In 2019 it was reported that over 4,000 boats were stolen, with runabout and fishing boats making up the majority of those vessels stolen in America. When you add in the amount of anglers who have had their expensive tackle and electronics stolen as well, it becomes imperative that you have the proper insurance for all of your equipment. Recently Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Matt Robertson had his tackle stolen in Texas, where he lost an estimated $15,000-$20,000 worth of merchandise, with much of it being impossible to replace. While there are several ways to help prevent your rig and equipment from being stolen you simply cannot guarantee that you won’t be the victim of theft.
Does your insurance cover you during a tournament? Will your policy pay to replace all of your valuable rods, reels, electronics, and tackle or just a portion of them or perhaps none? Let’s look at just electronics; today’s angler can easily have on their boats. Are those units all covered on and off the boat? Do you have a policy to cover your tackle and equipment while at home and on the road? The time to find out the answers to these questions is not after a theft has occurred. Be proactive and find out what your insurance policy covers now. These are questions anglers should know the answers to in relation to their current policies or before purchasing an insurance policy specifically for your needs as anglers who are viewed as professional by an insurance company and the IRS. Included in a membership to NPAA is access to the best commercial boat insurance available. These policies are underwritten specifically for anglers, guides, and charter captains that have more equipment than a casual angler and use it in pursuit of income.
Many of us believe we have all the coverage we need as we pursue our passion of angling, and in some cases even think we have over insured our equipment. The reality is that there are several “grey areas” that exist in most traditional insurance policies that can leave professional anglers high and dry when it comes to covering their equipment. It is not unusual for a pro angler to have over $10,000 dollars of electronics alone on his boat today. What if only a fraction of that $10,000 was covered by your current insurance policy?
Having a marine specialty agent in your corner to make certain you have all of the bases covered is essential when choosing your insurance. Bob Luellen, with Worldwide Marine Underwriters Insurance has been helping pro anglers become properly insured since 1986. Focusing on designing specific coverage that fits an angler’s individual needs, Luellen specializes in watercraft policies. “With the price of boats, motors, and gear on the rise it is more important than ever to make absolutely certain you have enough insurance coverage,” said Luellen. While having the proper value placed on your equipment is part of having the right insurance, making sure your policy covers you in every situation is also essential. “A lot of insurance policies exclude guiding and tournament competition when you start reading the fine print. They also do not allow for enough coverage for total loss of things like equipment and tackle.” said Luellen.
One of the things Luellen urges his clients to do is to create and maintain a tackle inventory. In doing so you as an angler are able to provide an accurate accounting of exactly what equipment you own, and the cost to replace that equipment if it is lost, damaged, or stolen. “Creating a comprehensive tackle inventory is absolutely essential if you want to have all of your equipment covered. If you tell an average insurance broker that you had $10,000 worth of crankbaits that were stolen you are likely going to have an issue getting reimbursed for those baits. Taking photos of all your tackle and labeling them with dates, quantities, and prices is a great place to start with your inventory. Updating your inventory as you add more equipment to your arsenal will be simple once you get the initial inventory completed.” concluded Luellen.
Following these simple steps and insuring your equipment properly both while on the water and while stored at home or in your vehicle could not only save you an enormous amount of money, but will also alleviate stress by assuring you that you are covered. Joining the NPAA gives you access to all of the up-to-date information you need to make sure you have exactly what you need when it comes to boat, tackle, and equipment insurance. To learn more about the NPAA please visit our website at www.npaa.net