Owning a boat can be a risky proposition even under the best of conditions. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are more than a thousand residential boating accidents in the U.S. each year. If you operate your boat in bad weather or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this increases your risk of being involved in a boating accident and injuring yourself or others. Boat insurance allows you to have peace of mind that your boat is protected in the event of an accident or damage as well as the comfort of knowing that you have liability protection if you injure another person or property. These are the top three reasons why it pays to have adequate insurance coverage for your watercraft.
1. Protect your investment
Owning a boat is a huge investment. According to Forbes, owning a boat is way more expensive per square foot than the cost of owning a home because it is a moving part that must be constantly maintained. Some luxury boats sell for as much as $1,000 per foot. After investing all of the money in buying, registering and maintaining your boat, you should make sure that your insurance coverage is sufficient to protect your investment in the case of the unexpected. It only takes one bad storm to destroy your boat in an instant.
2. Protect yourself from lawsuits
Even if you are a safe boat operator and have maintained all of your required licenses, it is possible that you could collide with another watercraft or property on the water. You should be insured so that in the event that you have to pay for the damage, you are able to do so without having your assets seized by the court system. You may already have some liability coverage through your homeowners policy, but it is best to be completely sure that you are covered before heading out on open waters.
3. You can offset the cost with a higher deductible
One of the reasons that people do not insure their watercraft is that they assume it is too expensive. However, there are ways that you can reduce the overall cost of coverage and still have sufficient insurance to protect your assets. For example, you could elect to have a higher deductible for your boat insurance policy. This means that if you were to file a claim under your boat insurance policy, you would have to pay more out of your own pocket to have the claim taken care of. To offset the surprise of this cost, you should start a separate savings account and put money away until you reach the full amount of your deductible in case of a claim.