HOME INSURANCE PRODUCTS
Insurance coverage for all your personal property such as your home, car, travel trailer and other types of property can protect your financial and property security. First and foremost, you want to make sure you have the right coverage, adequate coverage and quality coverage.
There are a lot of add-on policies that can pick up coverage, where others leave off. Below are some options that can be further explored and explained.
Homeowners insurance is not required by law, but if you have a mortgage on your home, your lender will probably require it. Insurance is always recommended whether your owe on or out right own your home, to protect your investment and contents.
Here are the main functions of home insurance:
- Repair your home, yard and other structures: If your home were leveled by a severe storm or burned to the ground, could you afford to rebuild out of pocket? Homeowners insurance helps cover reconstruction to restore your place and property to its former glory.
- Repair or replace personal belongings: Many policies cover your belongings not only inside the home, but also on the go. So whether your furniture is destroyed in a fire or your wedding ring goes missing from a hotel nightstand, your coverage can help repair or replace them.
- Cover personal liability issues: If a guest trips and falls on your walkway and sues you, your dog bites a visitor, or you accidentally hurt someone away from home, homeowners insurance can help cover others’ injuries and your legal costs.
You may also want to consider your insurance on your dog as well.
The 16 perils covered with by a standard policy are:
1. Fire or lightning
5. Windstorms and hail
6. Damage caused by vehicles
7. Damage from aircraft
8. Weight of ice, snow and sleet
9. Freezing of household systems
12. Falling objects
13. Volcanic eruptions
14. Overflow or discharge of water
15. Damage from artificially generated electrical current
16. Sudden tearing, cracking or bulging of home
Still, there are problems that no home insurance policy will cover, such as damage resulting from:
- Wear and tear
- Nuclear hazard
- Government action
However, you can buy flood or earthquake insurance separately.
- Dwelling protection: Covers damage to the home and attached structures, such as a garage
- Other structures protection: Covers stand-alone structures on your property, such as a fence, carport or toolshed.
- Additional living expenses coverage: Also called “loss of use,” this helps pay for temporary relocation and basic living expenses such as meals if a covered loss forces you to vacate your home during repairs.
- Personal property coverage: Pays to repair or replace belongings that are stolen or damaged in a covered loss — everything from your furniture to your curtains to your dishes.
- Liability coverage: Pays out if you’re found responsible for others’ injuries on your property or away from home.
- Medical payments coverage: Covers injury treatment costs for guests who get hurt on your property, or individuals you or your family members accidentally injure while away from home. This coverage kicks in regardless of who’s at fault.
COMMON OPTIONAL COVERAGES
- Water backup coverage: Covers damage caused by a burst pipe or other issues related to your abode’s plumbing. Note that this coverage does not cover flash floods, only water that comes from the ground up. Depending on the insurer, this coverage may be included automatically.
- Enhanced dwelling protection: Most insurers offer extra coverage for your house’s structure. In case your original coverage limits aren’t enough or there is a spike in the cost of construction, having enhanced dwelling coverage helps ensure you don’t have to dip into your savings to rebuild your home.
- Identity theft expense coverage: Helps reimburse you for expenses you incur while recovering from identity theft. Depending on the insurer, this coverage may also include help from an identity theft advisor, who can deal with creditors and bill collectors and possibly restore your credit.
- Scheduled personal property endorsement: Covers high-end items that exceed your regular personal property limits, such as jewelry or fine art
Considerations Joanne will discuss with you concerning your policy:
- Rebuilding cost of your home
- Age of your home
- Distance between your home and the nearest water source
- Fire protection rating of your city
- Your claims history and the claims history of others in your neighborhood.
- Your coverages, limits and deductible
- Items meant for fun or recreation that pose major injury risk, such as pools or trampoline
Unlike homeowners, condo dwellers don’t own the building they live in or the land it sits on. Your condo or homeowners association (HOA) will carry a master policy to insure the building and pay for accidents that occur on outside property or in common areas.
