A Guide to Boat Insurance in Louisiana
July 18, 2022
Boating season is here, but do you have the right insurance for your vessel? Some boat owners may think their boat is covered under their homeowner’s insurance policy, but this is often not the case. Most homeowner’s policies only have limited coverage for watercrafts based on size, value, and horsepower. Plus, there is limited trailer coverage. Therefore, a dedicated boat insurance policy is important to have.
Boat Insurance Policy Basics
Insurance policies for watercrafts can vary widely by several factors, including the type of boat, the waters it will be in, how many months of the year it will be used, and of course it’s value. However, boat insurance has a few main coverages.
Hull coverage helps protect against theft or damage to your boat in case of an accident or sinking. This will also typically cover your boat on land or in water. Oftentimes, you’ll also get a choice of actual cash value or replacement cost if your boat is totaled or stolen. Actual cash value will reflect the value of your boat at the time of the incident, whereas replacement cost does not account for depreciation and will reimburse you for the replacement of a similar model.
Liability coverage will cover you if your boat damages someone’s property or if someone is injured in a boating accident. It can also cover problems caused by your boat, like a large wake. Additionally, it will cover your legal fees in case of a lawsuit caused by a boating accident.
Medical Payments Coverage
In the event of an injury, your boat insurance policy will cover the medical payments for you or any passenger injured in an accident.
Uninsured Watercraft Coverage
Often an undervalued policy addition, uninsured watercraft coverage will cover you if you are not at fault in an accident with an uninsured boater. This policy addition is often encouraged because a staggering 40-50% of boaters are uninsured according to Boating World Magazine.
If you’d like to lower your insurance premiums, many insurance companies offer discounts for completing an approved boating safety course. In these courses you’ll learn about the rules of the water, common boating accidents, life jackets, how to use first aid kits, and more. You may also be eligible for other discounts if you don’t use your boat year-round or if you only boat in fresh water instead of salt water.
Getting Your Boat Ready
Now that you know about the insurance basics, it’s important to make sure your boat is prepared for the water. Most boaters know the importance of winterization, but it’s just as important to go through a checklist when taking your boat out of storage to get it ready for the season.
- First, you’ll want to remove the cover of your boat and inspect for any bugs or rodents. Sometimes you may find a nest was built during prolonged storage.
- You should then inspect and clean any canvas and vinyl surfaces, along with the floor and exterior of the boat. This is also a great time to inspect and repair any damage.
- For the engine and hull, you’ll want to change the engine oil and oil filter, make sure the belts are fully operational, and replace the distributer cap if needed.
- Next, replace the antifreeze in your boat’s cooling system and make sure all hoses and cables are free from cracks and breaks.
- Attach and check your battery and test your GPS system.
- Perform final inspections of bilge pump, water systems, and trailer.
- Ensure you have all your boat’s safety gear. This includes fire extinguishers, signaling equipment, first aid kit, and floating devices.
With the correct insurance in place and your boat ready to go, you’re now ready for the water! If you have questions about the best boat insurance policy for you, please give us a call or send us a message through our contact form.