This guide will highlight and explain the personal and financial importance of buying and owning insurance for a boat or yacht. It will explain the many benefits of not just owning a boat or yacht, but having it insured. These benefits include protecting yourself and your boat from accidents, losses and damage from forces such as other boats, fires or storms.
It will also explain personal safety tips for owning and managing a boat or yacht as they pertain to their specific insurance policies, distinguish between boats and yachts, and provide information on the products and services that Marine Agency offers regarding boat and yacht insurance.
Introduction: Boat & Yacht Insurance
Now that it’s June, the summer season is officially here, which means that it’s time to brush the dust off your boat or yacht and get back out on the water. If you already own a boat or yacht, you understand how much fun, leisure, and relaxation these vessels offer you and your entire family each summer.
If you’re considering investing in a boat or yacht, then treat yourself to the perfect vehicle for anything on the water – whether it’s cruising along the coastline, strolling around lakes or spending hot, sunny, lazy afternoons fishing or swimming, or just simply floating and relaxing.
Just like you would with your car or house, if you already own or are planning on owning a boat or a yacht, it’s always a good idea to make sure it’s covered by a quality insurance policy. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your property, investments and the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones.
For clarification purposes, let’s distinguish a boat from a yacht, as this will have an effect on the kind of plans and policies that insurance companies offering boat and yacht insurance will offer and suggest. For starters, most insurance companies distinguish boats from yachts by twenty-six feet in length. Along with size, they are also distinguished by their purposes.
Boats are more multi-purpose watercraft vehicles, being used for both commercial, leisure, and sometimes even residential purposes, whereas yachts are more often than not luxury items and therefore used exclusively for leisure.
Accidents Happen: Safe Boating & Yachting Tips
Yes, accidents do happen. Although the possibility of accidents should never deter you from having fun and enjoying and experiencing life, it’s always best to be prepared, responsible, and knowledgeable about safety precautions. This is how you can truly have fun and enjoy and experience life without damaging your property or putting yourself at risk of harm, injury, or worse, death.
First off, it is imperative that you wear a life jacket while operating your boat or yacht, make sure that anyone else who’s present on your boat or yacht is wearing life jackets, and that there are plenty of life jackets readily available in the event of an emergency.
According to the American Boating Organization opens in a new window in 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard reported approximately 4,158 accidents, which included 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries, and over $42 million worth of damage done to property, the majority of which involved the watercraft (boat or yacht) itself.
The American Boating Organization and U.S. Coast Guard further report that out of all the fatal boating- and yachting-related accidents last year, 76 percent of the victims drowned. Out of that number, a huge 85 percent of the drowning victims were not wearing life jackets. It is an absolute necessity that when it comes to owning, operating, and enjoying the experience of operating a boat or yacht, life jackets be worn, used, and that extras be made available.
Despite the statistics, it is highly unlikely that you will suffer a major accident on your boat or yacht that will result in a death by drowning, unless you know nothing about sailing, in which case we recommend you learn more about sailing and practice operating a rental boat before investing in and operating one of your own. It is also more likely for you to be injured in your vessel if you enjoy taking your boat or yacht out for a ride in the middle of a violent storm, which of course we strongly recommend against doing.
Regardless, even though the chances of drowning to death because of a boat- or yacht-related accident are very unlikely, it is still important that you prepare for the worst-case scenario and always wear life jackets or have them handy in case of an emergency situation.
Second, it is also imperative that you do not drink while you are operating your boat or yacht. While throwing back a few beers with a couple of friends or loved ones while relaxing on the deck of your boat or yacht on a warm and beautiful summer afternoon is one of life’s great pleasures, as with all drinking-related situations, the drinking should be done responsibly even if you are not the one operating the boat or yacht. You obviously shouldn’t be drinking at all if you are the captain for the day.
Sobriety is worth safety – not just yours, but for any loved ones who may be on your boat or yacht with you. It also means safety for the boat or yacht itself. According to HG Legal Resources opens in a new window, alcohol is the number one contributing factor to fatal boating- and yachting-related accidents, along with negligence (carelessness and recklessness when operating the watercraft, often due to a lack of proper knowledge about sailing or operating watercraft). So, just like you wouldn’t drive a car while under the influence, you shouldn’t operate a boat or a yacht while under the influence either. Otherwise, you would be putting yourself at serious risk of endangering yourself and anyone else who is on the boat or yacht with you.
This is especially important given that boats and yachts are watercraft, meaning they are most likely going to be used on large bodies of water (usually large lakes, bays, or oceans), which can provide another safety concern in emergency situations. Driving a boat or a yacht is just like driving a car in that drinking while driving is incredibly dangerous and can put you and your loved ones at serious risk of endangerment. It can also put you at risk of being arrested.
Facing some pretty serious charges and having to pay some pretty heavy fines all because you decided to drink alcohol while operating your boat or yacht, and risking the safety and lives of you and any loved ones who were also on your boat or yacht at the time, is certainly not the best way to kick off your summer.
