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Choosing Boat Dealer Insurance

If you’re a boat dealer, it’s critical that you be properly insured. Choosing your boat dealer insurance policy is one of the most important business decisions you’ll make.

Any insurance purchase requires some shopping around. Rates can vary pretty significantly, particularly when you require the high amount required for boat dealer insurance. So, you’ll want to visit several agents with several different insurance companies to make sure you get the right coverage at the right price. Here are some things to consider when choosing boat dealer insurance.

• Will your boat dealer insurance be a flat rate or based on your inventory?

• Will your boats be covered whether on land or on the water?

• Will you have liability coverage for demonstration or transporting for demonstration?

• Will you have liability coverage for work performed by you or your employees?

• Will your boat dealer insurance cover all risks, such as floods, waves, and wind?

• Will your boat dealer insurance cover fire?

• Will your coverage include real and personal property, including any items you have on premises, rather than just your boat inventory?

• Will your insurance cover used boats you’ve accepted as trade ins, or just your new boats in inventory?

• Will your insurance policy include excess liability coverage that picks up other areas not specifically covered?

You should interview several agents with several different insurance companies and ask all of them these questions, covering their various policies in detail. Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to one or two insurance companies and one or two insurance agents, it’s wise to talk to some of their customers.

By this, I don’t mean ask for references. No insurance agent will ever give you a reference that will tell you anything negative. Instead, it’s better to find people on your own who have experience with the insurance company you’re considering.

You may not be able to find people who’ve used the same agent, but you should at least find someone who has used the same insurance company. If possible, talk to someone who has filed a claim. Knowing how an insurance company works during the claim and payment process is critical to feeling comfortable that you’ve chosen the right company. First, find out about the kind of coverage that the person carried. Next find out how accessible their agent was during the claim reporting process. Finally, find out if they had disputes with their insurance company or if the claim was settled promptly.

Steer clear of insurance companies with a reputation for delaying or denying claims. They may have the lowest rates, but they probably keep them low by denying legitimate claims and giving their clients the runaround over what they’ll actually cover in the event of a problem.

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