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How to Shop For Boat Insurance
Ian D. Major

If you have a boat, you need boat insurance!

Shopping for boat insurance is a bit different from shopping for car insurance, even though the concept is much the same. Boat insurance will protect you against losses incurred while operating your boat, and while transporting your boat. Most boat insurance includes coverage for the boat, the motor, and the trailer.

When shopping for boat insurance, it is usually best to start with the insurance company that insures your cars and your home. Insurance companies usually give deep discounts to their current customers. Most insurance companies will also give deep discounts to people who have successfully completed a boating safety course.

Ask each insurance company that you contact about such discounts. In most cases, they won't tell you about the discounts unless you specifically ask.

Don't settle for the rate that your current insurance company quotes! Just get the quote, and tell them you will call them back soon. Using that quote as your base, you need to see if you can get the insurance cheaper elsewhere.

Using online resources is a great way to start. Get the quotes, and then contact the agents personally to see if you can work out a better deal. Believe it or not, insurance companies will compete with each other for your business. Don't be afraid to tell them the lowest quote that you have been given so far - make them work for your business!

Know what type of insurance you want and need before contacting any agents. Some agents will try to sell you too much insurance, causing your premiums to skyrocket, while others aren't as knowledgeable about the insurance needs of boat owners and won't sell you enough coverage!

You should be protected against losses caused by sinking, fire, storms, theft, capsizing, stranding, collision, and explosion. The policy should cover anchors, oars, trolling motors, fuel tanks, seat cushions, skis, tow ropes, dinghies, tools, canopies, life preservers, and any equipment that is permanently attached to the boat.

The different types of insurance that you need include Watercraft Liability, Watercraft medical payments, Newly acquired watercraft coverage, coverage for repairs, coverage for emergency services, and coverage for wreck removal. In most states, the liability coverage entails Watercraft Liability and Watercraft Medical Payments.

Watercraft liability will protect you in the event of an accident that results from the ownership, maintenance, or use of your boat. It should include bodily injury coverage, property damage coverage, and even legal defense coverage. It should also protect anyone who drives your boat, as long as they were legally allowed to drive the vessel.

Watercraft Medical payments coverage will pay medical expenses up to specific limits for you and the occupants of your boat in the even of an accident.

Other types of coverage are usually voluntary, but should be strongly considered. There is quite a bit that can happen when you transport or operate a water vessel, and protecting yourself legally should be a high priority!

Again, know what you want in terms of coverage before you talk to an agent, and make sure that you get the coverage that you need.

Compare rates online, and then contact the agents that offer you the lowest quotes. Attend a boating safety course, and make sure that you get that discount! Once you've found lower rates than the original quote that your current insurance company offered you, call them back and let them know that you found a lower rate. See if they can compete - in many cases they will offer to match that rate, just to keep your business! Again - make them work for your business!

CopyRight Ian D. Major 2005.

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