Wisconsin boasts thousands of lakes and countless miles of rivers. Add in coastlines that border two of the Great Lakes, and you can see why boating is such a popular pastime in The Badger State. Whether you enjoy fishing for bigmouth bass on Lake Winnebago or skiing on Lake Michigan, you need insurance that fully protects your investment.
Why Purchase Boat Insurance?
Many people falsely assume that the boat coverage on another insurance policy is enough to provide protection from a major loss or liability. It is not until they file a claim that they realize the coverage is severely limited and excludes many types of vessels. Perhaps your homeowner’s insurance offers limited coverage for a boat. Can you rely on it to protect you from loss? Imagine the following scenario:
You store your speed boat in your home’s garage during a cold Wisconsin winter. Unfortunately, your home catches fire, destroying your watercraft. When you file the claim on your homeowner’s policy, your insurer only offers to reimburse you for a fraction of your boat’s value – up to $1500. Your out of pocket losses total thousands of dollars, and your investment literally went up in flames.
In the above situation, your homeowner’s insurance would only provide limited coverage for boats. Beyond the limits on the policy, you are responsible for your losses. The same principles apply to liability. In general, boat liability insurance on a homeowner’s policy is not enough to fully protect you in our litigious society.
Types of Boat Insurance Coverage
Boat insurance should be customized to fit your needs. The coverage you need for a brand new cabin cruiser is not the same coverage your neighbor might need for his two used Jet Skis. However, most boat owners would be wise to purchase coverage that includes:
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
If you injure someone or damage someone’s property while operating your watercraft, you could be held legally and financially responsible. Bodily injury and property damage liability helps cover victim medical expenses, lost wages, physical losses, and more. It can also cover your legal defense fees if you are sued.
Physical Damage Coverage
Your physical damage coverage can include coverage for losses incurred in a collision or due to another incident, such as vandalism. You pay a small deductible, and your insurer pays to repair or replace your boat if it is damaged or destroyed due to inclement weather, fire, theft, or another covered event.
Equipment and Accessories Coverage
Your boat may be covered in an accident, but the expensive equipment and accessories you carry aboard it may not. Make sure your insurance includes protection for your navigational equipment, expensive fishing gear, and your personal effects, such as cell phones.
If you find yourself stranded on Lake Michigan, emergency service coverage helps assure you have access to 24-7 towing and assistance.
The cost of ambulance transfers, hospital stays, and rehabilitation can add up quickly after a boating accident. Medical payments coverage helps pay for out-of-pocket medical bills not covered by your health insurance, regardless of who was at-fault in an accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Boater Insurance
If you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured boater, you might find yourself responsible for your own medical expenses. This type of coverage helps cover medical bills that exceed the limits on your medical payments insurance.
Combine Coverage and Save
Here at Dennis Gutman Insurance, our number one goal is saving you money. We believe that quality boat insurance does not have to break your budget. We know how to maximize your savings on the coverage you need by finding you money-saving discounts, including added savings when you bundle your boat insurance with other types of coverage. Our customers save when they allow us to build a custom insurance package that includes boat, as well as other types of insurance, such as home and auto.