However, your HOA might not pay to repair the inside of your unit after disasters, nor will it replace your damaged or stolen belongings or cover liability costs if guests are injured in your condo. That’s why it’s smart to protect yourself with personal condo insurance.
Covered: Not Covered:
Fire and smoke Earthquakes
Wind and hail Intentional injuries to others
Theft Nuclear hazards
Vandalism Damage from birds, rodents and Lightning insects
Burst pip Wear and tear
Burst pipe Damage from underground water such as sewage back up
To figure out the amount of personal property coverage you need to replace all your stuff, take a home inventory.
When it comes to the interior of your unit, Joanne and her team can review your HOA’s master policy before deciding on the amount of your condo insurance.
If your mobile home or its contents sustain physical damage from perils such as fire, hail, theft or vandalism, the costs of repairs or replacement are typically covered by a mobile home policy. Additional structures on your lot, such as a patio or garage, and your personal belongings would also likely be covered.
Mobile vs Modular
Both mobile (also called manufactured) and modular homes are built in a factory rather than on a construction site. Mobile homes rest on a movable chassis and never include more than a single level. Modular homes can have multiple stories and sit on a foundation similar to traditional houses.
The distinction between the two home types can affect your insurance choices. Some companies, may have you insure a modular home with a traditional homeowners policy rather than mobile home insurance.
A standard mobile home insurance policy typically includes the following coverage types:
Physical damage coverage: Pays to repair your mobile home if it’s damaged by events covered by your policy. This typically includes:
- Fire and lightning.
- Falling objects.
- Wind and hail.
- Weight of ice and snow.
- Wild or stray animals.
- Burst pipes.
When selecting limits for this coverage, you want enough to cover the cost to replace your mobile home if it’s destroyed.
Personal property coverage: Covers the cost to repair or replace your belongings, such as furniture and electronics, if they’re damaged or stolen.
Taking a home inventory is the best way to figure out what your stuff is worth and how much personal property coverage you need.
Liability insurance: Pays for costs if a visitor is hurt and sues you, or you accidentally cause property damage or injuries to others.
Several factors can affect your specific rates, including:
- Your ZIP code.
- The cost to replace your home.
- The limits and coverage options you select.
- Your deductible
Earthquake insurance covers some of the losses and damage that earthquakes can cause to your home, belongings, and other buildings on your property.
If you have a mortgage, you must have homeowners insurance. But you do not have to buy earthquake insurance. Your homeowners insurance does not cover earthquake damage (except fire – California law says that both homeowners renters insurance must cover fire damage that is caused by or follows an earthquake. This means that the fire damage is covered, whether or not you have earthquake insurance).
There are three (3) main parts of the basic earthquake coverage offered by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA).
Part 1: Your dwelling coverage. This is sometimes referred to as Coverage A and covers your home up to a certain amount, called the limit.
Part 2: Your personal property coverage. This is sometimes referred to as Coverage C and covers things in your home, like furniture, TVs, and computers.
Part 3: Additional living expenses (ALE) or loss of use. This is sometimes referred to a Coverage D and covers temporary and extra costs to live somewhere else while your area is evacuated or your home is repaired.
Earthquake insurance usually does not cover anything that your homeowners policy already covers.
It does not cover damage to your land, such as sinkholes from erosion or other hidden openings under your land, damage to your vehicles, or water damage from outside your home, such as sewer or drain back-up, flood, or tsunami.
The cost of earthquake insurance is based on a number of things, such as the way the home is made and the kind of soil under it. The cost is usually higher for:
- Older homes.
- Homes built of brick or masonry.
- Homes that have more than one story.
- Homes that are on sandy soil instead of clay or rock.
- Homes that are not up to code.
You may be able to buy other types of coverage such as building code options. You may be able to reduce your premium or deductible by retrofitting to make your home safer and stronger.
Do your best to research how likely it is that your property could flood. Check local flood maps (real estate agents usually have them) or enter your address in the search box at FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center (https://msc.fema.gov/portal) to see if your property is located in a National Flood Insurance Program, (“NFIP”) participating area. Consider your property’s flooding history and how close you are to levees and waterways.
