Selecting the Best Insurance for Your Trawler
Choosing an insurance policy and agent to protect your trawler can be very confusing and complicated.* Marine insurance is a highly specialized field, and a far different product than that which you buy for your home and automobile.** By the way, marine insurance is the oldest form of insurance and governed by its own set of Maritime Laws.
Hull coverage normally encompasses the hull and all items on your trawler that are permanently attached and used in the regular operation of the yacht, i.e. electronics, TVs etc.*
The preferred insurance to buy is Agreed Value, meaning that you and your insurance provider agree on the value of your trawler.* If there is a complete loss you would be covered for the amount of money shown on the Declaration Page of the Policy.* This amount will not be automatically reduced annually.
There is also, Actual Cash Value (ACV).* What this means if your trawler is a total loss, you will be offered the going market value of your type of trawler.* But be careful with choosing Actual Cash Value, beware, you may also find that if you have a loss you will be getting far less than you bargained for.
Be sure to talk to your insurance agent about how your loss would be established for both a complete loss and a partial loss and what would be subject to depreciation.* Typically, engines are subject to depreciation.* Usually wind storm canvas damage is not covered by a policy.
It's also essential that the policy you buy cover salvage, fuel spills and wreak removal as these issues come with trawler ownership. Often the recovery of a yacht could exhaust your policy limits were it not for these additional coverages often included in the better marine policies.
Recreational marine insurance polices will always include steaming boundaries.* It is usually a warranty of the policy and consequently extremely important that it is correct on your policy.* A warranty is very strong language in a policy and if you are outside the navigation limits shown on the declaration page, you probably would not have any insurance should you sustain a loss.** You will want to talk to your agent about this and make sure you have the coverage you need; keeping in mind this is a crucial factor in determining the premium.
Lay-ups are something to review with your agent.* If you are in hurricane areas, a layup will often be covered by the policy to protect the vessel from harm by an active storm. Of course, getting your trawler out of hurricane areas will automatically reduce your premiums.* You may be entitled to some premium decrease if the trawler is hauled out of water during the winter months too.*
Some other things that could result in a discount are boating courses,a USCG Captain License, and equipment on your trawler or motor yacht such as anti-theft devices.**
In addition, many boat policies will have Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation which would cover you should you become lawfully bound under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act for any physical injury developing out of the ownership, upkeep or use of your yacht.* Jones Act coverage would also be necessary if you hire crew or have a full-time paid Captain.
Always look at the Exclusion section of the policy so you know what is not covered.*
Since boat insurance is a different animal, make sure to work with an Agent that understands trawlering and knows the marine insurance business, so they will know how to guide you.