The boating lifestyle is more than just you, your boat, and the water. Water sports and recreation include a wide variety of activities- from taking your boat on the road to new and exciting destinations, to fishing and tubing- and in the case of bigger boats or yachts, enjoying the experience of a full-service vacation and crew. Boat ownership means being responsible for the maintenance of an array of electronics, important safety features, a trailer for moving your boat from one place to the next, and much more. So how can you be assured that your boat is completely covered in the event of an issue, such as inclement weather damage or theft?

Covering the Goods- Are Your Add-ons Protected?

When prepping for a full day out on the water, take a moment to consider the wide variety of equipment you are taking along. It can be anything from expensive fishing gear and electronics to other personal effects. The dinghy that you have on board in case of an emergency, the trailer you’ve used to get to the launch- all of these aspects of your recreational lifestyle are investments and need protection. Fortunately, when writing your boat insurance policy, there are add-ons available to protect each component of your valuable investment- and getting those add-ons in place is relatively simple when writing your boat insurance policy.

While most boat policies do have inclusions that may cover anything physically attached to the vessel, such as engines and towers, or other essential equipment like electronics and dinghies, these are typically covered up to the insured value of the boat and are subject to the same deductible. It’s wise to add a separate endorsement for electronic equipment especially, which is frequently targeted by thieves. Adding additional endorsements means separate, often smaller “sub” deductibles, which makes filing a claim less of a strain in the event of damage or theft. Discussing options with your insurance professional when putting together your policy is critical.

Trailering Your Boat: Auto Insurance Coverage, or Boat Insurance Coverage?

One of the most rewarding aspects of boat ownership is the ability to explore bodies of water across the country. Whether you’re headed to the lakes in High Point State Park, traveling across state lines to boating country in North Carolina or Northern Georgia, or hitting the coast for some open ocean fishing, there are tons of options and beautiful places to take your boat. Getting there means trailering your boat, and trailering means there are other insurance policy protections you’ll need. 

While some boat trailers can be covered under a special rider attached to a vehicle or homeowners policy, it’s not advisable. Specialized items like boat trailers are used in such a specific way and have specific risks attached to them, so the wisest thing to do is get separate trailer coverage added onto your boat policy in order to avoid exemptions that could prove costly. One of the greatest risks for boat trailers is theft. This is due in large part to the way trailers are used- typically left attached to your vehicle in a boat launch area while you enjoy your time on the water. Enterprising thieves routinely take advantage of this scenario, unfortunately, so theft protection is key. 

Trailering Bonus: Trip Interruption Coverage

Another policy add-on that boat owners may not be aware of but can prove especially handy is trip interruption coverage. This gem can really be a lifesaver in the event that something goes wrong with your boat trailer when you’re on the road and far from home. 

Imagine that you’re on the way back from a relaxing boat vacation- and traveling back to your home slip or boat storage location. It’s late, you’re on the highway in the middle of somewhere far from home, and your trailer breaks down. Boat trailers are specialized equipment, so it may take a day or two to get the needed fix. You’ll need to find and pay for a place to stay, and you could incur additional trip-interruption related costs. That’s where your trip interruption coverage comes into play, providing coverage of reasonable and temporary out-of-pocket expenses for transportation, lodging, and meals in the event of a covered loss or damage to your boat or trailer. 

Yacht Life: Additional Considerations for Crewed Boats and International Waters

Luxury boats and yachts make up another facet of the recreational boater lifestyle, and come with their own sets of concerns. For example, are you captaining your yacht yourself, or do you hire someone to do it for you? Do you have a crew aboard? In that case, separate coverage will need to be taken into account for incidents- worker’s compensation, for example. Making certain that every aspect of your boat and crew are covered means knowing all of the potential areas of risk- and an insurance professional is able to walk you through the process.

Finally, do you intend to take your boat abroad? Perhaps a trip off the coast of Florida inspires a desire to make your way over to the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or another vacation destination. Aside from having your navigational plans and appropriate paperwork sorted, do you have protections in place against piracy? Piracy, despite often drawing to mind images from Disney movies or children’s television shows, is no mere fantasy, but a legitimate risk in international waters. Pirate insurance provides coverage in the event that something truly terrifying, such as a kidnapping and ransom, takes place. Pirate insurance policies handle ransom funds, as even those with the most luxurious watercraft don’t keep stacks of cash readily available on ship to hand over to pirates. 

Overall, it’s important when going over the policies you purchase and put in place to protect your boat and associated property that you consider the details that may not immediately come to mind. Preparation is a key component to enjoying your watercraft responsibly, whether that means having navigational plans in place, ensuring regular maintenance is done, enough life vests and bottled water, or the appropriate insurance coverage. Whether you keep your boat close to home or travel with it extensively, carry loads of expensive equipment or keep things low key, there are available coverages and add-ons to your boat policy that will protect you and your investment. See an insurance professional at LG today, and you’ll give yourself peace of mind while you’re on the road and on the water.