Choosing The Right Motorcycle Insurance

Taking Your Boat Into The Ocean? Complete These Insurance Checks And Balances First

by Joel Wheeler

If you're like most people who buy a new boat, you might believe that your homeowners insurance covers it should anything happen. This assumption is dangerous because most homeowners' policies only cover very small boats with no engines, such as a sailboat or a canoe.

Purchase a separate policy to cover the boat, property and bodily liability. If you want to take to the open waters, complete these tasks first so that your boat's policy will cover you should anything happen.

1. Learn Where the Pirate Zones Are

As you're plotting your course, make sure that you avoid any areas where there are pirate warnings out. Your insurance may not cover you if you venture into these areas if they are well documented. The odds of a pirate attack are slim, but it is always best to know where these areas are and plot your course far away from them.  

2. Stock the Boat Properly

Keep the proper safety supplies on board at all times while in the water. Stock your boat with these items:

  • life preservers for all passengers
  • bright flashlight
  • two-way VHF radio
  • fully stocked first aid kit
  • flares
  • fire extinguisher
  • water map for the area you're traveling
  • owner's manual for making on-board repairs
  • tool kit

While having boating insurance provides peace of mind, it doesn't replace personal responsibility. If your boat is not fully equipped to handle certain disasters, your insurance company could find you liable and not cover the damages.

3. Adhere to Passenger Limits

Each boat has a capacity limit. Respect this limit and don't take more people with you than what the manufacturer of the vessel recommends. Remember that medical expenses for someone who becomes injured on your boat can reach into the thousands, and if you break the rules, your liability insurance may not cover these costs.

4. Check the Weather

It is your responsibility to check the weather forecast for your course. Don't go on the ocean if there are high winds, major thunderstorms, tropical storms or hurricanes forecasted for your path.

In some situations, you may not need to worry about this so much because the coast guard will close off the ports and not allow you to take the boat out if there is a storm in the vicinity.

Have fun when you head out into the water on your new boat. As a new boat owner, it is important that you study up on boating safety for yourself and your passengers. Ask your insurance agent, like those at SkiSafe, how much insurance you need for your new vessel, and learn their rules for coverage.