You don't believe in the Loch Ness Monster. You don’t believe your friend caught Jaws fishing off the Florida coast. So why do most boaters believe boat insurance covers them wherever they go? Progressive surveyed more than 1,000 boat owners. It uncovered a few insurance myths floating around. Here's a sample of the findings and the facts behind each:
Myth: Everyone pays more for insurance because of the hurricanes from a couple of years ago.
Reality: Even though it’s believed by 74 percent of respondents, it isn’t true. Boat insurers generally price policies based on claims in each state. For example, Ohio customers won't pay more for insurance because of hurricanes in Florida.
Myth: Boat insurance covers me anywhere I decide to go boating.
Reality: Seventy-six percent of respondents believed this one. The reality is some insurers only provide coverage where the boat is used most. Insurers may limit coverage to 100 nautical miles of your home port. Progressive provides coverage virtually anywhere you decide to go in the continental U.S. and Canada.
Myth: I’ll get a better insurance rate if I buy from the same company that insures my home or car.
Reality: Buying more than one product from the same insurance company doesn't mean you get the best rate – even though 45 percent of respondents thought so. Boaters can save by shopping around and combining specialized policies from different companies. "It’s important to understand what’s available," said Dominic Mediate of Progressive. "You want to be properly protected in case your boat is stolen, you get into an accident or contents are damaged. We’re separating fact from fiction so boaters can make the best insurance decisions possible."
Tips For Protecting Boats And Motorcycles
Before you take your motorcycle on the road or put your boat on the water, it may pay to be certain your insurance is ship-shape. Motorcycles and boats are often significant investments, and the right insurance policy can help protect them. Here are a few tips, courtesy of Ford Insurance Agency.
• Evaluate your specific needs. Insuring a boat or a motorcycle is different than insuring your car or home. A specialized motorcycle policy, for instance, can provide coverage for custom paint jobs and aftermarket equipment that might not be covered if the bike were just added to a generic auto policy.
• Similarly, a specialized boat policy could cover things like the cost to replace lost or damaged fishing gear and costly services such as emergency on-water towing and fuel-spill cleanup. You probably wouldn’t get this coverage by adding a boat to a homeowner’s policy.
• Consult with an independent agency – like Ford Insurance Agency. Unlike “captive” agents who represent only one company, independent insurance agents and brokers are licensed insurance professionals who represent several companies. They can offer you a variety of coverages, review and evaluate your policies, suggest new coverage options that meet your changing needs and answer your questions.
“An independent insurance agent or broker can make sure you have the specialized coverage you need to protect your boat or bike,” said Jim Lloyd, of the Progressive Group of Insurance Companies. “Some insurance companies provide only bare-bones protection for your boat or motorcycle by simply adding it onto your existing auto or homeowner’s policy, but independent agents and brokers can review and evaluate your needs to help match you with the company that will provide you with the combination of specialized coverage, service and price that’s best for you.”
Keeping boat insurance afloat in the off season
Summer is over, and you’ve taken your boat out of the water. To save a few dollars, you cancel your boat insurance. After all, what could possibly happen to your baby while it's hibernating?
A lot, according to Progressive. “You'd be shocked at the number of claims filed in colder months," says Dominic Mediate of Progressive. "Nearly two out of every 10 Progressive boat claims filed in northern states happen between Labor Day and Memorial Day."
Don’t take a gamble on nothing bad happening. Common off-season claims include: Fire, theft, vandalism and flooding Most claims are filed for one of these reasons, which can occur anytime of year. Without coverage, boats damaged by fire, theft, vandalism or flooding aren’t protected.
Injuries that occur on or around your boat
Some boaters don’t realize they could be responsible for injuries that occur on or around their boat — even if the injured person was there illegally. Without liability coverage, you could be responsible for the damages or the injured person’s medical bills.
Keeping your policy all year round might also save you a few bucks.For example, Progressive's disappearing deductibles reduce your Comprehensive and Collision deductible 25 percent for every claim-free policy period. Four policy periods in a row without a claim equals a $0 deductible.
Canceling your policy could mean paying more or the entire deductible, generally $500 or $1,000. Check your policy and consult with your independent insurance agent before making any decisions.