Monday, April 27, 2009


Apples to Oranges: Not All Insurance Policies are the Same

When it comes to auto insurance policies, there are countless options on the market. However, not all policies are created equal. While you may be tempted to buy the insurance policy with the lowest price tag, this might end up costing you in the long-run. Here are a few tips for choosing the best policy:

• Compare limits - make sure yours are adequate
• Protect against gaps in coverage (e.g. umbrella policy)
• Customize your policy (limits, discounts)
• Read the fine print
• Work with a professional

We are here to make sure your auto policy does its job: keeps you protected in case of an accident. As independent agents, we can do the shopping for you, apply applicable discounts, and - most importantly - make sure you have the right policy for your situation.

Don't Float Your Boat
Until You Know it's Protected

We all love a day at the lake. But boating carries risk, too. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 5,191 boating accidents reported in 2007, and more than 80 percent of all boating accidents go unreported. Given this level of risk for accidents, it is critical that boat owners are properly covered. However, 29 percent of U.S. boat owners don’t own a separate watercraft policy. This often happens because boat owners assume that their craft is covered by their personal auto policy or their homeowner’s policy; unfortunately, this is not the case.

Is there coverage on my homeowners policy?
Some homeowner’s policies offer coverage for physical damage for boats, but only for smaller vessels. The typical homeowner’s policy contains a special property limit of $1,500 on watercraft, which doesn’t begin to cover the value of most boats. In addition, the covered perils specific to the boat are greatly restricted. There is liability coverage available for boats under most homeowner’s policies, but once again, it only applies to smaller watercraft.

What about my auto policy?
The standard auto policy covers the boat trailer for liability with the option to add coverage for physical damage. The boat itself, however, is not covered for liability or damage.

What kind of situations would require a specialized boat owners policy?*

1. Your cruiser collides with a speedboat whose operator fails to yield the right of way, causing extensive damage to your boat. The owner of the speedboat does not have any insurance coverage.

2. An expensive bass boat you just purchased is stolen from your home.

3. Your 27-foot-long sailboat is damaged by a major hailstorm while docked at the marina.

4. Your sport fishing boat is struck by lightning, incapacitating its electrical system.

5. Your son’s friend is water skiing behind your boat and he falls into the lake, injuring himself due to the excessive speed of the boat.

6. You negligently cause another boat to overturn to avoid a collision.

7. Your outboard motor explodes, seriously injuring your next-door neighbor.

*Scenarios provided by the Institutional Risk Management Institute (IRMI).

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