Even if you’re not in an officially mapped flood zone you can buy flood insurance if you are willing and able to pay for it. The price of the coverage goes down in lower risk areas. Options depend on where you live.
If you decide to buy flood insurance, make sure you buy enough coverage for repairs/rebuilding and proper clean-up. Flood policies generally have fixed dollar amounts for dwelling and contents coverage. Unlike home policies, flood policies don’t typically have formulas that adjust your benefits upwards if you have a loss that turns out to be more than your coverage. Flood policies don’t cover temporary living expenses while your home is uninhabitable or landscaping, trees, etc. If you buy a flood policy, you want it to cover the full replacement of or repairs to your structures, personal or business property, debris removal, business interruption, recreation of valuable papers, damage to property of others, etc.
Joanne will make sure you have in writing the “replacement cost” coverage and “code upgrade” coverage — especially if the insured structure is older than five years. Code upgrade coverage covers the cost of rebuilding in compliance with current building codes, even if means making improvements.
AUTO INSURANCE PRODUCTS
Next to your home, your car could be your next biggest investment. BNJA will take a look at your current vehicle situation, the coverage needed, options available for discounts and other strategies designed to work best for you and your family.
The right plan should fit your driving needs, your budget, and keep you fully covered.
Minimal auto insurance is not really the best decision. The industry recommends a minimum of $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, and $300,000 in coverage per accident. California requires only a minimum $5,000 in property damage coverage under a car insurance policy.
While it’s not a financially smart idea to purchase the bare minimum auto coverage just to save money, maxing out your budget on the maximum insurance may not be worth it, either.
Here are some questions to answer when working with BNJA on coverage:
- How much do I drive?
- Are you still financing or leasing your car?
- Where do you drive?
- Why you drive? Is it for personal reasons, business, or both?
- Do you allow other people, like family members, drive the car?
Types of Coverage
“Insurance” is actually just a catch-all phrase that can include different types to choose from, so BNJA can help you understand:
Liability coverage is insurance protection that pays for bodily injuries or property or auto damages to another motorist that you were liable for.
Collision insurance protection covers damages to another motorist’s vehicle or property when no other parties were involved (one example could be backing into a parked car and denting the fender — your collision coverage would pay for the damages).
Comprehensive coverage, also known as “other than collision coverage”, pays for losses not caused by a vehicular collision, such weather, natural disasters, fire, floods, earthquakes, rioting or falling objects from the sky — anything that can cause damage to your car necessitating an insurance claim.
Additional coverages, like uninsured/underinsured motorist protection, or gap insurance, roadside assistance or rental car insurance are relatively affordable add-ons to complement your auto insurance policy. If you drive for a company like Uber or Lyft, you may need rideshare insurance to help protect yourself.
Remember that one type of coverage won’t protect you against everything, so a combination of the above coverages makes for a more comprehensive insurance policy. Also remember, higher deductibles usually mean lower premiums.
If you maintain a B average or higher in school, or you have a clean driving record free of any recent accidents, speeding tickets or insurance claims, you may be eligible for a discount through BNJA.
The same goes for discounts if you’re a military veteran, if your car is equipped with an anti-theft system, or if you’ve completed a driver’s education defensive driving or safety course. There are other discounts BNJA can find, too, like combining your auto insurance with other insurance policies, such as life insurance or homeowners plans. In the case of home, bundle it with auto and you may be eligible for a percentage discount from some insurers.
Most states require motorcycle riders to have a motorcycle insurance policy that includes liability insurance coverages. This will help ensure that you are able to pay for property damage or bodily injuries suffered by others in an accident that you cause.
Motorcycle insurance rates are determined by:
Motorcycle make, model and year
Your driving record
Your insurance history
Where you store your motorcycle overnight
Some common motorcycle insurance discounts include:
- Homeowner’s discount – Motorcycle insurance companies consider covering homeowners to be less risky than covering those who do not own a home.
