Should You Get Boat Insurance? | The Hoffman Agency | Sioux City, Iowa

“Don’t give up the ship!”
Captain James Lawrence

It is easy to determine whether you need boat insurance by answering one simple question: Do you own a boat? If you answered yes, please read on. If you answered no, please continue reading anyway – boat ownership can happen to anyone!

Whether you use your boat for fish-bothering purposes or just love the open water, you must enjoy your hobby with caution. Boating accidents happen all too often. According to Statistica, 613 people died and 2,559 people were injured in America as the result of boating accidents in 2019 alone. The Department of Natural Resources reports that 21 of those accidents took place in Iowa.

Boat Insurance Covers More Than Just the Boat

Boat insurance doesn’t just cover the boat owner, their guest passengers and non-passengers in the event of bodily injury. It also covers the boat itself. The boat owner may elect to purchase coverage for their vessel’s actual cash value (which takes depreciation into account). Or an agreed amount value (in which no deduction for depreciation is applied in the event of total loss).

A mishap will not necessarily send your boat to the bottom of Lake Red Rock, but plenty of other misfortunes can cause serious damage to your summer toy. Boat insurance covers the cost of any repairs your boat and its permanently attached equipment might need after an accident. Unfortunately, your beautiful boat might arouse envy in amoral minds – theft and vandalism are both crimes commonly committed against boat owners. And however securely you might store your boat, insects, mold, rodents and fire all threaten it with partial or total destruction. Somewhat ironically, even flooding can damage or destroy your boat!

Insurance can cover a boat’s trailer and removable accessories in the event of an accident, theft, vandalism or natural disaster. It can also cover the cost of towing following damage. Additionally, it can cover any damage the boat owner may accidentally inflict on another person’s property. Even the most seasoned captain may lose control of their boat. It is best to prepare for that occasion!

Be Prepared and Save Money With the Right Type of Boat Insurance

The state of Iowa requires boaters to do several things before taking to the open water. These include registering their vessels as well as caring life jackets, navigation lights and fire extinguishers onboard. Interestingly, state law does not require residents to purchase boat insurance. But boat insurance offers such great peace of mind for so little cost (about $300 to $500 a year on average) that it is difficult to justify ever taking to the water without it.

Just like the vessels they cover, boat insurance policies are available in all shapes and sizes. Many homeowners insurance policies cover smaller watercraft including kayaks, rowboats and even some motorboats (typically those which can’t go faster than 25 miles per hour). However, such boat-friendly homeowners policies tend not to cover bodily injury and other types of liabilities. They are available as separate endorsements.

Bigger, faster boats require their own separate insurance policies. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has no doubt purchased an insurance policy for his new $500 million yacht, which is so big that it has its own smaller “support yacht.” To use a less extreme example, if you have a speedboat, bass boat, sailboat, or jet ski, you must pay for any damage it receives or causes out of pocket unless you have purchased boat insurance.

Contact the Hoffman Agency in Sioux City

Do you need help navigating the insurance seas? Then let the Hoffman Agency be your chief mate. Since our foundation in 1964, we have worked closely with thousands of Iowans to ensure all of their insurance needs are met. Contact us today and our team in Sioux City, IA will make certain you are completely covered before your next launch!