9 Tips for Choosing the Right Sailboat Insurance Coverage

Boat ownership can become expensive over the years, especially if you invest a lot in maintenance and upgrades. You want to know you have coverage if unforeseen events cause damage or loss to such a pricy investment. This is why the first thing you take out should be insurance rather than the boat itself, but which coverage should you choose?

This article will dig into several ways to ensure you are getting the best sailboat insurance that matches your needs. Read on to get the right mindset to navigate the stormy waters of different insurance contracts.

1. Contextualizing the Importance of Insurance

To have the best chance of getting a great marine insurance deal, you need to understand why it is so important to start with.

A boat insurance plan is not a gamble. It is an important investment that can prevent you from being out-of-pocket if many different mishaps occur, such as:

  • Other boats colliding with yours
  • Grounding your vessel on unseen sandbars or rocks
  • Rough waters capsizing the vessel
  • Theft of the boat or its equipment
  • Vandalism
  • Severe weather damage
  • Equipment failure
  • Ice damage
  • Vermin infestation and damage

As you can see, many of these do not even relate to your own actions. Even if you think you are the most careful boat owner, your vessel could still come to harm.

It is also important to consider the above potential incidents. Is there the potential of each happening to your vessel? The answer might be “Yes,” so you may need to talk to an insurance company about coverage for¬†those specific kinds of harm.

2. Understanding the Different Types of Coverage

With several different types of insurance available, you likely want to delve into them in more detail. The main selection you will want to make with us, though, is whether you get full coverage or only liability insurance.

Full coverage encompasses both your personal liability in claims against you and damage to your vessel. Liability insurance alone covers only third-party claims when it comes to accidents.

Other policies also exist, such as equipment coverage, weather or fire protection, or theft insurance. Speak to McMahon Insurance Agency about your options when it comes to these.

3. Assessing How Much it Covers

Your sailboat insurance coverage should ensure your finances and assets do not come to permanent harm after a claim. As such, you must consider the best balance between premium costs and how much you can claim after an incident.

A good step would be to get an independent appraisal of your vessel and any equipment it holds. You can then start to think about what you can afford as a premium and what the impact would be if you underinsured the boat. Try to find a level that is both affordable and feels fair should the worst happen.

4. Customizing Your Policy to Your Sailing Habits

While it might feel like there should be a one-size-fits-all option, you would be better off customizing your insurance policy. Look into¬†coverage that reflects your sailing frequency and how much you sail each season. Some “layup” policies allow some flexibility in this regard, allowing you to pay less for specific forms of coverage in the off-season.

5. Evaluating Your Deductible

Not everyone understands the importance of a deductible when it comes to insurance. It gives you a higher investment in your own safety while protecting the insurer from small claims, allowing them to offer lower premiums.

When looking at different deductibles, choose one that reflects your finances. There is no point taking out insurance if you cannot pay for it, after all.

Also, consider your premium and how a different deductible affects it. You may be able to pay a lower premium, for example, and put the saved money aside for a payment later if you need it.

6. Protecting Any Specialized Equipment

It is not only protecting your boat you might need to worry about. If you store scuba gear or other specialized equipment onboard, it is a good idea to get that insured, too. After all, if your navigational equipment comes to harm, your sailing options after that will be much more limited.

Standard coverage is not likely to protect such items, so ask your provider what they can do to help if you need to claim for their theft or damage.

7. Bundling Sailboat Insurance With Other Policies

The average boat insurance policy ranges anywhere from around $250 to $650 each year. This can be costly, and you might want to consider getting a good deal by bundling it with other options.

Many insurance companies offer bundles that might benefit you, such as combined boat and homeowner coverage. So, talk to a professional insurance agency to learn what else they can do for you.

8. Considering Legal Insurance or Pollution Liability

While accidents do occur, there is often the possibility of litigation related to incidents in which you and your boat are involved. However it occurs, you might be glad to have legal insurance ahead of time to cover its costs.

Sometimes boats can pollute the water or ground they sit in, due to fuel, oil, or other chemicals. Being unable to take responsibility will impact your local reputation. Pollution liability insurance gives you protection to help pay for cleanup as well as possible fines you might face.

9. The Freedom to Adapting Your Policy Regularly

You cannot always be assured you will keep the same boating habits all the time. As such, see if you can get a policy you can at least change once a year. This will ensure you have the best deal at all times, saving you money.

Searching for Sailboat Insurance That’s Leagues Ahead

You want to have smooth sailing and resolve any sailboat insurance issues before it turns into a storm. This is why the McMahon Insurance Agency is well-placed to help you out.

Our experts are leaders in the field of many forms of coverage, including marine insurance. We also have around a century of helping people just like you under our belt. So, pick up the phone and chat with us about your insurance needs today to get the perfect deal.