Buying a Boat

You’re in the market for a boat? Congratulations! There isn’t much that beats spending time on the water, with the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and maybe a good-sized fish on your hook. (All right, we admit it; it could be cold water running down your back, waves sloshing over the edge and empty nets....But that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?)

A boat is likely one of the more expensive investments in your life, right after your home and/or car(s). So, although boat insurance isn’t mandatory, it’s important to get your ducks in a row before you launch.

Call your mates at First Pioneer Insurance or drop us a line before you get into choppy waters, and you’ll have happy sailing (and peace of mind, too). Here are a couple of things to consider as you buy your new or used vessel:

Don’t rely on your homeowner’s insurance to keep your boat afloat

Your new 20-foot boat is parked right alongside your house and she’s your pride and joy. Unfortunately, you don’t have the space to park her in the garage, so behind the house, behind the gate will have to do. You only bought her a couple of months ago, but you’ve already taken her out at least two dozen times. You make sure to take the gear out and the motor off every time you come back from fishing. But last night, it was late and raining sideways and you were glad that you and the boat had made it out of the water and home safe and sound. You decided you’d clean her up later on...after work the following day.

So, you arrive home from work and wander outside to wash the salt off the motor...but something feels funny. You open the latched gate to your backyard and there’s your boat but…no motor! No kicker! No rods! No nets! No fish finder! Hmm...Maybe your wife took care of it and put it all in the garage? (Odd, she doesn’t normally get near the boat.)

But, no! Slowly it dawns on you. Somebody wandered into your backyard and stole your motor and your gear. You can’t believe it! Surely it’s insured, right? But...you never got boat insurance.

Now what?

Some boat owners may assume that their boat is covered under their homeowner's insurance policy. But in fact, there is only limited coverage ($1,000-$1,500 depending on the insurance company) for damage to a boat on your homeowner's policy. And, generally, the loss must occur at your home.

Damage to your boat that occurs while you are launching the boat or when you are out on the water would not be covered by your homeowner’s policy. And, more importantly, liability protection in the event someone is hurt or some property is damaged by your negligent operation of your boat is not covered by your homeowner’s policy (with exceptions for small boats that have an outboard motor 25 horsepower or less.)

The solution is a Boat Insurance Policy.

Boat insurance not only covers damage to your boat in and out of the water, but it also provides liability protection in case you are responsible for injury to swimmers, water skiers or other boaters or damage to another boat, a dock or the environment (due to fuel spillage). In addition, boat insurance provides no-fault medical payment coverage for accidental injuries to the passengers on your boat.

Call First Pioneer Insurance for a hassle-free boat insurance quote at 800-547-1495. It’ll be fast and easy, and it’ll give you the peace of mind knowing that you and your boat are adequately covered.

Coverage for your boat while in transit

You’ve been searching the craigslist boat ads for a while. It has become your biggest pastime during recent weeks. And earlier this morning you were restless at 5:00am, finally got up at 6:00 (on a Sunday), and checked craigslist again...And there it was: a brand new listing from midnight. The perfect boat! The perfect price! Exactly what you were looking for. The ad said "Call anytime!" so you called, agreed to meet the seller at 8:00am, and you hit the road.

Now it’s 10:00 am and you’re on the road home with your new boat.

Suddenly, you hear a screech! You check the rear-view mirror – Darn! The boat looks lopsided. Crooked.

Something’s weird. You slow down and start merging over to the shoulder, but then it happens: You hear metal scraping on the pavement and you watch as the trailer comes loose, spins out into the next lane and comes to a halt. A semi-truck swerves to avoid impact but it's too late...both your boat and the semi are damaged in the collision.

Now what?

While in transit, the liability protection on the auto insurance policy of the towing vehicle will extend to cover damage or injury to others that is done by your towed boat and/or trailer, if you are negligent. This is a good reason to check your auto liability limits to make sure that they are adequate -- damage to a large semi-trailer can be hundreds of thousands of dollars!

In this example, the damage to your boat and trailer would be covered by your Boat Insurance policy, if you had one.

That’s why it makes sense to call your insurance agents (us!) before you buy a boat -- ideally when you are still just thinking about it. Not only can we review your auto policy and adjust your liability coverage to the new exposure of towing a trailer but we can also comparison shop your potential rates with all of our companies so that you will have a preliminary idea, before you buy, of the cost and breadth of your boat insurance coverage.

When the day comes that you find and buy your boat, just call us to confirm the boat specs and we can complete an application over the phone so that you can start enjoying your new boat right away, while safely towing it home.

Easy boat insurance and peace of mind with First Pioneer Insurance. That’s what we’re here for.

Coverage for the people on your boat

Its a Guys’ Weekend! You’ve agreed to take your friends out fishing in your new boat. You’re excited to show her off, if it wasn’t for your buddy Joe. Joe isn’t exactly known for his grace. In fact (and don’t tell him) he’s a bit of a klutz. If there is something to spill, he spills it. If there’s something to get hurt with, he hurts himself. If there’s someone to go overboard, Joe will be the one.

Unfortunately, Joe isn’t only a klutz; he’s also a dare-devil. He already mentioned that he borrowed some water-skiing gear, and will bring it along. He’s always wanted to try it out.

You swallow and let it be, hoping that just this once nobody will get hurt and nothing will break.

Saturday comes around and the guys are heading out. Sure enough, Joe wants to water-ski and you don’t want to spoil the fun so you tow him along. But you’ve never done this before and you need to find your groove as much as Joe needs to find his behind you.

Next thing you know, Joe hollers and goes under. You stop and turn around, and when you and your friends fish him out of the water, he’s broken his ankle due to your close encounter with a buoy.

Good News! A boat insurance policy will provide liability and medical payment coverage for the people that are aboard your boat, or that you are towing on water-skis, as long as you aren’t participating in a competition. So, as long as you thought ahead and talked with your agent here at First Pioneer Insurance, you'll have the peace of mind to know that you're adequately covered.

Storing your boat at a marina

Your lifetime dream has come true. You’ve bought a 26’ sailboat. Mooring your boat at a marina was always part of your dream. You love the community and the atmosphere. Plus, it’s a safe spot for your boat.

Because of the proximity of other boats and the potential for a loss on your boat to spread to other boats or the dock, most marinas are now requiring proof of at least $500,0000 liability protection before they’ll rent you mooring space.

Check with your marina for more information, and call your team at First Pioneer Insurance for the hassle-free boat insurance you need in order to safely moor your boat there.

Discounts for your boat insurance

You bought your boat, and now you’re shopping for insurance. There sure are a lot of Boat Insurance companies out there! Price is a factor…but you also want to make sure you get the right protection for your boat. And what else is there to know...?

Well, a great way to start is to call your insurance agent at First Pioneer Insurance. We specialize in all your personal insurance needs, and that includes boat insurance!

We may not win a fishing derby, but we sure know how to catch you all the discounts you deserve on your boat insurance!

There are a variety of ways to lower your boat insurance rates:

  • Make a good choice on the type of boat that you are going to buy. Choosing safety over performance will keep your rates lower.
  • Also, the value of the boat will make a difference. The higher the boat’s value, the higher the premium.
  • Many companies will offer a discount if you take and complete a boating safety course. This will help you make the right call in a critical situation.
  • Most companies also offer “new hull” discounts and “claim-free” discounts.

If you’re looking to buy a boat or if you already own one, stay afloat with boat insurance from your team at First Pioneer Insurance. We’ll track down every available discount to assure that you receive the best value for your boat insurance investment. Give us a call today at 800-547-1495, or visit our Insurance Quotes page through the menu above to request a quote online.

Ahoy!