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Is your boat protected for winter?

by jmaloni


Sat, Oct 11th 2014 07:00 am

Allstate offers New Yorkers advice as boats head for winter storage

Fall is an important time for boat owners to knock out some annual maintenance on their boats before they put them away for winter months. Allstate wants New York boat owners to know it's also a great time for an insurance coverage check-up with an agent to ensure they are maintaining appropriate coverage during the off-season.

There are inaccuracies around insurance coverage for boats that are stored for the winter. One common misperception is homeowners believe their home insurance will cover a boat that may be damaged while stored. Many insurers, including Allstate, cover only 10 percent of a personal property coverage limit, for items such as a boat or other watercraft, when it is away from the policyholder's residence premises. Typically, it also limits property coverage to $1,000.

Allstate recommends boat owners keep an insurance policy active to help protect their boat and other watercraft against potential theft and physical damage such as fire, wind, lightning and hail while in storage.

"A yearly boat insurance check-up with an agent is a great opportunity to help the owner make sure they have the right coverage for their needs," said Jaclyn Darrohn, Allstate spokesperson in New York. "Many owners have put in significant time, energy and money into their boat. So, it makes sense they would want to protect their investment."

A typical new boat insurance policy is about $23 per month depending on what coverages are included. An insurance agent can help boat owners research the value of their watercraft so they understand exactly what level and type of coverage they need, and consider how they plan on using it for the entire year.

Some important questions to ask are:

•Do you plan on storing your boat for a portion of the year?

•Is it used only on weekends and stored out of the water when not in use?

•Do you plan on bringing significant amounts of fishing equipment and other personal belongings on your trips?

The size and high dollar value of a boat can pose risks that a standard automobile does not and can lead to much greater damage and higher costs to repair if it is involved in an accident. Owners should consider insurance that provides the following types of protection:

•Physical damage coverage typically helps protect against theft, vandalism, wind, hail, lightning and fire damage.

•Liability coverage is needed in the event the boat owner or a member of the owner's family accidentally injures another person in a covered boating accident.

•Medical payments coverage can help provide protection for necessary medical expenses for injuries suffered by the boat owner and passengers during an accident.

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