ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 18 -- The Boat Owners Association of the United States issued the following news release:
Often the last question that boaters ask before departing on a long cruise to the Caribbean or Mexico is: will my insurance cover me? That's because the owner is usually focused on preparing the boat and tends to forget about the paperwork. However, most boat insurance (http://www.boatus.com/insurance) policies require an "extension" for traveling in areas beyond home waters. And sometimes, after waiting until the last minute, a boater finds that an extension will not be granted, or if it is, requires some additional action that can delay the departure date.
BoatUS has solved the problem with a new upfront, "no-hassle" cruising limit extension for popular cruising destinations that can be set up at the beginning of a boat's insurance policy. This one-time approval gives the boater the coverage they need, eliminates surprises and takes away the hassle of having to ask each year or pay for an extension every time they depart home waters.
"The old way was whenever a boater wanted to leave their local waters for a long summer cruise or a big race, they would have to apply to their insurance company for an extension, which was usually issued in 15-day increments and required additional premium," said BoatUS Vice President of Marine Insurance Mike Pellerin. "This added an extra step to an already busy pre-departure checklist and many simply saw it as another hoop that you had to jump through, sometimes causing delays, for example, if the insurance company needed a rigging survey before you go. Now, with our no-hassle cruising limits you can arrange all of your cruising extensions up front when you first purchase your policy. You'll know how much it will cost and there won't be any surprises," he added.
Some of the more common reasons to need a cruising extension are sailors that participate in rallies such as the Caribbean 1500 and the NARC on the East Coast to the Baha Ha-ha on the west. BoatUS says the most popular cruising areas requiring an extension are: 1.) the Caribbean, 2.) Mexico, 3.) Alaska and 4.) Nova Scotia. For a free online insurance quote or find out more about BoatUS "no-hassle" cruising extensions, go to www.BoatUS.com/insurance or call 800-283-2883.
Here are seven tips on cruising extensions:
1. A large number of "multi-line" (car/home/boat) insurance companies only offer extensions for US and Bahamian waters. If cruising outside theses regions is in your future, you'll have better luck with marine specialty insurer.
2. In the Caribbean, November 1 is the kickoff of the cruising season, which runs through June. During hurricane season, most insurance companies will require the boat be brought back to home waters or stored on land. If you choose the latter, be prepared to answer questions about your boat's hurricane plans, such as its location (above mean high tide), how it's secured to ground, and who is responsible for it's care in your absence. The Alaska and Nova Scotia cruising seasons traditionally begin May 1.
3. For offshore passages, some insurance companies require a minimum of four or five experienced crew. For boats with older owners who may have physical limitations, insurance companies also like to see a balanced crew.
4. Offering safety in numbers, rallies and regattas can be an opportune time for a novice to get a "foot in the door" on long-distance cruising. They also offer formalized safety planning and a highly organized approach that is appealing to first-time cruisers.
5. Have a safety equipment list ready when applying for a cruising extension. The basics include an EPIRB (which can be rented for $65/week from the BoatUS Foundation) (http://www.boatus.com/foundation/epirb), electronics (SSB radio, radar), life raft, harnesses and select spare parts.
6. Some insurance companies will require a "condition and value" survey, a "rigging survey" or an "engine survey" before they will issue an extension.
7. Additionally, in Mexico, all boats are required under Mexican Law to have liability insurance issued through a Mexican Insurance Company (BoatUS can help you find this coverage through a partnership with a Mexican insurer).
TNS cp -120419-JF78-3844589 StaffFurigay