BOAT INSURANCE IN MIDDLETON, WI.

Boat Insurance in Middleton, WI

If you are looking to insure your pride and joy on the water, Cliff Insurance has done all of the homework for you. We maintain strong ties with all of the best providers of boat insurance in Middleton, WI to ensure that you get the best coverage and price for your policy. If we have a bad experience with an insurance provider we ensure that you won’t have the same experience by eliminating them from our list of offerings. You are welcome to shop for boat insurance on your own, but if you trust the experienced professionals at Action to do the job you save both time and money, every time. Please read on for more helpful information on boat coverage and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us!

How Does Boat Insurance Work?

While this type of insurance has many more specifics and coverage options when compared with auto insurance, boat insurance covers many of the same categories: liability, medical, property damage and uninsured watercraft coverage.

Will A Homeowner’s Policy Cover It?

A homeowners insurance policy can provide some coverage but can’t provide liability coverage for boats bigger in size or value then the home covered by the policy. While the policies can cover boats that are small or inexpensive, they aren’t able to provide full replacement or pollution liability costs. If instead of a boat you own smaller water vessels such as jet skis or wave runners, it’s best to have those ensured with their own policy.

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Does It Cover Sinking?

Don’t assume that every boat insurance policy will cover the most obvious worse case scenario for the loss of a boat which is sinking. As a matter of fact, if your boat sinks it will only be covered if it is explicitly listed under the provider’s list of physical damage coverages. Not all boat insurance providers will include sinking under this coverage and may even require a separate policy for this so it is best to make sure that sinking is covered with whatever policy you choose.

Do I Have To Purchase Boat Insurance?

In many states it is not required for you to carry boat insurance. Utah and Arkansas are the two exceptions to this. A boat can be a big expense and there are more than a few reasons to insure your vessel to ensure you do not lose your investment. The first reason is that if your boat incurs or inflicts damage, your insurance provider will take the hit instead of you. The others might not be quite as obvious but are also important. Any lender will require boat insurance to cover its interest in it. And most marinas require at least liability coverage before accepting your boat at their facility. It has become more and more common for people to properly insure their boats to responsibly own them. Quality insurance coverage maintains the comfort of all who own and operate your vessel.

How To Choose A Boat Insurance Provider

We take a very thorough look at the providers available to you for insurance coverage. Included in that list are national providers that offer insurance to everyone. However, even if a provider is regional or members-only doesn’t mean that it won’t be the best option for your specific situation. If your family has military ties there are specific options to consider that are most beneficial to military families. If you’re interested in becoming a member of a boating organization to take advantage of additional perks and publications they offer, visit Boat U.S. or NBOA.

History of Middleton, Wisconsin

Middleton is located two miles west of Madison, Wisconsin in Dane County. The Middleton landscape is made up of a succession of hills, valleys, prairies and a 600-acre mud lake that was drained. Michel St. Cyr established a trading post on the northwest shore of Lake Mendota, in what is now Mendota County Park in 1832. That area had long been used as a gathering place for Ho-Chunk and other Indian nations. During debates about the site of Wisconsin’s capital in the 1830s an imaginary "City of Four Lakes" was platted on it.

English Settlers first settled Middleton, WI in the 1840s. The city was initially called Peatville because of the large quantities of peat extracted from the soil. The village was renamed Middleton when it was separated from the town of Madison in 1848. The name was suggested by Henry Barnes inspired by a location in his native state of Vermont. After the English settlers arrived, German settlers followed.

The land around Middleton produced vast quantities of wheat. The wheat was stored in large grain elevators and began to be exported by rail when the railroad came through the area in 1856. A limestone cave running thousands of feet into Middleton Township was discovered in 1842. The community remained predominantly agricultural, with dairy becoming the new staple near the end of the 19th century, until the late 20th century, when Middleton gradually evolved into a suburb of Madison. The city’s humble roots have made for a down to earth yet vibrant, growing community.

