurance company?
There are a number of items you need to consider when you shop for a good policy. Amongst the most important is your Liability Coverage. Generally, the minimum required by marinas, and recommended by most agents is $300,000. But $500,000 is better. Of course, you pay a bit more, but you are better off with the $500M. A Fuel Spill Coverage factor – definitely a must – and this is usually in the $750,000 – $900,000 range. “Agreed Value Coverage” vs. a “Stated Value” is what is definitely needed, thinking in terms of replacement issues should they arise. If you’re going south for the Winter and are taking your prize with you, definitely make sure you have a “No mandatory winter lay-up period” in your policy. Otherwise, you could have some major issues if something were to happen. Also needed is “Unlimited overland transportation” coverage. To me, this is trailer towing coverage, and definitely worthwhile. In fact, this is a “must have” for anyone who moves their joy around from one pond to another.
Some of the other basics you want to keep in mind are: Personal Effects, Uninsured Boaters ( and they are out there, hard as it is to believe), Medical Payments ( minimum $10,000/person), and lastly, to me, the most important (and this is from personal experience – Towing Insurance. It is definitely worth having, just for peace of mind when you leave the dock. As I said “from personal experience” – it is approximately $150.00 + per hour from pick up point to your dock, trailer, launch site or wherever, and no one needs that little expense to round out an afternoon on the water. Even if you’re a gearhead, or think you’re a gearhead, it is definitely worth having towing insurance to make your day on the water more relaxing than more apprehensive (if you know what I mean).
Insurance, whether liked or not, is definitely worth the dollars spent on it. You may never need it, but it sure is nice to know it’s there if you ever need it.
note: this post first appeared on this website in May 2016. Is your insurance up to date? ACBS membership entitles you to benefits from several of our sponsors – check out the list of benefits – and follow through.
Safe boating, everyone.