Summer will be here before you know it. That means it might be time to break out your boat for some nautical fun. Still, you might have to do a bit of traveling to get where you want to go.
Missouri isn't close to either coast. However, it lies close to two of the country's major river systems and it has many lakes. It isn't difficult to take a vacation near water, if you plan ahead. But unless you live on the water, you must arrange to transport your boat. How can you do so?
Trailer transports generally involve three pieces of machinery — the car, the trailer and the boat. Therefore, the line might blur between whether you have coverage on car insurance, boat insurance or a different policy.
The Risks Associated With Transporting Boats
When you hook your boat up to a trailer, you'll expose it to safety risks. By taking the boat on your road, there is always a chance that an accident might suddenly occur. It might damage the vessel and trailer, not to mention your car. Consider some of these scenarios:
- While driving, the trailer detaches from the vehicle. It skids into a ditch, overturns, and the boat sustains damage in the accident.
- The boat detaches from the trailer and falls into the roadway. It collides with other vehicles or objects.
- A car wreck involving your vehicle damages the boat or trailer.
- While you have the boat trailer parked, someone attempts to steal the vessel and trailer. They also vandalize the vehicle.
- The vehicle catches fire or is damaged by a severe thunderstorm.
These accidents could lead to various injuries and property damage. That could become costly, not only to you, your car and boat, but also to others.
You might wonder how your insurance coverage will apply to damaging accidents like these. At times, you might not know whether to make a claim on your boat insurance or your car insurance. The simple fact is that you need to have both types of coverage in place. That way, you'll never have to worry about gaps in your coverage.
Boat Insurance and Off-Water Transport
Boat insurance is similar to car insurance. It will carry such coverage options as:
- Collision Insurance that protects you in case of a wreck while on the water.
- Comprehensive Coverage to insure you against damage that comes from non-operational hazards. For example, fires, weather damage and theft losses usually have coverage.
- Liability Insurance in the event you cause a boat accident that harms someone else or damages their property. For example, if you hit another boat, you might have to pay for the other party’s damage costs.
The good news is that boat insurance usually covers the vessel both on and off the water. So, damage the boat sustains due to a car wreck will likely have coverage under this policy.
However, your boat insurance might not cover all possible damage you sustain in a car wreck. It might protect the boat, but that says nothing about the car, trailer or other people.
Car Insurance And Boat Trailers
Yes, you might be able to use your boat insurance to cover the vessel itself after a car wreck. However, you almost certainly will not be able to use the boat insurance policy for trailer damage. While some policies offer this coverage, in many cases, you must ask your Auto Insurance Discounters agent if you need to add policy endorsements for the vehicle.
For vehicle and trailer damage, you'll probably have to use your car insurance. If you have collision and comprehensive protection on the policy, then you'll have coverage in the event of wrecks or other hazards.
However, still don't assume that car insurance will automatically cover your trailer. In some cases, you will have to add a policy endorsement to your coverage. This endorsement will ensure that appropriate coverage extends directly to the trailer. It can provide that your auto liability, collision and comprehensive insurance will protect the trailer and other parties.
Preventing Trailer Accidents
You don't want to have to file a boat or car insurance claim for a trailer accident. Your best course of action is to batten down the hatches.
- Check the trailer hook and attachments to make sure it never comes loose from the vehicle. Don't forget to check the straps securing the boat to the trailer, as well.
- Keep the boat covered during travel. Remove all untethered items from the boat. You don't want them to come loose and fly into the air.
- Follow trailer directions when loading and unloading the vessel from the trailer.
- When parking the trailer, keep it in a well-lit area, and keep the boat secured to the trailer.
- Take it a bit slower than usual on the road. Speeding with a trailer attached to your vehicle reduces control and increases your ability to make stops.
The more attention you pay to safety, the better you'll be able to avoid damaging accidents while hauling your boat. You'll therefore be able to avoid making insurance claims that might drive up your rates or make you ineligible for coverage.