- Good driver discount – If your driving record is clean (typically within the past 3 years) you may be eligible for this discount.
- Discounts for successfully completing a motorcycle safety course.
- Anti-theft device discount.
- Helmet discount – Not all state’s require riders to wear helmets. Several insurance companies offer this discount to help ensure that riders wear their helmets.
- Paid-in-full discount – You may be able to save on your premium if you pay it in full rather than in monthly installments.
- Multiple policy discount – Most motorcycle insurance companies also offer other types of insurance, such as homeowners insurance or car insurance. If you buy multiple types of insurance with the same company you may be rewarded with this discount.
- Multiple motorcycle discount or a motorcycle that has a high safety rating,
Despite all the safety precautions you may take, the fact remains there is risk involved with operating your motorcycle. It is this risk that makes having a strong motorcycle insurance policy essential.
Classic cars differs from regular car insurance policies because BNJA needs a bit more information about the car’s specialist nature. You might be asked a few more questions, or to provide pictures, for example. This is because BNJA will want to know the car’s standalone features and the potential difficulties it may run into, as it will quite likely have a different engine and build to a modern car.
Perhaps the most important question of all – what do you want to do with the car? Do you want to gaze at it longingly, or will you actually drive it? Consider, also, the people who may use it.
BNJA requires a car to be over 35 years old and under 70 years old tp be classic. If your car was made before 1940 it will be considered vintage.
There can be major discounts if you combine two or more policies found anywhere on this page.
RENTER AND RENTALS
Next to your home, your car could be your next biggest investment. BNJA will take a look at your current vehicle situation, the coverage needed, options available for discounts and other strategies designed to work best for you and your family.
As a landlord, you can buy additional coverage, such as rent guarantee insurance, natural disaster insurance, employer liability insurance and landlord contents insurance to cover your personal property items such as furnishings or carpet in the rental property. Here are some options:
Property damage: This covers damage to your buildings and personal property due to fire, storm damage, theft, vandalism and tenant damage. Your landlord insurance will cover the replacement costs for your entire rental property in the event of a total loss.
Liability insurance: This coverage protects you against liability claims and lawsuits. Whether a tenant, visitor or even a trespasser is injured on your rental property, you could find yourself in a legal mess. Your liability insurance will help you cover the costs associated with bodily injury claims on your property. These costs can include medical payments, funeral costs, legal fees and judgment or settlement costs. You will also be covered if you, as the landlord, are found responsible for another person’s property damage. For example, if you neglect to fix a leaking water pipe and mold damage destroys a tenant’s expensive collection of vintage albums, a liability claim can be filed against you by the tenant.
Loss of income: This insurance will help compensate you for lost income in the event that a rental property becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss, such as a storm or apartment fire. Your loss of income coverage, or “rental reimbursement,” will prevent you from losing the income you would have had if you were collecting rent.
Optional coverage: As a landlord, you can buy additional coverage, such as rent guarantee insurance, natural disaster insurance, employer liability insurance and landlord contents insurance to cover your personal property items such as furnishings or carpet in the rental property. Contact Joanne for complete information on the types of coverage available.
How Landlord Insurance can work
Rental property damage example: In the event that a lightning strike starts an apartment fire that causes substantial damage, your landlord insurance can help pay for the repairs or rebuilding. Your property damage coverage has limits – be sure you are aware of what they are, and remember that you will need to pay a deductible before you’ll get any reimbursement from your insurer. If you have loss of income coverage, you can be compensated for the rental income you will lose during repairs.
Note that landlord property damage insurance sometimes pays for tenant damage, and sometimes it will not. Taking a rental deposit at the time your tenant signs a lease is a good idea. You can also ask your agent if you can add coverage for tenant damage.
Landlord liability example: Let’s say a visitor comes to your apartment complex and is injured in a fall. If that visitor fell because he tripped over his own shoelaces, you shouldn’t have a liability claim on your hands. If the visitor is staying with one of your tenants and falls in the shower, you also will likely not be held responsible. That incident would potentially fall under the renter’s liability insurance.
