There are many hidden costs associated with owning a boat: Dock fees, general maintenance, and winter storage, just to name a few. One expense that boat owners should never skimp on is purchasing the best available insurance policy for their watercraft.
Because buying a boat is a huge investment, owners should protect their boat with comprehensive insurance coverage. Plans are often based on the type and size of the boat. Many Homeowners and Renters insurance policies provide limited coverage for property damage if the boat’s engine is less than 25 mph horsepower or if it is a small sailboat, but without additional insurance, no liability coverage is included.
Owners of larger, more powerful boats and yachts will need to purchase a separate insurance policy for their boat. The insurance company will take into account the size and type of boat, its value, and where the boat sails when drawing up the conditions and cost of the policy.
Separate boat and watercraft insurance policies provide much more coverage to the owner. These policies generally include loss and damage coverage to the boat’s hull, machinery, furnishings, fittings, and any permanently attached equipment, like a navigation system. Liability coverage is extended to:
- Bodily injury to other persons
- Damage to other’s property
- Legal expenses associated with non-consensual operation of the boat
- Medical costs for injuries to the owner and passenger
- Boat theft
Policyholders can choose the liability limits of their plan, ranging anywhere from $15,000 up to $300,000. The deductible cost for property damage is $250, and it ranges between $500 and $1,000 for theft and medical expenses. Of course, policies can be individualized based on the boat owner’s needs. Other endorsements and coverages can be added to the policy to cover the boat’s trailer, fishing gear kept aboard the boat, and any other accessories. Also, make sure to ask whether or not the policy covers the boat while it is being towed.
Just as Auto insurance providers offer discounts to their policyholders, discounts for watercraft policies apply in certain cases. For example, insurance companies favor diesel-powered engines over gasoline ones because diesel fuel is more stable, making the engine safer to operate.
Other discounts are related to safety equipment kept on the boat. Having items like fire extinguishers approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and ship-to-shore radio equipment could reduce the amount of the premium. Also, completing a boater’s safety course offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the American Red Cross, or the U.S. Power Squadrons can gain some favor with the insurance company. Maintaining a clean boating record is just as important as being accident-free on the roadways, when it comes to lowering insurance rates. Premiums are usually discounted for every two years the boater goes without an accident or filing a claim. Bundling your Watercraft insurance with Homeowners and vehicle policies is another good way to save money on coverage costs.
A solid insurance policy gives boaters the peace of mind needed to set sail and enjoy the open waters. Nothing is more relaxing than knowing your investment is covered. Get in touch if you have questions.
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, did you purchase a home DNA kit? The results reveal facts about your ethnicity, ancestry, paternity, and health. However, consider several facts about the use and safety of home DNA tests before you purchase one.
How your DNA is Used by Others
You can learn valuable information from a home DNA test. Your data could be used by other people, too, though, in several ways.
- Familial DNA Searches – You could be contacted by family members who may wish to build a relationship or do you harm. Additionally, law enforcement personnel can search DNA sites for familial connections that help them find crime suspects or solve crimes.
- Health Recommendations – You can pursue professional medical treatment based on your DNA results, but prescription and over-the-counter drug companies can also access your information and spam you with recommendations for their medications, vitamins and supplements.
- Insurance Queries – Life and health insurance companies can access your DNA results, determine if you carry a gene that causes diseases or increases your desire to take risks, and decide if they want to insure you.
- Employment Discriminations – The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act passed in 2008 forbids employers from hiring or firing anyone based on genetic information. However, your DNA records are public knowledge and easily accessible by employers.
Are DNA Tests Safe?
Your DNA includes your complete genetic code, making it one of your most valuable possessions. For this reason, carefully consider who should have access to your DNA data and sample.
- How the company stores, uses and shares your information.
- When and how you can access your data and sample.
- If your sample will be used for research.
- The security of the digitized copy of your data.
- What happens to your information if the company is sold or you cancel your account.
- Consider skipping the extra questions about your lifestyle, health habits and personal preferences. Anyone can search the site’s database and discover your identity along with your private information.
- Consider how the results could affect your family’s privacy. For instance, would you want long-lost relatives to contact you?
