Five Tips for Storm Coverage

Important coverage options you should consider when insuring your boat.

Five Tips for Storm Coverage

There are five things you need to investigate about boat insurance before you buy it. Thanks to the folks at Allstate for numbers 1, 2 and 3. Numbers 4 and 5 are things we think you should consider.

1. Watercraft Liability Insurance: Let's say your boat sinks at the dock during a storm and releases fuel into the water. You would be responsible and possibly fined. Watercraft liability insurance can cover those costs, which can be astronomical.

2. Additional Equipment Coverage: This provides insurance against the loss of accessories aboard, including navigation equipment.

3. Agreed Value Option: If your boat is a total loss, most policies provide coverage at current market value, which is usually less than the replacement value of your boat. By purchasing an agreed value option, you can cover yourself at a fixed and higher amount.

4. Named Storm Deductible: Typically 5 percent of boat value (though that varies by policy and boat location) is the amount you'll need to pay should a hurricane, tropical storm or other weather event given a name by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration damage or destroy your boat.

5. Responsibility: Make sure you look closely at clauses such as "taking all available action" or "preventive measures" prior to a named storm. These can mean hauling out, moving to a safe location or doubling the dock lines. In any event, get the insurance company's exact definitions of these phrases so you know what's expected of you should a hurricane hit.