With boating season right around the corner, this is the perfect time to review your boat insurance. We spoke with our trusted insurance expert, Douglas MacDonald of Murray & MacDonald Insurance, about some things to consider:
Federal law assigns fuel spills responsibility to the boat owner. It could be oil discharged from the bilge, oil leaked from a sunken vessel or a general leak. Environmental damage levied for fuel spills can reach almost $1 million and cleanup costs could exceed fines. Vessel Pollution Liability provides coverage for spills including clean-up, third party property damage, loss of revenues or services, defense, investigation, civil penalties, criminal fines, defense costs and more. What policy limits do you have?
Who are the permitted boat operators? Understand who may operate the vessel and whether they are covered under your policy.
What is your policy’s liability limit? Is the policy listed on your personal umbrella policy, thereby extending the coverage amounts?
What are the policy’s territorial limits? Coverage won’t apply if you operate the boat outside that area.
What is the policy “lay-up” period? Vessels operating beyond that time frame will lose coverage.
Do you have Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value (aka depreciated) coverage for partial claims? For example, if you hit a rock and ruin the lower unit will your insurance policy repair/replace it without depreciation? Make sure you have replacement cost.
Take time to review your boat policy with your insurance agent to make certain you address all of these important policy provisions.