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What are important facts on boat insurance?

Karns & Kerrison

Vehicle drivers on Rhode Island roads understand that car insurance protects themselves against liabilities in the event of a vehicular accident. The same logic applies to owning boats. In the event of a boating accident, possessing boat insurance can be the key to preventing financial ruin and staving off ruinous litigation. The Insurance Informational Institute provides some important facts on what boating insurance may cover as well as possible insurance discounts.

Usually, a boat insurance policy will cover physical damage sustained to the boat, as well as property damage and medical bills. Coverage may include damage to boat components, such as the engine or machinery or equipment permanently attached to the vessel. Insurance also covers damage to the hull and harm to fittings and furnishings. You can also insure your boat against being stolen.

Insurance is also vital in case of an accident. Boat insurance can pay for medical bills for anyone hurt as a result of a boat accident, from the owner of the boat or its operator to people other the boat passengers. In the event your boat damages someone else’s property, boat insurance can cover the damages. And if your boat cannot move under its own power from the accident site, insurance may cover towing costs as well.

Some insurers may provide add-ons to cover boat accessories and boat trailers. However, a boat insurance policy may not cover damage or loss to all assets on the vessel. Sometimes a homeowner’s policy may cover specific assets brought on the boat, but the policy owner would have to inquire about such coverage to be certain. For that, or if you want to insure your home or a vehicle at the same time as your boat, you would likely purchase an umbrella liability policy.

Sometimes you can find insurance discounts in certain circumstances. For example, a boat powered by diesel fuel presents less danger than a gasoline fueled boat since diesel boats are at less risk of exploding. If you put your boat crew through an education course in boating and water safety, you may be eligible for insurance discounts. Such courses are offered by the American Red Cross or the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Insurers might also provide discounts if you also insure your car or home with them. Additionally, if you do not file claims or have claims filed against you for a certain period of time, you may be eligible for a discount.

This article is intended to educate readers on boat insurance and is not to be taken as legal advice.


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If you or your loved one suffered severe, life-altering injuries due to someone else’s negligence, we are here to help you fight for justice. For answers to your questions or to schedule a free consultation, contact our personal injury team at (888) 281-3100. We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay attorneys’ fees after we have recovered compensation on your behalf.

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