Get Quotes From Several Providers

How each insurance provider will assess you and your boat’s risk and set a premium depends on a list of factors. Some of the factors that affect this are pretty obvious such as whether you operate your boat in stormy ocean waters or a placid lake? Others are less expected such as whether you share ownership? When you work with Cliff Insurance you don’t have to go through all the work to get a boat insurance quote from each of the top and local providers. We can compare policies and rates for you and put you into the best fit for you.

Actual Or Agreed Value Policy

There are two basic boat policy types:

Agreed Value ->  Your boat’s permanent value is decided when the policy is made.

Actual Cash Value ->  Your boat’s market value is decided when you make a claim.

Choosing between these two options is really choosing between a smaller premium with a smaller total payout in the event of a total loss or paying a bigger premium with a much larger payout if your boat is a total loss. It is often best to make sure that a total loss is what you are insured for. With a policy for your vessel, property damage is often very insignificant compared to the money needed to adequately cover wrongful death or catastrophic injuries.

It is important to note that you only know exactly the amount of coverage you have for the value of the policy with an agreed value policy. After a number of years used boats typically don’t continue to depreciate much, while new boats just keep getting more expensive. You might be surprised explains at the difference in your settlement amount versus the cost of replacing the same model in the event of a total loss. In sum, an agreed value policy offers greater protection. However, if you have a small or relatively inexpensive watercraft, or boat exclusively in mild waters, it might be more than you need.

Boat Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything

Unlike many other types of insurance policies, it is safer to assume that your boat policy won’t cover something before you assume that it will. A lot of things that can affect the overall value of your boat such as wear and tear, manufacturing defects or the zebra mussels that can grow on the bottom of your boat and ruin the finish are excluded from almost every boat policy.

If some of the common boat insurance exclusions leave you worried about what carrier or coverage to choose, endorsements can also be explored and considered. One example is corrosion to the hull which is rarely covered although it is a given that it will occur as your boat ages. Using this example, if it was hull corrosion that led your boat to sink and you had an endorsement for consequential damage coverage you could save yourself from a huge loss.

Boat Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything

Unlike many other types of insurance policies, it is safer to assume that your boat policy won’t cover something before you assume that it will. A lot of things that can affect the overall value of your boat such as wear and tear, manufacturing defects or the zebra mussels that can grow on the bottom of your boat and ruin the finish are excluded from almost every boat policy.

If some of the common boat insurance exclusions leave you worried about what carrier or coverage to choose, endorsements can also be explored and considered. One example is corrosion to the hull which is rarely covered although it is a given that it will occur as your boat ages. Using this example, if it was hull corrosion that led your boat to sink and you had an endorsement for consequential damage coverage you could save yourself from a huge loss.

How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost?

All of the details about your boat and how you operate it has bearing on the amount of money you will pay for your premiums. Some of the factors that you can’t change are:

  • What is the condition of your boat and how much power does it have?
  • Have you previously owned a boat?
  • Do you cruise on an ocean, river or bay? Or are you boating on a mild lake or coastline?
  • How long is the boating season in your area?

On the other hand, these factors are within your control to affect:

  • Is your boat in great insurable condition? Marine surveyors and insurance companies take different things into consideration.
  • Do you have a clean driving record across all of the vehicles you insure whether they operate on land or water?
  • The Coast Guard and the US Power Squadron offer training. Have you received any training for operating your boat?

Just like with other types of insurance, another element that can affect the amount of your premium is how high you set your deductible. The more you make your deductible, the less you pay month to month. Common deductible amounts are $250 for property damage, $500 for theft, and $1,000 for medical payments. If you want to take a higher risk of paying more out of pocket if a mishap were to occur you can raise these deductible amounts.

Types of Boat Insurance

Given that there are many different types of watercraft and boats operation on the water, there are also several a wide variety of types of boat insurance available. Some of the types available are:

Third Party Liability

This type of insurance covers damage that your boat causes to other peoples’ boats and other property. It also covers other unexpected incidental damage caused such as any liability stemming from fuel spills, towing, medical expenses and any rescue operations necessary. Because of this, if you dock in a marina they may actually require you to carry a third-party marine liability policy.

