WILL I be covered?

First off, I’m not selling insurance. However, as my fishing habits are set to change for later this year (U.S. Open in September), I’m suddenly a more interested consumer when it comes to bass boat insurance. And one of the things that I am reminded of is an insurance policy is a product–just like lures, rods and bass boats.

And you know what that means. There are all kinds of product levels, all kinds of features, and likewise, varying prices. Trouble is,  most bass fisherman are a lot more concerned about the features of a new baitcaster than they ever were for their boat coverage.

I’ve watched angler interest rise and fall over insurance coverage much as it has over sunscreen SPF (another kind of coverage). There was a time when we cared more about how sunblock smelled than how long it would protect your hide.

In like fashion, we’ve seen bass boats written into the same policy covering the other stuff in your garage. Only a bass boat used in competition, fishing for prize money and typically running at high speeds on the big waters, is a whole different category than your lawn mower.

Radio co-host Stan Vandenburg of 1-800-BASSBOAT would say as much.  When he determined to write bass boat specific insurance policies years ago, as a tournament fisherman (former Top 40 lister, BTW) he did so with his own fishing interests in mind. And funny, those are my interests right now as well.

Yet how often do we really ask/talk about our coverage?  I’m thinking, a good idea might be to ask an agent for some specifics. For instance, “What’s the difference in my out-of-pocket costs between a total loss and full replacement compared a partial loss?

One of the hidden “costs” in insurance is depreciation--when does it kick in and at what rate? I’m thinking I would really like to know how much depreciation costs me if I only somewhat bash my hull and lower unit.  A max coverage plan could range up to 10 years with no depreciation costs–but others not nearly so much.

Likewise, not every carrier treats a hull as they might cover “machinery.” And as you well know, there’s a lot more to a rig than gelcoat. Some policies just don’t cover engine or accessory replacement costs. Now, that may be fine with you (if the payment rate works for you), but it does sound like something you might want to know.

The good news though. You can pretty much find out with a phone call.