Protect Your Boat This Winter

Protect Your Boat This Winter

As the weather cools down in Knoxville and the surrounding areas, the opportunities to take your boat out on the water will be few and far between if at all. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to make sure that you prepare it for the winter season the right way so that it will still be in excellent shape next year. 

There are two ways to ensure that your boat is well protected. Winterize your boat and check on the type of insurance you have. We at Bob Johnson Insurance are here to help you get the coverage you need so that your craft is always ready for anything. 

What Kind of Insurance Do You Need?

Typically speaking, small boats that don’t have a lot of power can be covered by your current homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. However, larger and faster crafts must have their own plan, so be sure to check with us to ensure that you have the right coverage. 

During the winter months, you may think that insurance won’t be necessary. After all, the boat’s out of the water, so what’s the worst that could happen? Well, that depends. The fact is that your ship can still get damaged, vandalized, or stolen when it’s not in the water. Therefore, having watercraft insurance all year long is always a good idea. 

Also, considering that Knoxville, TN doesn’t have the harshest of winters, you may be able to enjoy some decent time on the water during the offseason, which is where full coverage will come in handy. 

Optional Boat Insurance Options

Although protecting your craft itself is crucial, you have to take a more comprehensive approach when drafting the right insurance policy. These options are good to consider regardless of the season.

  • If your boat is getting old, you may be better off with a cash-value policy instead of an agreed value one. 
  • Consider any equipment that you may have on the boat. Do you keep fishing gear stored on there during the off-season? What about any electronics, like fish finders?
  • Not everyone who has a boat is insured, so it’s usually a good idea to get uninsured boater coverage and possibly umbrella protection, which helps reduce your liability if you’re ever involved in a collision or accident on the water. 

When talking with your insurance agent, keep in mind that there may be ways to get discounts on your policy. For example, taking a boating safety course can help reduce your premiums, so ask what options are available. In addition, your agent can advise you of other insurance options that you might want to know about

Winterizing Your Boat

While getting the right insurance coverage is essential, it’s not the only thing you should be doing to get your boat ready for the season. Winterizing your craft is also crucial so that it can survive the colder weather without any problems. Here are some tips to get started. 

Flush the Engine – Since the motor won’t be used during the winter, you want to clean it out and drain fuel from the carburetor. Doing this will help prevent buildup and ensure that everything stays pristine. Also, be sure to lubricate systems like your pistons and cylinders. 

Stern Drive – Keeping your boat clean and free of any plant life or barnacles will help keep the stern in good condition over the winter. Also, drain the gear case and clean it thoroughly. 

Fuel – Keeping your fuel tanks full for the season will avoid condensation. Be sure to add fuel stabilizers though to ensure that it stays fresh until Spring. 

Fresh Water System – As the temperature drops, the water in your boat can freeze and cause damage. To prevent this, flush the system and fill it with non-toxic antifreeze. 

Interior – Storing some items on your craft during winter can be convenient, but don’t store anything too valuable, especially if you don’t check the inside very often. 

Boat Cover – Using a cover to protect your boat from harmful UV rays and other winter weather will ensure that it’s ready to go next season. 

Keeping your boat in excellent condition this winter is much easier than it looks. By being prepared ahead of time, you can make this process much more comfortable, thus guaranteeing you won’t experience any problems when you back into the water. 

If you have any questions about boater’s insurance, be sure to give Bob Johnson Insurance a call at 800-624-3339 or click here to contact us.

Keeping Boat Insurance Afloat in the Off Season

expensive pleasure boat safely stored under canopy on a hyrdolic lift in a dock

Summer is over, and you’ve taken your boat out of the water. To save a few dollars, you cancel your boat insurance. After all, what could possibly happen to your baby while it’s hibernating? A lot, according to Progressive.

“You’d be shocked at the number of claims filed in colder months,” says Dominic Mediate of Progressive. “Nearly two out of every 10 Progressive boat claims filed in northern states happen between Labor Day and Memorial Day.”

Don’t take a gamble on nothing bad happening.

Common off-season claims:

Fire, theft, vandalism and flooding

Most claims are filed for one of these reasons, which can occur anytime of year. Without coverage, boats damaged by fire, theft, vandalism or flooding aren’t protected.

Injuries that occur on or around your boat

Some boaters don’t realize they could be responsible for injuries that occur on or around their boat — even if the injured person was there illegally. Without liability coverage, you could be responsible for the damages or the injured person’s medical bills.

Keeping your policy all year round might also save you a few bucks.

Progressive’s disappearing deductibles reduce your Comprehensive and Collision deductible 25 percent for every claim-free policy period. Four policy periods in a row without a claim equals a $0 deductible. Canceling your policy could mean paying more or the entire deductible, generally $500 or $1,000.

