UNDERSTANDING YOUR COVERAGE: BOAT INSURANCE

You finally saved up enough money to buy your own boat. You sit back in your chair and imagine the wind whipping through your hair while you pilot a water skier  through the local lake or maybe pull a few bass out of the same area (but not at the same time!). Well, before you put your S.S. American Dream in the water, be sure you have purchased, or at least considered, boat insurance.

Common types of boat coverages include: Liability, which covers costs related to bodily injury and property damage suffered by others in a boating accident you cause, Collision, which will help with repairs to your boat after it is damaged in a collision; Comprehensive, which will help get your boat repaired if it is damaged in several types of non-collision-related incidents; On-water towing, much like vehicle roadside service, this will help with towing if your boat breaks down in the water; and Medical Coverages, which can help with costs related to injuries you may suffer in a boat crash.

Bear in mind that not all companies offer the same types of coverages, and can limit them based on factors such as the size, age, and type of boat you have, as well as where you put it on the water and where you usually travel. Because most states do not require boat insurance, you may want to purchase Uninsured coverage to help if your boat is damaged by an uninsured boater.

Understand that your homeowners insurance will cover some damage incurred while your boat is parked at home, and your vehicle insurance will cover some liability damage caused while you are towing your boat, neither is adequate.

Talk to your insurance professional to see how you can be sure you are covered fully to and from the water, as well as while you are enjoying your boat on the lake, river, or ocean.