While the laws regarding marine survey requirements for insurance may very from state to state, any insurance company out there will tell you obtaining marine insurance in Michigan is different than obtaining any other insurance out there for numerous reasons. Vessels in Michigan are more susceptible to freezing, ice damage, muskrat/varmint damage, damage from sunken/submerged objects hidden in the water, and so many other unique threats not common in other parts of the country. Plus, in many cases, boaters have to consider whether or not they will want to include coverage for travel through Canadian waters. All in all, insuring a ship in Michigan can be tricky for those who don’t know what to expect.
Do You Even Really Need A Professional Marine Survey To Insure Your Boat?
The simplest answer to whether or not a marine survey is mandatory for insurance purposes is, it all depends. Some insurance providers will enforce age and/or size minimums for insuring boats, meaning if you are trying to insure a boat older than (typically) 20 years, or a vessel that is of a certain size, you may be required to have a full out-of-water survey performed. Now, should you have a professional marine survey performed? Absolutely.
Why Bother Getting A Marine Survey?
Regardless of the age, style, size, or assumed condition of any vessel, you should always have a professional marine survey performed to assess its authentic condition. Smaller, and even newer, boats are susceptible to just as many problems as any other, and only a professional marine surveyor will be able to effectively identify any structural and/or other non-superficial damages that could potentially jeopardize the quality of your investment. Besides, while your marine surveyor is doing their thing, you have plenty of other related insurance matters to consider.
Other Significant Marine Insurance Factors To Consider
Depending on your circumstances, you will likely want to keep in mind that:
- Your policy may require you to provide your boat adequate indoor storage during the winter months to avoid unnecessary freezing/icing.
- Your insurance company may not cover ships of certain lengths or values to protect themselves against “shock losses.”
- If you are insuring a sailboat, you may be entitled to receive credit based on the fact that it is a less dangerous vessel than a speedboat.
- You may also receive credit if your boat is out of commission or in storage for an extended period of time, such as winter.
- If you have a sailboat with a carbon fiber mast, you may be required to acquire a separate deductible.
- Some insurance companies will not insure catamarans due to their increased risk of capsizing.
- Pest damage may be excluded from a policy while a boat is winterized.
- Freeze and ice damage will be excluded from a policy if there is evidence of a lack of proper winterization.
- Waterskiing coverage may not be included in your policy automatically.
- Bass boat owners should always customize their coverage to account for the additional equipment, navigation, speed, and more.
Choosing The Right Marine Surveyor
Of course, the most important thing to remember when deciding to have a professional marine survey performed is to simply choose the most capable marine surveyor. You will want someone who complies with the guidelines, and upholds the standards, of the ABYC, NFPA, USCG, CFR, NADA Guide, and SAMS; as well as someone with the integrity to always tell you the truth and ensure you’re able to make the best investments. For more information about what will and will not included in your marine survey, or simply to get in touch a renowned marine surveyor who is certain to exceed all your expectations, please, reach out to me, Christian A. Syoen, founder of CAS Marine Surveyor, today. To schedule a survey for your own vessel, or one you’re going to purchase, reach out to Christian A. Syoen of CAS Marine Surveyor today by calling 1.810.531.0992 or fill out the form in the sidebar to schedule your free consultation.