It’s always boating season somewhere. Here in Minnesota, our warm weather months may be fewer than our neighboring states to the south, but that does not mean we do not make the most of it. From skiing and tubing to fishing and cruising, there is plenty of fun to be had in The Land of 10,000 Lakes. If you have a boat or considering a new or used boat purchase, make sure you are up to date on your insurance needs. At Great Lakes Insurance, we can help you better understand boat insurance, the types of coverage it offers, and why you shouldn’t be a day without it.
Minnesota Risks and Boating Dangers
With boating, there are the usual risks. You could capsize your vessel, collide with another watercraft, injure someone, or lose your boat to theft, fire, or high winds. In Minnesota, though, the stakes are even higher. During the shoulder season, there is the risk of freezing and ice damage, as well as colliding with underwater objects hidden by the spring thaw. Then there is the possibility of varmint damage due to a long off-season.
All of this spells trouble for the average boater, whether your boat is on the water or safely stored away. Without the right insurance coverage, you could face significant out-of-pocket costs due to boat damage, injuries, third-party property damages, and even litigation.
Types of Minnesota Boat Insurance Coverage
Your boat insurance policy may have several different coverage components. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to file claims against multiple sections of your policy’s coverage instead of just one. The terms of your coverage will depend on your policy and insurer, but common boat insurance protections include:
As the captain of your ship, you are the one responsible for the consequences of your boating activities. When you cause an accident that results in victim injuries and loss, you can either rely on your insurance to pay for the damages, or you may otherwise have to pay the costs out of pocket. Boater liability insurance provides coverage for third-party medical bills, property damages, and your legal expenses if you are sued for your role in causing an accident. It can also help pay for judgments against you if you lose your case. In addition, your policy may include financial coverage if an oil leak or other contaminates associated with your watercraft causes environmental pollution.
Physical Damages to Your Vessel
Whether you have a sparkling new fishing boat or a 10-year old ski boat, repairing or replacing your watercraft can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Physical damages coverage can help compensate you for financial losses when your boat is damaged, stolen, or destroyed due to a covered event.
Uninsured Watercraft Coverage
If an uninsured boater injures you, you may have difficulty recovering compensation for losses. Uninsured watercraft coverage helps pay for your accident-related injuries when the person at fault has no insurance.
Medical Payments Protection
The most precious cargo you carry are the lives onboard your watercraft. Medical payments coverage helps pay for necessary passenger medical expenses due to injuries sustained while boating, regardless of who is at fault. Coverage is limited, but it can help cover the cost of an emergency hospital visit or even a health insurance deductible.
Special Equipment Coverage
Whether you use your boat to fish or ski, chances are you carry some costly equipment and accessories on your water excursions. When protecting your boat against damage and loss, be sure to include coverage for the costly items onboard, too.
If you own a boat, you probably own a trailer. Though they do not cost as much as watercraft, replacing a damaged trailer is expensive without the right coverage. Talk to your agent about how you can protect your trailer against damage and theft.
Towing and Emergencies
Nothing puts a damper on a beautiful lake day like a dead battery or an empty fuel tank. If you get stranded on the water, this coverage can help pay for emergency assistance and towing back to land under covered circumstances.
Your boat belongs in one piece, and never under water. When things do not go as planned, wreckage removal coverage helps pay for the process of retrieving your vessel.
Applying for Boat Insurance Coverage
An independent agent can help you decode the complexities of your policy and better understand the coverage inclusions and exclusions. We can also help you understand the various underwriting requirements and how certain behaviors may affect your coverage for claims. For example, many insurers will not pay for ice damage if there is evidence of improper winterization. Likewise, an insurer may require that you bring your boat indoors during the winter months per the terms of your policy. At Great Lakes Insurance, we can walk you through the process of applying for coverage from start to finish – and be there to provide support for years to come.
We offer coverage for many types of water vessels, including pontoons, deck boats, ski and wake boats, sailboats, fishing boats, personal watercraft, and more. We can help you evaluate your risks and build a policy that fits your needs and budget. As an independent agency, we can shop and compare rates and also search for money-saving discounts to help reduce your costs.