Chances are, when you bought your boat, you put a lot of thought into what you wanted. You might have spent a small fortune, and you might have even added certain tailored perks to the vessel. That’s why you want to safeguard your boat, not just from accidents, but from those who might want it.
Theft of boats can happen almost anywhere. Even if you park the vessel in your own driveway, there’s a chance someone might steal it. So, how do you keep the theft risk low? Having insurance is one way, but protective steps should also come into play.
Boat Insurance for Theft
Most boat insurance policies will cover theft. However, a particular type of coverage, called comprehensive insurance, usually contains this provision. Ask your agent to include this protection on your policy when you buy it. Keep in mind, you will have to set limits to your coverage. Structure your coverage to offer you the full value of replacing the boat with a similar model.
One area where boat insurance might not cover theft is in the area of personal possessions. So, if someone steals fishing equipment off of or along with the boat, you might be out of luck. To get this coverage, many boaters buy personal possessions policy riders. These additions extend extra coverage to your belongings on the vessel.
Protecting Your Boat
You should always put the vessel’s security first. Take appropriate protective steps to keep the vessel safe.
- Only operate the boat in safe, preferably patrolled water. The threat of boat-jacking and piracy in the U.S. is extremely low. However, thieves do have a tendency to target moored, docked and unattended vessels.
- Many boats have built in alarm and anti-theft systems. If you don’t have one, you can buy them, often for a nominal price. Arm these systems every time you leave your boat.
- Never leave personal items unattended on the boat. Also, if you have a motor boat, never leave it alone with the engine running. Many people even remove detachable motors from vessels.
- Store the boat in closed, locked areas whenever possible. Make sure that structure has appropriate anti-theft systems.
- If you store the boat outdoors, keep it in a well-lit place. Rather than attracting thieves, this might deter them. If you can install motion sensitive lighting around the vessel, it might serve as an alert system.
- When storing the boat on a trailer, make full use of wheel locks, cinder blocks stabilizers and other deterrents.
Should theft occur, immediately contact your insurance agent at 757.583.1828. Tell them how and where the incident occur. They can walk you through the process of gathering evidence and starting to file a claim.