Think Your Minnesota Boat Insurance Covers Your Family? (It Probably Doesn’t)
With today being the first day of Spring, thoughts across Minnesota turn from our frozen, Bold North landscape to thoughts of getting out on the water on one of our 10,000 Lakes. But does your boat insurance policy actually keep your family safe?
Many of us Minnesotans head up north or out on the boat as soon as the spring ice-out happens each year. But the Minnesota Association for Justice has a warning about your boat insurance: it might not cover your family.
Just as you have car insurance that helps protect you or anyone riding in your car in the event of a crash, insurance policies on your boat do the same thing. (Though because we don't own a boat, I don't know from firsthand experience, mind you.)
However, MJL says that a loophole in current state law allows insurance companies to "exclude coverage for spouses and children from boating and umbrella insurance policies," the site says, but that many Minnesotans are "unaware that these exclusions exist in these insurance policies."
Which means that, if and (God forbid) when a boating accident occurs, your spouse and children may not be protected or covered by your boat insurance policy. And that could mean you'd be all on your own paying for expensive things like hospital bills, ambulance bills, medications and more. Yikes. And, the site says, insurance companies aren't required by state law to point that fact out to you. Double yikes!
So, if you have a boat, you might want to contact your insurance agent to see who actually is covered before you hit the water this spring. In the meantime, MAJ is sponsoring legislation (called the Minnesota Family Protection Act) that would require insurance companies here in Minnesota to cover all occupants in a boat. (You can read more about their bill HERE.)
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