However, if the visitor tripped due to negligence on your part, such as icy walkways around your building or broken steps on a stairway, you may have a liability claim on your hands. In this case, the visitor could file a claim against your insurance policy to cover the costs of medical care. If the injury is severe or the negligence considered egregious, the visitor may file a lawsuit against you. Your landlord insurance can cover your costs up to the limits on your policy, after your deductible amount is paid.
Do I Have to Have Landlord Insurance?
Landlord insurance is not required by law, but you would be wise to carry it if you’re collecting rent and managing a property. You need landlord insurance when you do not occupy the same residence as your tenant. You will also need landlord insurance if you are renting out your own home temporarily or sharing accommodations, such as your basement level, with a renter.
Some landlords rely on their homeowners insurance to cover their rental units. It is important to know that your homeowners policy most likely will not cover damage to your rental property, unless you are only renting out a portion of the home you are living in. It will also likely not provide coverage for liability claims.
Renters insurance is a policy that protects the items you keep in your apartment or home. In the event your belongings are damaged or lost due to theft, fire, water damage or other disasters, renters insurance will pay to replace them. In the event your apartment becomes uninhabitable, renters insurance will also cover the cost of temporary housing while your rental gets repaired.
Renters insurance covers all the furniture, electronics, clothes, jewelry, etc in your apartment—everything that’s not bolted down. In fact, it even covers your goods while they’re not physically in your house—meaning if your laptop gets stolen on vacation or damaged falling out of a backpack, renters insurance will pay to replace it. Most renters insurance will also cover “loss of use,” or the costs you’ll incur living elsewhere while your apartment or house gets repaired after a disaster. Finally, renters insurance covers liability, or legal costs, in the event you get sued if a visitor gets hurt at your apartment.
While renters insurance protects against most types of theft, accident and damage, there are several things it won’t cover. Renters insurance won’t protect against:
- Accidental loss by owner
- Damage by owner’s pet
- Rare or extra-valuable items such as art (You’ll need a rider for these)
- Damage to the building itself (The owner’s insurance covers that)
There can be major discounts if you combine two or more policies found anywhere on this page.
BNJA will discuss the following options with you:
Liability insurance: To legally operate your RV, you’ll need at least the same amount of liability coverage that your state requires for car insurance. If you ever cause a crash, liability covers others’ injury and property damage costs, up to your limit.
Collision and comprehensive coverage: Collision coverage helps pay for repairs to your RV if you cause a crash or run into objects such as a tree or street sign.
Comprehensive covers a variety of issues, including theft of your RV, animal collisions, falling objects, vandalism and more.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage helps cover your and your passengers’ injury treatment if you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance, or who has some insurance but not enough to cover your bills. Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage kicks in at the same time but goes toward repairing your damaged RV.
Medical payments coverage: If you crash your RV, this coverage pays for injury treatment for you and your passengers, no matter who was at fault in the incident.
Other RV insurance options
RV insurance includes several additional options that car insurance can’t.
Full replacement cost: If your RV is stolen or totaled, comprehensive coverage through car insurance typically pays a depreciated replacement amount. This means you only get back what your RV was worth at the time of the loss. With RV insurance, on the other hand, you can choose full replacement cost and get back what you paid for your vehicle.
Personal property and attachments coverage: RVs are made to be loaded with items and attachments that a traditional auto policy won’t cover, such as cooking appliances, sporting and camping supplies, satellite dishes, awnings and furniture. If your stuff is stolen or damaged, you’d need separate RV insurance to repair or replace it.
Vacation liability coverage: When your RV is in a park or campsite, it’s considered a temporary vacation residence. It’s wise to have liability insurance to cover the damages in case, say, someone is injured inside your RV or you accidentally throw a football through a neighboring camper’s window.
Roadside assistance: RV insurance can provide high-limit coverage to account for the steep prices associated with towing and servicing mammoth RVs.