- Discern if you’re emotionally ready to learn that about illnesses or diseases you could develop. Home DNA companies typically do not include counseling like genetic clinics offer.
- Hackers want your personal information, so research the reputation and security protocols of the DNA site before you sign up.
Home DNA testing can reveal amazing details about your ancestors, health and future.
If you’re lucky enough to have time off this Thanksgiving, make a conscious effort to get away and leave work behind. Turn off your email, let calls go to voicemail and leave projects for Monday. You deserve time away, and your family, body and work will thank you.
1. Enjoy Your Family and Friends
Whether you spend time with friends down the street or fly across the country to see your family, appreciate the time away with your loved ones. Bake cookies with your kids, go shopping with your mom or play football with your friends. Be completely present as you make memories and strengthen your relationships this holiday.
2. Relax Your Body
As your doctor will tell you, constant pressure, tension and stress from work can create long-term health consequences. Relax your body and improve your health when you take a complete break from work. Nap, exercise or just sit around and pet your dog as you reduce stress and relax your body.
3. Focus on Your Hobbies
If you can’t remember the last time you picked up your paintbrushes, tennis racket or gardening tools, now’s the time to reengage with your hobbies. You feel mentally relaxed, rested and energized after focusing your brain on fun and fulfilling hobbies and interests that aren’t related to work.
4. Set Healthy Boundaries
Feeling guilty about taking time off work is a sign that you need better work-life balance. Establish healthier boundaries and start this holiday season.
5. Refresh Your Brain
Creativity and problem solving, two essential job skills, require tons of mental energy. On vacation, give your brain a rest, recharge your energy and prep yourself for greater success once you return to work.
6. Find Your Smile
A cheerful mental attitude keeps you motivated at work, but when was the last time you smiled? Find your smile when you get away from work and enjoy a restful vacation.
7. Take Care of Business
Are you putting off a dental cleaning, car repair or garage clean up? That list clutters your mind and distracts you from doing your best at work. Spend a few hours this holiday taking care of business at home, and relieve the clutter in your mind.
This Thanksgiving, you owe it to yourself to take a break from work. Your break will help you enjoy your holiday and work smarter.
Valued at $46.2 million, the Graff Pink diamond is one of the most expensive pieces of jewelry in the world. Your jewelry box might not hold anything that priceless, but you certainly want to insure your valuable or sentimental pieces, including the diamond cufflinks you wore at your wedding or your grandmother’s ruby brooch. November is Real Jewelry Month and the perfect time to make sure your necklaces, bracelets, rings and other real jewelry are insured.
1. Hire an Independent Appraiser
An independent appraiser will carefully and thoroughly inspect each piece of jewelry you own, and he or she will then determine the exact value of your works of art. Be sure to obtain a signed document that includes a detailed description and appraiser’s value for each piece.
2. Check Your Current Insurance Policy
Most homeowner or renter insurance policies include cash value or replacement coverage for personal belongings. As long as that figure is high enough to cover everything you own, including your real jewelry, you’re set.
3. Purchase a Rider
If your current policy does not cover your valuable gems, purchase a rider. It offers additional coverage for your precious collection.
4. Take Pictures of all Your Pieces
The police need detailed descriptions of your jewelry if a piece is lost or stolen. Take detailed pictures of each piece to increase the likelihood of recovery.
5. Update Your Inventory Regularly
Once you’re sure your jewelry is adequately insured, mark your calendar for an annual inventory review. Add new pieces you recently purchased and remove pieces you sold or gave away to ensure your collection is completely covered.
6. Inspect Your Jewelry
As part of your annual review; take your jewelry for an inspection. The jeweler will look for loose settings, chips or scratches. Take new pictures after any needed repairs are made.
7. Store Your Jewelry in a Safe Place
Insurance will replace your real jewelry if it’s lost, stolen or damaged, but don’t take chances. A fireproof safe hidden in your home or a safety deposit box at the bank protects your gems, especially if you own expensive pieces that you wear only on rare occasions.
You do not want to file a claim for stolen jewelry and find out it wasn’t insured. Follow these tips and talk to your insurance agent today as you protect your valuable collection and celebrate Real Jewelry Month.