Another situation to keep in mind when you become the owner of (or are considering being the owner of) a boat or a yacht, which makes it especially important to purchase insurance for it, is damage caused by collision. Whether it’s with another watercraft, a dock or a pier, a buoy, or even a house, collisions can cause serious damage to a boat or a yacht which can cost you up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket, depending on the severity, if you don’t have insurance.
Fortunately, a lot of insurance companies that offer insurance coverage packages for boats and yachts will cover most (if not all) of the of damage caused by collision – especially if the collision involves another person’s property such as a house, a dock or pier connected to another person’s house or business property, or another boat or yacht.
One way to practice safe sailing in order to better reduce the risk of avoidable and damaging collision-related accidents is by practicing proper maintenance. Taking good care of your boat and yacht, instead of neglecting a valuable piece of your property and a high financial investment by letting it all go to waste and ruin, is a surefire way to make sure that your watercraft is better suited for activity on the water and less likely to suffer any serious damage from undesirable weather or collisions.
Of course, no piece of property, regardless of whether it’s your boat, yacht, car or house, is invincible. Therefore, it’s still crucial and necessary that you protect your boat or yacht with insurance. However, it’s still obviously a good idea to take good care of your boat or yacht. Oftentimes insurance companies will not cover the costs of damage from an accident if the boat or yacht in question is already in poor shape. Therefore, keep it in tip-top shape in order to make it less susceptible to damage, regardless of what accident caused it.
Thanks to DiscoverBoating.com opens in a new window, here are some good, useful maintenance tips which will be helpful for taking care of your boat and yacht and making sure it is more likely to qualify for insurance coverage.
- Wash your boat or yacht on a regular basis, especially after every time you take it out on the water.
It might seem like a huge, time-consuming pain but cleaning your boat or yacht and making sure it is in tip-top shape is well worth the time and effort. It could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars too! If you frequently take your boat or yacht along the Atlantic coastline or in estuaries where saltwater is present, then rinse it out thoroughly with freshwater.
Rinsing your boat will remove the residue from the salt off the surface of your boat or yacht, since salt will corrode metal, fasteners, and other hardware on your boat as well as mar the gelcoat. Therefore, you should also use a long-handle, soft-bristle boat brush and some high-quality soap to rub away at the corrosive residue. Sometimes, car wash and laundry soap brands will also be just as effective.
- You should regularly change your oil and check the propeller to make sure it is functioning well and that there are no issues which could potentially lead to financially crippling damage and accidents.
The Advantages and Benefits of Having Boat and Yacht Insurance
Because of the many benefits it offers, and the (practically) zero disadvantages it carries, boat and yacht insurance is more of an obligation that comes with the responsibilities of being an owner and operator of a boat or yacht rather than an option or privilege that only the lucky few can afford. This obligatory nature of boat and yacht insurance is especially true if the boat or yacht in question is being used for commercial purposes, but it’s also true if the boat or yacht in question is used solely for personal pleasure since it involves the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones.
According to MyYachtRegistration.com opens in a new window, buying boat and yacht insurance for your watercraft is essential to making your time on and experience with your watercraft as safe as it can possibly be. Always think of owning and operating your boat or yacht as if it were another auto vehicle, except with the added risk of it involving large bodies of water.
While bodies of water like lakes and oceans are definitely worth venturing out onto with a boat or yacht, given their beauty and calming effects on people, lakes and oceans come with many risks such as drowning and undesirable weather. These risks can be potential liabilities which, in the events of damage, losses, or accidents, can be detrimental financially to the owner of the boat or yacht if the boat or yacht in question is uninsured.
When purchasing insurance as an owner of a boat or yacht, you are usually guaranteed limited liability when it comes to damage, loss of any personal property that was on the boat, or the medical costs related to an injury suffered from a boating- or yachting-related accident.
If you are in any way still hesitant or unsure about boat or yacht insurance, or don’t know much about the industry, it is highly recommended that you seek professional assistance from a watercraft insurance broker or a professional insurance consultancy firm specializing in helping individuals decide on the most favorable and suitable boat or yacht insurance plans and policies.
There are several benefits and advantages to owning insurance for your boat or yacht. Some of the many benefits and advantages that most basic boat and yacht insurance packages include are protection, compensation, and limited liability against theft or hijack of the boat or yacht, theft of any cargo or personal property onboard, mistakes in transportation or operation of the watercraft (or, in other words, inappropriate and reckless handling of the watercraft), accidents while the boat or yacht is conveying people, cargo, or personal property (or in other words, sinking or overturning), variations in temperature that cause complications with operating and managing the boat or yacht while it is in use, the injury or death of anybody onboard the watercraft, collision, risk of pollution or other dangerous environmental factors and concerns, cargo or personal property liabilities, and other labor and legal costs (if the boat or yacht is strictly being used for commercial or transportation purposes).
While it is important that you regard owning, operating, and managing your boat or yacht as if it were an automotive vehicle, it is also important to keep in mind that unlike many other forms of transportation or vehicular property, boats and yachts are subject to a broader range and variety of risks that are often beyond the control of the owner, operator, and manager of the watercraft due the added risks of being out on a body of water.