Travel expenses coverage: If you have an accident or your RV breaks down, this coverage helps pay for lodging and transportation while your vehicle is fixed. It typically applies only when you’re a certain distance from home, usually at least 50 or 100 miles, depending on your insurer.
Full-time RV coverage: This coverage is required if you’re using your RV as your primary residence. Among other benefits, it can provide high-limit personal liability insurance similar to what you’d find in a home insurance policy, medical payments for injured visitors and coverage for belongings you keep in storage while you’re on the road.
There are broadly eight types of motorhome body styles or classes to base your coverage that BNJA can review and provide the best coverage options.
Why do I need travel trailer insurance?Your auto policy will typically extend to your trailer when you are pulling it — but only for liability and provides no coverage to your actual trailer. Meaning, an auto policy alone will only cover damage your trailer causes to other people and their property
So, depending on the kind of travel trailer insurance you choose, it can extend past basic liability to cover the gaps left by your home and auto policies. Your home or renters policies provide coverage for your personal belongings that are kept outside of your home (such as a travel trailer), but at a fraction of your coverage limit (usually 5-10% less). This amount of coverage is simply insufficient if you have anything valuable in your trailer.
Moreover, travel trailer insurance offers physical coverage much like your auto policy would. Without this coverage, you would be forced to pay for the damages yourself in the event of an accident.
Factors to Consider When Discussing Coverage With BNJA
Replacement Cost – You have the choice of getting the full replacement cost, or just the actual value of the trailer. In my opinion, it’s worth paying to get the full replacement cost, so if you wreck your trailer 3 years from now, you get a new trailer instead of the value of your depreciated trailer.
Bodily injury – This can actually be very inexpensive to add to your policy
Roadside assistance – This one’s up to you. For me, the quote for roadside assistance was about $25 more per year.
Coverage for personal affects – I think this one is extremely important. Generators are pricey and they get stolen ALL. THE. Time! Get your personal affects covered.
As previously mentioned, your auto policy’s liability coverage is extended to your travel trailer when you are towing it. However, if you live full-time in your travel trailer or use it quite a bit, you should consider some additional liability coverage that is above your original auto coverage.
Not provided by your auto policy, comprehensive coverage will cover damages to your travel trailer that result from:
- Severe weather (including flooding)
Like your auto coverage, collision covers your travel trailer in the event it is damaged by in traffic accident.
Additional Coverage Options
If you spend a significant amount of your time in your travel trailer or have one that is particularly valuable, you should consider some additional coverage.
Personal Property Coverage
If you have expensive equipment or in general valuable items in your travel trailer, you should consider additional insurance to cover your contents. Usually, you’ll be able to set the amount of personal property coverage you would like.
If you live in your travel trailer full time, you should consider if you need something closer to a homeowners policy with increased liability or medical payments to others.
Total Loss Replacement
The name pretty much sums up this coverage and is useful if you have an expensive travel trailer. While it varies by company, this coverage will replace your travel trailer if it is destroyed with a model that is within the first 5 years of yours.
Emergency Expense Coverage
If you travel trailer is damaged to the point it is unlivable, this coverage will pay for your additional living expenses if you are more than a certain amount away from your home.
Towing and Roadside assistance
The distance in which you will be covered for depends on your company and your policy.
Discount Options: Multi-policy discount, raise your deductible and paying premiums up front.
Beautifully appointed, these multi-million dollar vehicles include everything from one-button controls that close the blinds, lower a flat screen television and dim the lights to retractable bunks with charging stations and storage for electronics so the kids can play video games in bed, and every convenience you can imagine in between.
But what about insuring these high-end rides? It’s more complicated than you might expect because these coaches are literally multi-million dollar homes on wheels. The insurance coverage required will differ depending on the amenities and how the coach will be used.
Is it used primarily for business or recreation? Where is it located? Is it in a high risk area? Who actually owns the RV – a company or an individual? Will there be a professional driver or will it be driven by the owner?