Check your policy and consult Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. Click here to contact BJI or call 865-922-3111.

Progressive Boat On-Water Towing

Getting ready for summer on the water?  Don’t get “caught without a paddle.”

Progressive offers unlimited on-water towing, no out-of-pocket expense for PWC (Personal Watercraft) or jetskis. You can get coverage up to $2,500 of towing and labor costs per occurrence and it has no deductible.

Tips to Ensure Your ATV is Properly Covered

Tips to Ensure Your ATV is Properly Insured

The winter has been very mild in the Southeast this year, so you might be breaking out the “outdoor toys” a little early!  Before taking out your all-terrain vehicle (ATV), but sure that it is properly covered.

When it comes to your ATV, it pays to keep your feet on the ground when it comes to insuring it. You may think it’s covered by your home-owners policy, but are you really protected? Your “toy” wasn’t cheap, and lacking the right type of insurance coverage could lead to a sticky financial situation.

“Owners should think of ATVs the same way they think of motorcycles,” said Rick Stern, product manager, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies. “You’d never consider getting on a motorcycle without the proper insurance, and you shouldn’t ride an ATV without the right coverage either.”

If you’re not sure what to do about your ATV insurance needs, here are a few things to consider.

Your homeowners policy might not be enough.

Most likely, your homeowners policy only covers your ATV if trouble occurs on your property. Anywhere else and you’ll be exposed. Look for an affordable ATV insurance policy that offers coverage no matter where you are. Trail riders should be aware that many states require ATV insurance for vehicles operated on state-owned land.

What about theft?

ATVs are portable and can be easy targets for thieves. You should consider ATV insurance that provides coverage for things such as theft, fire and vandalism just like the kind you can get for a motorcycle. Theft, fire and vandalism are covered by Comprehensive coverage, an optional physical damage coverage.

Consider uninsured and underinsured coverage.

You never know what can happen in the great outdoors. This relatively inexpensive coverage protects you if another rider causes damage to you and he or she lacks adequate coverage.

Keep your rates low.

You can do a number of things to save money on your ATV insurance, including maintaining a clean driving record, staying free of claims or choosing a less “sporty” ATV. In addition, most insurers offer a discount if you insure more than one vehicle on your policy, or have more than one policy with the company. This could mean additional savings on your car, motorcycle, boat or RV insurance.

For more information about ATV insurance or to find an independent agent, call Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. at 865-922-3111 or click here to contact us.

Watercraft Insurance

Did you know?

As an independent agency, Bob Johnson Insurance can help you find the right coverage from the right company for your boat or other watercraft.

Insuring a boat is different than insuring a car or home. Boats require specialized coverages. To avoid a sinking feeling about your boat insurance, consider these tips from the experts at The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies:

Better Boating
Tips For Smooth Sailing This Season

Before you take that first pleasure cruise or fishing trip of the season, make sure your boat insurance is shipshape.

Insuring a boat is different than insuring a car or home. Boats require specialized coverages. To avoid a sinking feeling about your boat insurance, consider these tips from the experts at The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies:

Evaluate your specific needs. 
Some insurance companies provide no-frills boat coverage that is simply added to an existing auto or homeowners policy. While this sounds good in theory, the reality is that your boat may be best covered if you seek out a specialized policy just for boats, not an add-on to your car or house policy. A knowledgeable, independent insurance agent will review all options with you. A specialized boat policy can cover things not likely covered by a homeowners policy, like the cost to replace lost or damaged fishing gear and costly services, such as emergency on-water towing and fuel-spill cleanup. 

Consult an agent or broker who provides the most options. 
Unlike “captive” agents who represent only one company, independent agents and brokers represent several. They can offer a variety of coverages, review and evaluate your policies, answer your questions and suggest new coverage options that meet your changing needs. They guide you to the policy that provides you with the best combination of specialized coverage, service and price.

Look for a company that offers specialized boat policies. 
When there’s a claim, you will appreciate a company that provides specialized coverage and specialized claims handling. Ask other boaters what company they recommend or find an independent insurance agent who under-stands boat policies.

Once you choose a policy, make sure you understand what you’re buying. 
Your agent should be able to explain, in layman’s terms, what the different options mean. If you are unclear about something, be sure to ask for an explanation.

For more information about boat insurance coverages, talk to an independent insurance agent, who can provide you with the combination of price, coverage and service that’s right for you.

Would you like to know more?

If you have other questions, we are glad to answer them. Click here to use our contact form.  If you would like a boat insurance quote, please click here.