WORCESTER, Mass., July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This Fourth of July, nearly 17 million boat owners and 1.6 million personal watercraft owners are preparing to have fun on the water. Unfortunately, many don't have the right insurance in place, and risk running into rough waters ahead.
With this in mind, The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG), a leading provider of business, auto and home insurance products, today advised watercraft owners to evaluate whether they have the proper coverage.
"Whether you own a powerboat, sailboat, personal watercraft, or canoe, it's smart to review your insurance coverage with a trusted independent agent to determine if you have the right coverages that fit your needs," said Mark R. Desrochers, president, personal lines insurance at The Hanover. "Taking the time to talk with an independent agent also will provide peace of mind that the right protection is in place, if something goes wrong."
Thoroughly reviewing a watercraft policy with an insurance agent is important. Coverage can be complicated by many factors, including safety and training regulations that vary widely by state. A professional independent agent will help watercraft owners answer some important questions:
ARE YOU IN COMPLIANCE WITH WHAT YOUR STATE REQUIRES?—State insurance requirements for boats and personal watercraft vary, so it's important to understand local requirements. In some places boat insurance may not be mandatory, so coverage for losses caused by uninsured boaters may be wise.
DO YOU HAVE COVERAGE WHEN YOUR VESSEL IS OFF-THE-WATER?—Watercraft owners also need to consider coverage for their boats and trailers while parked at home. An existing homeowners policy may provide a measure of coverage, but it's likely to be limited and may not apply at all for damages while stored at your home. Other risks such as theft and vandalism also need to be considered.
HAVE YOU TAKEN A BOAT INVENTORY?—As with a home inventory, boat owners may be well served by documenting the vessel. For example, it is a good idea to take pictures or video of the boat and to store these items in a place other than your home. A written description, supplemented by model and serial numbers of key mechanical and electronic items, is helpful information if there is a loss.
IS YOUR WATERCRAFT'S VALUE ASSESSED CORRECTLY?—Another policy consideration is whether the boat is covered at an "agreed value" or "market value" in the event of a total loss. Agreed value is more commonly applied to newer boats, while market value is generally the basis for settling the loss of older vessels. So, if you had agreed value when your boat was new, but you have had it on the water for several years, you may be over-paying.
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED A BUNDLED PACKAGE?—There may be a financial advantage to obtaining insurance for your boat or personal watercraft from the same company that insures your auto and home. More insurance companies are offering discounts when a customer maintains multiple policies with the same company.
DOES AN UMBRELLA POLICY MAKE SENSE?— Boat owners may be advised to consider an umbrella policy to deal with potential loss events that exceed policy limits of the boat insurance and put their personal assets at risk.
For a list of independent agents in your local area, please visit the "Find an Agent" section at www.hanover.com.
About The Hanover
The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., based in Worcester, Mass., is one of the top 25 property and casualty insurers in the United States. For more than 160 years, The Hanover has provided a wide range of property and casualty products and services to businesses, individuals, and families. The Hanover distributes its products through a select group of agents and brokers. Through its international member company, Chaucer, The Hanover also underwrites business at Lloyd's of London in several major insurance and reinsurance classes including political risk, marine, aviation and energy. For more information, please visit hanover.com.
SOURCE The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.