Just because you don’t use your off-road vehicle as an everyday transportation option doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get it insured. Accidents can happen at any time, and when they do you want to make sure that you are properly protected. When insuring your ATV, UTV or other off-road vehicle, you need to protect yourself in more ways than you think. BNJA policies can include bodily injury liability, property damage liability, accessory coverage, and comprehensive and collision coverage. BNJA will also look at other options as well such as having a secondary rider with you on your off-road vehicle.
Accessories & Apparel
When comprehensive and collision coverage is purchased, your could receive an accessory coverage at no additional charge. This includes aftermarket parts as well as riding apparel like helmets, leathers, boots and gloves.
What about my trailer, is it insured?
Yes, a dedicated trailer or deck is automatically insured if Physical Damage has been purchased for the same coverage you have on your off road vehicle, up to a limit of $ 1,000. Higher limits can be purchased if needed. (see Rider Plus)
What does Rider Plus cover me for?
It covers search & rescue, increases the limit on riding gear, increases deck & trailer limit to $5,000, lock re keying and travel protection.
Your home owners policy covers your boat in some cases, but it doesn’t go far. Homeowners policies typically cap boat coverage at $1,000 or 10% of your home’s insured value. And liability coverage — which pays for damage your boat does to others — typically isn’t included under home insurance. So a home insurance policy might help you only if your boat is small, slow and inexpensive.
Personal aircraft such as wave runners
Anything that runs faster than 25 mph
Boats with small engines
Any slow or inexpensive boat
You can typically buy liability insurance — which pays for damage your boat does to others — in amounts from $15,000 to $300,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Here’s what else you can expect from a policy:
|What boat insurance typically covers||What it doesn’t cover|
Check, too, about additional coverage for trailers and accessories, for towing and for damage caused by an uninsured boater.
You can buy two types of damage coverage for a boat:
- Actual cash value. This pays the value of your boat at the time of the damage. If your boat is destroyed, your insurance company determines its market value.
- Agreed amount value. If your boat is destroyed, your insurer pays you an amount that you and the company agreed on beforehand. If your boat can be repaired, your insurer replaces old items for new ones without deducting for depreciation.
It’s also important to understand what your boat insurance covers. BNJA will be sure to cover examples and instances of the insurances needed.
- Mechanical breakdown coverage. Pays to repair or replace your outboard motor as long as it’s not due to wear and tear.
- Salvage. If your boat becomes disabled and a basic tow won’t help, you might need to call a salvage company to recover it. Typically a salvage company will ask for a percentage of the boat’s value as payment, which can be quite expensive. Not all insurance companies offer this coverage.
- Gadgets. Not all boat insurers cover expensive accessories like fishing equipment or fancy coolers unless they’re permanently attached to the boat. For example, Travelers offers personal property coverage that pays you if they’re stolen or lost while out on the water. Endorsements, which are additions to your policy, are available if you want to increase the value of your personal property limits.
Some important things to know about boating and your policy:
- Navigational limits: If you own a yacht or a larger boat, your policy will have limits outlining where you can navigate your vessel. If you venture outside of the territory you agreed to in the policy, your insurance may not cover you. Typically, the broader your navigation area is, the higher your insurance costs will be.
- Layup periods: Taking your boat out of the water is typical during cold weather, and most insurance companies will give you a credit because it’s not being used. But take the boat out for a spin before the layup period ends and you won’t be covered by your insurance policy.
- Marine inspections: If your boat is an older model, most insurance companies will want you to have it inspected by a marine surveyor in order to assess the vessel’s condition and market value. For safety’s sake, consider a marine survey even if it’s not required.
- Underage operators: You might be tempted to let your 12-year-old drive the boat every now and then. But if your child doesn’t meet age and license requirements in your state, your boat insurance policy might not cover you. Age and license requirements for operating personal watercraft vary from state to state. In Virginia and Florida, for example, no one under 14 may operate a personal watercraft. In Texas, children under 13 are barred from driving one unless a licensed operator who’s at least 18 is on board. For requirements where you live, check with the boating regulatory agency in your state.
BNJA also show you how discounts can apply.
Is your coverage enough?