You own a boat and you want to protect it, but you should know a few things before you buy a policy. Consider these factors when looking for top-notch coverage for your boat.

Your Boat’s Probably Not Covered By Your Homeowners Policy

Unless you own a canoe or another small boat without a motor, your New Jersey homeowners insurance policy won’t protect you. Any boat with a motor needs a separate policy.

Typically, your choices for boat insurance coverage resemble what’s offered in an automobile insurance policy such as bodily injury & property damage liability, comprehensive & collision, uninsured/underinsured boater, medical payments are normally included.

Boat Insurance Offers Broad Coverage

A New Jersey boat insurance policy protects you from disasters. These usually includes losses such as sinking or capsizing your boat, having a fire or explosion onboard, theft, collision, storm damage, and the costs associated with stranding.

Your policy protects you and your passengers, other boaters, the motor, boating equipment, your boat, and sometimes, but not always, your trailer.

You Can Buy Optional Coverage

You can buy optional coverage for your boat to protect you from unexpected events. Coverage for emergency services if you’re stranded in the water on the roadside is one of these options.

You can also purchase coverage for wreckage removal. It pays for raising or removing a sunken vessel covered by your policy and when the law demands it. Other options include fuel spill cleanup coverage and protection if you use your boat for water sports or fishing. You can also protect personal effects, protect against damage caused by ice or freezing, and more.

Some Policies Allow a Coverage Pause

If you live in an area where you only boat in the spring and summer, you may be able to buy a policy that allows you to interrupt coverage when you’re not using your boat. While this could save you some money, it also means you can’t use your boat during this time. If anything happens, you’ll carry the burden since you won’t have coverage.

Actual Cash Value or Agreed Value?

It’s important to understand what you’re buying when you choose a watercraft policy. Actual Cash Value Coverage considers the cost of replacing your boat, less depreciation. Agreed Value Coverage does not include depreciation.

Agreed Value Coverage costs more initially, but you know how much you’ll get for a total loss. You also receive a new replacement of like kind and quality for any equipment lost, but no matter which policy type you choose, you must pay your deductible first.

Discuss your needs with your independent insurance agent or broker. If you rent or lease your boat or use it for commercial purposes, you need specialized coverage beyond a standard watercraft policy.

Your agent can often bundle your boat insurance policy with your home or auto insurance for savings.

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