FAQs

What is taken into consideration when determining my insurance premium?

Answer: We take the following information into consideration when placing and rating your boat insurance:
Operator
– Ownership/Operator Experience
– Loss Experience
– Boating courses such as Coast Guard Auxiliary, Power Squadron or Coast Guard License.

Vessel
– Size
– Age
– Type i.e. Sail/Power etc.
– Speed
– Fuel type Gas or Diesel
– Marine Survey Compliance

Navigation
– Where will you be going?

Use of Vessel
– Pleasure
– 6 PAC Charter
– Commercial
– Other

What do I do if I want to extend my insured navigation area for a short period of time?

Answer: Call our office and ask for a rider for your insurance policy. We will need to know your intended navigation area and the dates you will need extended coverage. There will usually be an additional premium for this change in navigation.

If I want to be in Florida or the Bahamas during hurricane season, what information will my insurance company need to know?

Answer: Due to the previous hurricane seasons, it has become much more difficult to insure a boat in Florida or the Bahamas during Hurricane Season. Most insurance companies will require the following information:

– Mooring Location and address
– Who will be maintaining the boat if you are unavailable
– Hurricane Plan

When do I need a survey?

Answer: Answer: Each company has their own rules for surveys. Depending on the type of use of the boat, a survey is required at different times.

– For Private Pleasure use, you can be expected to be required to have a Out-of-Water Condition and Valuation survey by the time the boat is 8 years old and every 3-5 years after that point.
– If your boat is used commercially (i.e. 6 PAC, Bareboat, Commercial Fishing) you may be expected to require an Out-of-Water Condition and Valuation survey after the boat is 5 years old and every 3 years after that.
– When we are insuring your boat for the first time, (depending on the year and use of the boat), we may need a copy of an Out-of-Water Condition and Valuation survey that was prepared within the previous 12 months.

Why do I need a survey?

Answer: We know this is an extra expense, but we strongly support the almost certain safety benefits a good surveyor and survey provide. Surveyors keep up on accident causes, lessons learned in construction flaws, and can improve your already safe enjoyment of your vessel. We see claims all the time that a good survey might have helped to avoid.


Does my policy offer Pollution coverage?

Answer: Most of our policies include pollution coverage but if you want to be sure, please ask when insuring with our agency.

Why can’t I insure my boat for more than I paid for it? I got a great deal!

Answer: Our companies write “agreed value coverage”, which means that the face amount of the policy will be paid in the event of a total loss. If we insure your boat for more than you paid for it, you could make a profit. This contradicts the sole purpose of insurance, which is to compensate for loss or damage and nothing more.

I don’t use my boat often. Do I really need boat insurance?

Answer: The best way to look at it is this: It only takes one incident to demonstrate your need for boat insurance. It may feel like you don’t need coverage if you only use your boat a few times a year, but in reality, each time you are on the water you are at risk of an accident. Since you can never tell when you may need insurance, it’s important to protect your boat – no matter how much or little you use it.

Plus, even if you aren’t worried about covering your boat, you should (at the very least) have a liability-only policy. This type of policy will protect your assets in the event that you are held liable for bodily injury or damage to someone else or their property in an accident.

What is the difference between agreed value and actual cash value?

Answer: Agreed value represents the current market value of the watercraft, including motor(s), portable boating equipment, permanently attached equipment, marine electronics and trailer (if trailer coverage is requested). In the event of a total loss, you would receive the specified agreed value amount on your policy with no depreciation.

Actual cash value is determined by the market value, age, and condition of boat at the time of the loss. In the event of a total loss, coverage will pay the lesser of the current actual cash value or the rating base. Basically depreciation is accounted for.

How much liability will I need?

Answer: The best way to decide how much liability coverage you need is to ask yourself this question: How much do I need in order to feel completely protected? We offer anywhere from $100,000 to $1,000,000+ If you have a high investment portfolio, you may want to consider a larger liability. On average, most boat owners end up choosing $300,000 liability.

Will my lack of boating experience affect my policy?

Answer: Boating experience is one of the many factors used for rating purposes. The less boating experience you have, the fewer carriers will be able to trust your ability to safely operate and navigate a vessel. If you are a first time boat owner and have little to no boating experience, it is in your best interest to choose a smaller vessel. Your policy will be more affordable and you are more likely to get coverage.

How far off shore can I take my vessel?

Answer: Most navigation guidelines will be stated in your declaration page or in the policy itself. Since every company has different guidelines, it is important to read your policy and understand its limits on coastal and international waters, nautical miles versus regular miles, etc. Feel free to contact NBOA if you need further explanation of any policy guidelines.

Do I insure my boat in the winter?

Answer: It may seem that since you’re not using your boat in the winter, you don’t need boat insurance. This is a risky way of looking at insurance, and one that we have seen cost far too many people far too much money. Just because you’re not on the water doesn’t mean you’re not open to damages to your boat. Things can happen in storage that can end up costing a lot of money to repair. If you don’t have insurance in winter when your boat is in storage, you will not have any assistance in paying for the repairs. That’s why it’s so important to keep active insurance coverage on your boat year-round.

Do I have to wear a life jacket to be covered?

Answer: While we don’t require you to wear a life jacket in order to be covered, we strongly recommend it. We’ve seen far too many cases where, had the person been wearing a life jacket, they would have avoided serious injury or death. That’s why, even though we don’t require it, we encourage our customers to wear their life jackets every time they are on the water.

© 2015 Hartge Insurance Associates
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