By Mike Skyba
Buying boat insurance can be challenging for any
boater. That's because unlike auto insurance, boat insurance
policies are not standardized-coverage can vary widely for the same
boat depending on who sold the policy and how informed a buyer you
"Actual Cash Value" policies cost less but only pays up to the actual cost value at the time the boat or property were lost-depreciation is factored in all losses. Actual Cash Value policies are better suited to less experience boats or when you are not concerned about total lost.
KNOW THE SALVAGE TRUTH: If you have chosen
an "Agreed Value" policy, stay away from those that limit salvage
coverage-that's the amount that may be paid to a salvor to reward
him from saving your boat from peril and bringing it safely to a
repair yard. You want a policy that provides salvage coverage up to
the amount as the boat's Agreed Value, and does not subtract these
dollars, or the policy's deductible from the total amount available
to fix the damage.
SPEAK TO ME IN A LANGUAGE I CAN UNDERSTAND: Make sure you understand exactly the coverage you are getting, as well what's not covered? Always ask for an explanation in layman's terms.
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL: Have an old, trusty, paid-off sailboat? Spanking new (and highly leveraged) 36-foot express cruiser? Slick and fast bass boat? Personal watercraft? Each has its own insurance requirements. A good insurer will walk you through a list of questions so you will not have to guess the answers when something unexpected happens.
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