All Risk Policies

All risk policies typically cover for any risk that is not specifically excluded in a boat insurance policy such as ice damage, pollution liability, reef damage liability, freezing, or mechanical breakdown. Medical insurance is usually not included and available as a rider to the all risk policy.

Hull Insurance

This insurance type limits the coverage to damage to your boat and any damage your boat causes to other peoples’ boats and property. The cost of boat repairs is also included. In the event of a total loss, hull insurance will pay the agreed value of the boat.

Boat Club

Boat Club insurance covers all of the members of the boat club named in the policy when operating a vessel. These policies cover property damage and liability.

Fishing Guide, Professional Angler and Fishing Charters

The expenses of buying equipment and travelling to be a fishing guide, professional angler or fishing charter operator really add up. Policies are now available to cover these assets needed for a successful operation.

Actual Cash Value Or Agreed Value

Actual cash value or agreed value are policy names that refer to the boat policy package type and whether it will pay the actual cash value of your boat or an agreed value predetermined at the time you buy your policy. The premiums for an actual cash value policy may cost you less, but an agreed value policy will secure the amount you receive for your boat if a total loss occurs regardless of the depreciation.

Yacht

This type of insurance coverage is reserved for vessels that are twenty-seven feet long or longer. A special policy is needed for these larger vessels because they have more exposure than a smaller watercraft.

What Is The Best Boat Insurance?

Cliff Insurance exists to do the research and leg work to find you the best insurance options for whatever it is you need to insure. When you contact us we will provide you with options that we have had experience with so not only to you get the best coverage and rate, you also get the most reputable companies available to deliver when you have a claim. The best boat insurance provider for you is the company that fits your unique situation and needs when it comes to your boat, location and activities on the water.

What Is A Boat Insurance Survey?

If you aren’t able to furnish your boat insurance provider with a bill of sale from within the last ten years you’ll have to get a Full Condition and Value survey (FC&V survey) in order to set up insurance coverage.

To complete a boat insurance survey, an independent marine surveyor physically inspects your boat from bow to stern and it will need to be in or out of water depending on what each provider requires. Cliff Insurance can help set you up with this if you need it. A surveyor from either organization will furnish a detailed, written report to the insurance company that documents your boat’s condition and determines whether it’s an acceptable risk. It also assesses your craft’s current market value.

While it may seem trivial, a surveyor is important to you and works in the interests of you, the boat owner. You want to make sure you are insuring your boat for a fair market value and be sure that it includes any improvements you’ve made.

How To Choose the Best Boat Insurance

Strong Financial Outlook

With insurances for watercraft being a pretty diverse mix, we never lose focus on what is essential long term which amounts to the overall financial stability of the provider. Let’s face it, an insurance company is only as good as its continued ability to pay claims. We monitor and assess ratings from multiple ratings agencies as a part of the process of selecting viable options for your specific case. We retain only companies boasting a high rating from the three industry standard bureaus that rate them.

What About Underwriting?

It’s important that the company you choose to insure with has the long term financial stability to pay out on claims for as long you own your boat. It’s also important that it’s easy to communicate with that company and pay bills or file claims. If a provider hands your policy over to a third-party insurer after securing your business, communication can break down and all semblance of customer service can be lost. We avoid providers who underwrite their policies.

Available To Everybody

Larger, multi-product insurance companies typically offer lower rates, greater discounts, and opportunities to bundle and save on your overall insurance needs. We maintain great relationships with the large providers and other reputable companies that make the cut after we work with and evaluate them. We avoid providers that have special requirements for membership and/or levy membership fees on top of premiums.

Agreed-Value Policies

Looking to experts with different professional perspectives on boat insurance, they all agree that the best boat insurance plan is an agreed value policy with generous inclusions. This type of policy would be considered ‘all-risk’ or very similar to that type of policy. Most major insurers offer this type of policy for your boat.

We Can Help!

If you have additional questions about insurance for your watercraft contact Cliff Insurance today by using the email form or giving us a call!

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