While sobriety and the presence of life jackets are factors that are within the watercraft owner and operator’s control, rough weather, drowning, and, more often than not, collision are beyond the owner and operator’s control. Therefore, it is because of these potential uncontrollable and unforeseeable risks, liabilities, situations, and circumstances that it is so imperative to buy boat and yacht insurance for your watercraft. The benefits of being insured far outweigh the risks of being uninsured.
Boat & Yacht Insurance at Marine Agency
Founded in 1922 and originally located in New York City, Marine Agency is an insurance corporation based in New Jersey that originally exclusively offered marine-based coverage. However, following the Great Depression in the 1930’s, Marine Agency expanded to include various specialty insurance coverage packages for areas such as beauty salons, barber shops, homes and cars.
Marine Agency opens in a new window offers the most when it comes to boat and yacht insurance. Whether it’s your own personal fishing boat, perfect for taking out on your local lake for a warm and lazy Sunday afternoon, or a fancy yacht perfect for cruising along the Atlantic coastline, Marine Agency has the perfect insurance policy for your watercraft.
Just like with auto insurance, policies for boat and yacht insurance begin with coverage for your liability in owning your boat or yacht. Since accidents happen, for damage you cause to other people’s property (or injury you cause to someone in a boating- or yachting-related accident), the insurance company will pay the damages. When it comes to insurance policies, the distinction between a boat and yacht comes down to its size. The standard definition of size is twenty-six feet in length.
If the watercraft is smaller or equal to that size, it counts as a boat. If the watercraft is larger than that size, then it counts as a yacht. However, regardless of the size of the watercraft you own, boat and yacht insurance policies will cover the same risks, even if it’s for personal watercraft property like jet skis!
For boats, the physical damage coverage is called hull insurance. Hull insurance can cover trailers, equipment, motors, accessories and more. Typical losses that hull insurance covers include damage by fire or windstorm. However, there are incidents that hull insurance won’t cover, like wear and tear or a failure to maintain the quality of the boat. This is why it’s so important to take good care of your boat! Many insurance companies will also require a marine survey in order to help discover any hidden damage or maintenance issues.
As for yacht insurance, most insurance companies will require that the yacht only be used for private pleasure or personal excursions and never for any charter business purposes as part of their yacht insurance policies. However, Marine Agency represents many insurance companies and will be able to obtain commercial charter insurance for your yacht if you require it.
Marine Agency understands the importance of protecting your investments and making sure you and your property are as safe as possible, which is why they offer so many great benefits for their boat and yacht insurance. Indeed, uninsured boaters usually have to pay out of pocket for damages caused by other boats that are also not insured, potentially costing up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
For example, if someone runs their boat or yacht into yours and causes hull damage, your insurance will pay for the damage as though it was the other boat owner’s insurance. Medical coverage will also pay for any small medical bills on a “no fault” basis for minor injuries sustained by anyone participating in the damaging watercraft activity in question.
Because of circumstances like these, it is always a good idea to protect your investment and sail safely this summer by investing in insurance for your boat or yacht. Enjoy a safe trip on the water with your boat or yacht, keep it seaworthy, and let Marine Agency design the perfect insurance package for your long-term financial stability and personal safety. Marine Agency has you and your boat or yacht covered.
Conclusion: Why Insurance for Your Boat or Yacht Is So Important
There are many benefits and absolutely no disadvantages to purchasing insurance coverage for your boat or yacht. Purchasing insurance coverage for your boat or yacht this summer with Marine Agency means guaranteeing that it will be protected against any possible damage. You will also be prepared in the case of an emergency, which means that you and your family are better protected personally and financially against any losses or injuries that occur.
Make sure that this summer will be your best summer yet. Don’t let stress and worry deter you from going out on your boat or yacht and having the time of your life with your loved ones out on the water. You can guarantee a safe and stress-free summer for you, your family, your finances, and of course your boat or yacht simply by calling or visiting Marine Agency opens in a new window today to discuss or request information on the deals and packages we offer for boat and yacht insurance.
Having insurance coverage for your boat or yacht with Marine Agency means being better prepared for and protected against common boating- or yachting-related accidents like drowning and collision. Of course, some precautions are still up to you to take, like being smarter when it comes to safe sailing.
Your boat or yacht is a valuable piece of property that you invested a lot of money in, and you may hope to make the most of it for the remainder of your life. If you plan to make a lot of good memories on your boat or yacht this summer and for all the summers to come, obtaining quality insurance is a necessity. Life can surprise us, and not always in the most pleasant ways. Purchasing the right coverage is like purchasing peace of mind.
You can’t truly enjoy a summer out on the water on your boat or yacht if your head is full of stress and worry about what could happen if things go wrong while you don’t have insurance coverage for your boat and yacht. Save your summer by practicing safe sailing and making smart decisions when it comes to you, your life, your family, and of course your property, by buying boat and yacht insurance with Marine Agency today.