Watercraft and Boat Trailer Insurance

Watercraft and Boat Trailer InsuranceIt’s summer, and that means that millions of outdoor enthusiasts are preparing to take their boats and other watercrafts out onto the water. Many of those people do not live near the lake or sea and require a trailer to tow their boat to the nearest waterway. Do you have the right watercraft and boat trailer insurance?

There are two types of boat trailers: open and closed frames. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Closed frames cover the wiring and open frames leave the wiring exposed. Open frames help to drain the water when dipping your boat into the lake. Make sure the lights and wiring of your trailer are approved for marine use, so that these will not become damaged or corroded over time.

Trailer insurance is not a state or federal requirement, like boat insurance. However, it is an expensive piece of personal property that is exposed to frequent risks while in use and while parked.

Boat trailer insurance applies to the equipment built specifically for towing watercraft using a passenger vehicle, and transferring the boat from land to the water. The policy covers theft, damage as result of an accident to another vehicle, trailer, or person. It may also include roadside assistance and damage due to weather or vandalism.

Is the Trailer Covered under My Boat Insurance?

If you currently have boat insurance, this may be enough coverage, but be sure to read the fine print. Insurance policies vary by state and individual purchases, so make sure you understand your current coverage. Some may include roadside assistance for the boat and trailer, as well as on-water tows. However, you also need to consider other possible scenarios, like accidents on the road, theft, and fire damage.

Is the Trailer Covered under My Homeowners or Auto Insurance?

Your trailer is covered by your auto insurance policy while it is attached to your vehicle and in the process of being towed from one point to another. If the trailer was not attached properly to the car or truck and accidentally becomes unhinged while in transit, then the general liability coverage of your auto policy will probably extend to your trailer.

This coverage is quite limited, however, as the collision and comprehensive aspects of the policy will not pay to replace your trailer if it is damaged in an accident. As stated by Penny Gusner of Insurance.com, “If it’s a boat or travel trailer that you’re towing, then to have it covered for damages, you’d need specific coverage just for that item.”

Homeowners insurance protection is also limited for trailers. Usually, it will include some coverage for your boat, trailer, and motor, but only for property damage. This is usually 10 percent of the value of your home, or up to $1,500. If you wanted liability coverage as well, you would need to purchase an endorsement.

Obtaining Boat Trailer Insurance

Obtaining Coverage

Before purchasing a separate policy for your trailer, you’ll need to provide your independent insurance agent with the proper information. This includes:

  • The purpose for the trailer.
  • The length and width of the trailer.
  • The original purchase price.
  • The trailer’s make, model, and serial number.
  • If the trailer’s purpose is for personal or commercial use.

Boat and watercraft trailer coverage is reasonably affordable. Often, you can find a policy that costs around $75 annually.

Towing Tips

More than one person per day dies as the result of an accident involving a passenger vehicle towing a trailer.  The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and AutoMD.com have called for safe travel while out on the road this summer. First, make sure you know the maximum weight limits and towing speed for your trailer. You don’t want to load a boat that’s too heavy and cause mechanical issues to your car, or have control issues while in traffic. Second, make sure the trailer frame has been built specifically for your boat or watercraft. After the trailer has been hitched and the boat loaded, check the brakes and turn signals. Lastly, be sure the load has been distributed for optimum stability. The organization recommends that 60 percent of the weight be in the front half of the trailer.

When you are about to dip your boat into the water, be sure to unplug your trailer lights and that the way is clear before launching. Do not leave your trailer unattended with only the parking break on.

Seek Advice Today

Schedule an appointment to speak with your local independent insurance agent. They will have the knowledge and experience to recommend the right boat trailer insurance for you.

Other Enhanced Insurance articles related to Boat Insurance:

How Much Is Boat Insurance

Boat and Yacht Insurance

Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.

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