Liability from Renters Policy for Boat

Submitted by tcope on Fri, 03/16/2007 - 18:12

Looking for people interpretation of policy working. Background: I own a boat with a 60hp engine that I acquired prior or obtaining this renters policy. Under the Liability portion of the policy there is the following exclusion (I've shortened it to the parts that apply):

f. arising out of:
1) ownership, maintenance, use, loading or unloading of a watercraft described below;

Watercraft:
1)
2)
3) powered by one or more outboard motor(s) with more then 50 total horsepower if the outboard motor(s) is owned by the insured. But, watercraft with outboard motors of more than 50 total horsepower are covered for the policy period is:

a) acquired prior to the policy period and:
i) you declare them at the policy inception; or
ii) you tell us in writing, within 45 days after you acquire them, that you intend to insure them.

b) acquired during the policy period


So it would seem if I told them when I got the policy about the boat, it would be covered for liability. I guess they need to know as if its 500hp death trap, they'd not write the policy? Also, if I acquired the boat _while_ the policy was enforce, it's simply be covered. Why is that? That is, if they automatically cover it if I bought it while the policy was in effect, why would I need to tell them about it if I owed it before the policy? I guess it's because the policy can't be cancelled for the ownership of the boat if the policy is already in-force?

Any input.... other then call my agent as I've already done this and am waiting for their answer (thank goodness it's USAA and I'm not getting that "off the cuff, it's not covered" answer from the person that picks up the phone in the agents office... sorry if that offends).

Posted: 17 Mar 2007 04:21 Post Subject:

I think what it means as far as liability is that if something happend to it on your property or where you have it stored. Your renters policy will not cover the boat while you are out with it on the water for that you would need to purchase a boat policy. Usually depending on the company...they have requirements as far as the size of the boat and the motor etc. The company would also want to know about it so that they know what their liabilities are...so they may give you a higher rate etc. The want to know all the facts and you should tell your agent the facts to make sure that you are insured properly. It is really hard to say and I really know nada about boats and the different types...but I am thinking the bigger the boat and the faster it goes the renters policy will have more exclusions. If it is a smaller boat etc your renters policy will cover some of it as long as the company knows about it.

Hey I don't if I am really correct here on this...like I said I am really not so good with the types of boats. But I would def look into a boat policy especially if you are going to be transporting it alot and using it alot... If you have a trailer and depending on how large the trailer is to pull it you may have to have that insured as well.

Sorry if I cannot be of better advice on this one...boats are not so popular around where I live.

Posted: 17 Mar 2007 03:13 Post Subject:

I think what it means as far as liability is that if something happend to it on your property or where you have it stored. Your renters policy will not cover the boat while you are out with it on the water for that you would need to purchase a boat policy.


It's not that as this is liability.... protecting the insured when they become liable for something (liability coverage). Not when something happens to the property itself (Personal Property coverage).

Here is my only guess... the policy states that the company will provide coverage as long as they are told about an existing ownership when the policy is obtained. I'm thinking this is so they can either write the policy or not. If they do, they provide liability coverage. The other part states when a boat is bought after the policy is in-force, it's covered... period. I'm thinking that they can't/won't cancel the policy that is already in-force if a person buys a boat as the policy covers liability anyway and can't just be cancelled for a lesser reason. That is, the company can't/won't cancel the policy because of a slightly larger risk as this is what it's there for.

That is just my guess but I'll admit, it's really does not make complete sense to me. Mainly because of the 2nd part stating if the boat is bought during the policy period.... it's covered... no questions asked.

I'm waiting to hear from the USAA rep. The rep I called left me a second message and explained that she needed to refer it back to the rep that I spoke to when I obtained the policy.

Posted: 22 Mar 2007 01:08 Post Subject:

Well, I did get a call back and they left a message. After several days they came to the following conclusion....

The definition of "Watercraft" listed at the bottom of the page only applies to #3 (of 1, 2, and 3) which is listed directly above it. Now, it takes me about 1 second to see that this is not even close to being correct. Each number, 1, 2, and 3 _all_ state, "... watercraft described below". The definition of Watercraft is indented directly under #3, but it's really indented under all numbers and is this way as it applies to all 3 exclusions.

This is same kind of cr*p answer I got from my last carrier.

I called them back and explained. Person was very helpful and placed me on hold to speak to someone else. He came back and said that basically, the renters liability only applied to a "row boat" (meaning, no engine). Alright... now they are even _more_ wrong. He finally gets another person on a 3 way call and this person immediatly agrees that the policy would extend liabilty to my situation. I ask about the "notify us at policy inception" and he states that he will place a note in the file that this was done.

I'm sorry to say that I see these as typical answers when asking agents about coverage. I'm not trying to insult anyone but claims adjusters typically no little about what policy should be obtained for certain risks and agents typically don't know much about how policy wording applies to coverage.

The reason why I wanted to know about this was that Utah requires a $20k liability policy to use boats with engines over 50hp (a good law). I don't want to insure my boat itself and did not want to pay for an entire boat policy when I was already paying for liability insurance under my renters policy.

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