Whether your new Lund is your first boat or you’ve come back to boating after an absence, you’ll need to protect your asset, and that means insuring it. Things to consider include the high value of your boat, your gear (Tackle, Electronics, Accessories, Rods, and Reels), and what your boating season is worth (not to mention the liability of potentially causing physical harm), and then insure accordingly.
Buying boat insurance doesn’t have to be a hassle. There are many companies that specialize in boat and trailer insurance and will guide you through the process. Your dealer will have insurance contacts, or you can talk to insurers at boat shows.
Beyond the basics of hull, engine, and equipment coverage, look for upgrades that could really save your day of fishing. Check to see if your policy offers a propulsion endorsement that covers damage to the lower unit on the outboard. This is not coverage for normal wear and tear or collision/grounding-induced damage. For approximately $40 per year, you’ll have additional coverage on the parts that make your boat run.
Roadside assistance is another means of supplementary coverage. If your car or truck breaks down while towing your Lund, the tow vehicle as well as the boat and trailer will be towed to the nearest repair facility.
Remember that most insurance policies top out at $500 for on-the-water boat towing and a long tow can take several hours at roughly $250 per hour, so look for programs that will pay for supplemental on-the-water assistance to the nearest point of repair. These are offered by on-the-water towing companies (not insurance companies) and may also cover jump starts, fuel and fluid delivery, prop wraps, and soft un-groundings.
Now for the cost. High premiums may be off-putting, but think ahead to how important your insurance will be in case of a claim. Here are tips to make premiums more affordable.
If your goal is to minimize upfront, monthly cash outflow, you could opt for a higher deductible, but you run the risk of paying more should you need to file a claim.
Most insurance carriers provide discounts if you keep policies with them for more than one asset—a car, house, boat, etc.
Some insurers will provide a discount if you pay the year’s worth of premiums up front instead of in quarterly or monthly installments. If your cashflow status will allow it, pay the whole bill. If you sell the boat mid-year, you’ll receive a refund.
Ask about the “original owner discount” to get a price break. A clean driving record (both car and boat) with no moving violations in the past three years may result in savings as well, but you may need to ask.
Enhance your safe boater status by completing a boating safety course. You could save up to 10% on premiums by completing a state-approved program—check the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) for resources. BoatClass and the USCG Auxiliary and US Power Squadron offer onsite classes.
Don’t overpay for a larger coverage area if you really just go angling on one lake. The time of year and area will define the risk you’re asking the insurance company to take. Assess your boating needs and whittle down the area. If you won’t be boating for a while, and your Lund boat will be stored ashore, you may also qualify for reduced insurance costs.
Getting your boat insured at a reasonable cost means you must shop around. Educate yourself on hidden discounts. For example, a “disappearing deductible” means that if you stick with the same policy/company over five years, your deductible may decrease by 20% each year until you have no deductible at all.
Another feature is “small claim forgiveness” where the company may pick up the tab on small items like cushion damage if you’re not at fault and your record is clean.
“Liability only” coverage on small boats is another option. Just as with a car, you need to protect yourself against third-party damages in case of an accident. Think beyond the value of the physical assets to the medical coverage and environmental cleanup protection you’ll need.
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