Drone operation does include cyber risks you should understand before you operate your machine.
Most drones operate via a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection through your smartphone or tablet. The connection may not be secure, though. A hacker can jam, intercept or terminate the connection or GPS, take over your drone and steal it or crash it into something.
The computer or mobile device you use to operate your drone could become infected with malware. It can affect the connection to your drone and cause the machine to crash and potentially cause physical or property damage.
Access Photos or Videos
A camera attached to your drone can transmit stunning photos and videos from the air. These images are usually transmitted over an unsecured FTP server which a cyber attacker could access and share. This privacy breach is your responsibility.
Ways to Protect Your Drone
Protect your drone from cyber crime when you take several steps.
Ask the seller about their cybersecurity measures.
Most drone sellers include the machine’s cybersecurity information on their website. If you can’t find it, contact the company for additional information.
Test your drone’s security.
Hire a cybersecurity professional to test your drone and ensure it’s safe from cyber threats.
Connect to your drone via radio control.
Use a secure radio control connection since Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections rely on unencrypted data links that are vulnerable to hackers.
Subscribe to a VPN service.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your internet connection and protects it from hackers.
Install a seL4 operating system.
Equip your drone with new seL4 OS technology. This operating system isolates various functions on the drone, preventing a hacker from taking over your machine.
Install an anti-virus program.
Reduce viruses, malware and other threats when you install protective programs on your computer or mobile device. The most secure programs provide real-time antivirus and anti-theft protection.
Vary your flying habits.
When you fly your drone in the same flight paths and at the same time every day, you make yourself vulnerable to hackers. Instead, vary your flying habits and throw hackers off your trail. Consider flying in remote locations, too.
Purchase drone insurance. Call us.
A drone insurance policy provides you and your drone with important coverage. Look for a policy with:
- Broad, legal and premises liability coverage
- Personal injury and medical expenses
- Hull coverage
- Extra equipment coverage for any on-board cameras, tools and equipment
- Invasion of privacy
Your drone is vulnerable to several cyber risks. Know the risks and how to stop them so you can enjoy your drone and keep it secure.
10 months ago ·
by Erin Carlson ·
Summer time fun for you might include hauling a trailer. It secures your ATV, boat, a second car, camper, horses or camping gear. Before you hit the road, make sure your trailer is properly insured.
Why do you Need Trailer Insurance?
Many states accept your auto insurance coverage when you haul a trailer behind your insured vehicle. Your homeowners or renters insurance policy may cover the items you haul. However, this coverage is typically only for liability. Plus, you face several risks when you haul your trailer on the road.
- If you’re not used to hauling a trailer, your risk of causing an accident increases.
- You may turn too sharply and damage someone’s property.
- You could hit a slippery stretch of highway that causes your trailer to slide into another vehicle and damage it or push it off the road.
- While unloading or loading your trailer, you could damage it or the item you’re hauling.
These and other accidents are possible. Trailer insurance adds valuable protection that gives you peace of mind as you travel.
What Type of Coverage is Available?
The type and amount of trailer insurance you need depends on your trailer’s type and size and on the value of the items you will haul. Typical trailer insurance provides several valuable coverages.
- Liability – Cover the costs associated with bodily injuries or property damages your trailer causes to other people or their property and belongings.
- Comprehensive – Repair your trailer if it is damaged from theft, vandalism, fire or weather.
- Collision – Repair your trailer if it is damaged during a traffic collision.
- Contents Coverage – Pay to replace damaged items that are stored on or hauled in your trailer.
How do you Purchase Trailer Insurance?
Talk to your auto insurance agent about trailer insurance. He or she will review your auto insurance policy’s current types of coverage and limits to ensure it’s adequate for your trailer. Your agent will also review your homeowners or renters insurance policy and ensure it covers the items you are hauling.
If your current policies are not adequate to cover your trailer and its contents, increase your coverage types or limits or purchase a separate policy. You may need to shop around for trailer insurance if your current agent does not carry it.
With trailer insurance, you can travel this summer with confidence. If your trailer causes property damage or bodily injury or if the items you haul are damaged, you can pay for the liability or repairs. Talk to your agent before your next trip to make sure you’re properly covered.