If you plan on getting a pontoon boat anytime soon, you’ll have to take a couple of costs into consideration; first, there’s the boat cost itself, the upgrade you might need, and, of course, the insurance. Insurance is a thing we usually don’t give too much though when we are young. You’d think a boat can go pretty well without any kind of insurance – if it takes any damage, you can repair it for your own money. But with such a hobby as boating, you want to make sure that the investment you make will last you as long as possible, and that any accident that might happen won’t leave you penniless. Because insurances for pontoon boats cover a wide range of situation, including those where damage in inflicted to someone else or their property, which can turn out quite costly.
If you’re still looking for a good reason as to why you need an insurance, you might want to check with your state’s or country’s law. Most of them stipulate clearly that watercraft owners must have an insurance, so, in order to sail with your mind at ease, you should think about getting one. The prices aren’t that scary either – in the US, they go from as little as $8 per month (come one, that’s less than a newspaper subscription) to somewhere between $25 and $35 for a medium-sized pontoon boat.
Another reason why it’s pretty mandatory you get an insurance is that boats are very easy to steal. You can’t imagine how many complaints are filed yearly about boats being stolen and never seen again. Think about this especially if you keep the boat, not within your permanent sight – at a pier further from your house or villa. The locks used to hold the boat onto the trailer are very easy to break, unlike popular belief, and if such an unfortunate event happens, the police will seldom be able to do something. There are no surveillance cameras, no witnesses, no clues to whether your boat has been stolen – and you’ll most likely end up not seeing it ever again.
The third and probably most important point is accidents. You never know how and when they might occur, and how serious can the consequences be. If you’re planning on enjoying your pontoon to the fullest, and not transforming a pleasant pastime into the tragedy of a lifetime, make sure you get that insurance. You never know when someone might get injured on your boat, or you might sail clumsily and damage someone else’s craft, so the insurance will have you covered in either of these cases.
This brings us to the list of things or questions you should go through before deciding on what kind of insurance coverage you need. Take a paper and a pen and think about it:
1. Personal property coverage is a must – it also covers items that are not essential to the boat’s functioning, such as fishing or stereo equipment.
2. Loss replacement – pretty self-explanatory. Covers the whole cost of a new craft if the damage the boat receive is costlier than its initial price. Theft situations are also covered in this type of insurance.
3. Medical coverage – I can’t stress how important this is. Getting someone dear injured on your boat is already a tragedy, and the last thing you’d want to hear in such a situation would be that you have to pay the medical bill as well. And you also don’t want to imagine what happens if someone dies while on your boat – the financial indemnities you’d have to pay will be enough to put your finances to the ground for a long time.
4. Towing coverage – if you plan on having a towing tube attached to the boat, you surely need this included in your insurance as well, as injuries might occur to the passengers on the tube as well, and it will not count towards the medical coverage, as it did not happen on the boat itself.
5. There are many other aspects you can take into consideration, like liability, trailer coverage, uninsured boater and many others. Do your research properly before deciding on a particular insurance.
Insurance for pontoon boats also depends on a number of different factors, including the original price of your boat, the demographics, the method of storage and your driving record. Add up the coverage you think you need and you’ll be good to go. However, to get an idea of how things work here’s a little example of the limits for different types of coverage:
1. For liability and medical coverage, the limits are somewhere between $100 000 and $1 million. This covers only the damage inflicted to foreign properties or other people.
2. For your or your passengers’ medical insurance, you’ll get up to $1000 from the insurance company.
3. For towing coverage, you can rely on %500 to $200, sometimes $2500, depending on the state.
4. For loss coverage, there are different types of offers depending on the company. You’ll usually have to settle for either the marketplace of your boat model at the moment of damage/theft, a replacement with a similar model, or a value refund, meaning you’ll get back the amount your boat valued at the moment of damage or theft. The replacement option in the most expensive, and the two financial refund ones can be agreed on with your company.
If these numbers have already given you a huge headache, and you feel the need to lay down, worry not. That is not the amount you have to pay anytime soon. In fact, facts say that a standard 22” sized boat, which is less than 5 years old and had an original price beneath $40k will only need around $40 per month for a complete insurance package. How so? Liability will typically cost you less than $10, and medical, uninsured boater and property damage will make for the rest of $25-$30. If you’re into towing, add a little $2 to $3 per month for the towing coverage as well. That’s it! All you have to do is do a little bit of research before choosing the right company for you.