Today is a great day to discuss summer boating! With the current events we are all facing, these issues are causing a lot of stress in our lives. We have been locked up in our homes for many months due to a virus and now civil unrest. We need to escape reality to get our heads working normally again. Now with the warm summer breeze on our faces, our minds can wander for something fun to do. Not sure about you, but I have been thinking of water. We all love water. Lakes, rivers, oceans, or seas, water is important to everyone. Who amongst us would not like to go somewhere and hang out on a beach? Isn’t it fun and relaxing to listen to the waves lapping up on the shore? Or layout soaking up the sun rays while keeping cool by the breeze off the water. In Minnesota, we have lakes in our backyard. You see it all the time on TV. The ad is showing a smiling family cruising on a boat across the lake. It looks so fun; I want to enjoy that too.
So, I start rationalizing or justification they need, yes, the need to buy a boat. We need to cruise across the lake, or go swimming in the middle of the lake, or go fishing anywhere. All of this sounds fun and relaxing doesn’t it? I am a bit crazy in the head as the “insurance guy” in me kicks in and starts thinking of the problems with this dream. In my head, all I can think about all the responsibility that comes with boat ownership. What should I be thinking of, what limits should I carry, is my stuff covered in the boat? What about winter and storage and someone vandalizes my boat or steals it? This fun event just became stressful. I need to investigate insurance to reduce my stress and re-focus on the boating fun.
When you are out this summer boating, protecting your investment is important. There are many insurance companies offering boat coverage. I am going to assume all these companies are good and they will pay any claims that arise. What I want to do is talk about the need for insurance on owning a boat. The first and biggest thing we need is Liability. Liability is so important; think of it like auto insurance. This important coverage covers “other people” just like a car. When you are cruising your friends around the lake in a boat and something happens, liability is the protection needed. What is a good rule of thumb for liability? Like auto insurance, the more the better. If you have a pontoon boat filled with 2 or 3 families and it capsizes, is a $50,000 liability policy going to be enough, no way. I would suggest at a minimum $250,000 or even better, $500,000. I would also suggest a million-dollar umbrella. You have no idea what will happen and who gets hurt and how bad. Having high limits reduces your stress level. Would you like another fun liability nightmare? Your kids would like to borrow your boat for the day and hit the lake with their friends. How does that grab you? Maybe they are mature and will cruise the lake and obey the lake rules? Or maybe they will race their friend’s boat to see who has a faster boat? Nothing bad could happen, right?
Also, insurance companies can provide coverage for your stuff in the boat. Be it personal or fishing equipment. Say you flip your boat or sink it and my cell phone is now at the bottom of the lake, along with my $200 fishing poles, with my $300 reels, all 6 of them lay nicely in a row next to my cell phone on the bottom of the lake. How about my trolling motor, yup nicely laid next to my Ugly Sticks. Things happen on the water and having insurance helps for those mishaps that can and do occur.
I end today and ask you to contact me with your insurance needs or questions, so I can help protect your family from any problems that arise.
Happy boating this year!
CEO, The Ragnar Group