We have fielded quite a few calls already this boating season and hope to help prepare boat owners and our members by providing helpful information to protect their investment as well as all passengers onboard. We genuinely hope everyone has a safe and joyous boating day every single time you are on the water. Here are a few things you can prepare yourself for to assure a GREAT DAY ON THE WATER!
These are actual questions asked this month from callers into the office / dispatch….
Q – My boat insurance agent told me that my boat was covered under my homeowners insurance policy. Now that I have filed a claim he tells me that capsizing my boat is not covered. Come to find out – towing is not provided for either. I am cancelling my policy with them and going with someone else. Any Suggestions?
A – Just like all insurance you should get an explanation of benefits that outlines your coverages once you have paid your policy. Look for anything that you have added and if you do not see what you are looking for call your agent for clarification. Sometimes Homeowner policies cover your belongings in the vessel (or your car) but does not provide for liability coverage in the event you damaged another vessel or sustained damage yourself. It is a good idea to have a separate policy just for your boat. Boat Insurance is really not that much when you compare the cost to what you can receive in benefits in the event of a liability situation. Further you may want to ask specific questions to validate your coverage such as –
Is this hull insurance for my boat?
What is covered? What is Not?
If my boat sinks in the slip am I covered?
If someone hits my boat and does not have insurance, am I covered?
Are there any waterway restrictions or months of the year that my boat has limited coverage?
Is any towing included in my policy? How Much?
If my boat is a total loss, how is the benefits value assessed?
Q – I have towing coverage on my boats insurance policy. Am I covered with TowBoatUS?
A – Well yes and no. You are covered up to your benefit level. Many times insurance will provide towing coverage but it is for only the first $250.00 or $350.00 (levels are variable). With a TowBoatUS Unlimited policy in addition to your boat insurance policy, you are covered on any recreational boat you own, borrow or rent for the day. This covers any amount of per incident towing, soft ungrounding, and fuel delivery and jump starts away from your home dock. Call 252-728-5088 ext 0 for more details.
Q – Is TowBoatUS and BoatUS the same thing?
A – TowBoatUS is the Towing division of our parent company BoatUS.
Q – Can I buy BoatUS Insurance from you?
A – No – you must purchase insurance from a licensed agent for BoatUS. We can only sell the TowBoatUS Memberships locally. For more information about BoatUS Insurance for your vessel you can call 800-937-1937 and speak with a licensed agent for BoatUS.
Q - If I am broke down, what is the best way to reach you for a tow?
TowBoatUS can be reach via the 800 number on the back of your card or by calling your local tower. Hopefully you jave saved the number to your phone already! TowBoatUS Beaufort, Morehead City and Swansboro is 252-728-5088. The Lakes phone number is 919-303-1669. It's always best though that if you are having a distress situation that you use your VHF radio. Sometimes several towers will answer but can always determine who is closest. If no one answers your VHF call - please do a radio check to make sure your radio is in proper working order. The USCG may hear you though and relay communications for you. DO NOT CALL MAYDAY unless you are actually having an immediate situation and not just a rescue tow or ungrounding.
Q - So when DO I call MAYDAY?
Hopefully you will never have to call MAYDAY for the USCG to answer. But if you do....be prepared to answer the following questions- 1) What is the nature of your distress? (Do not go into too many details - the USCG is trying to determine how fast they need to move!!! DO NOT KEEP YOUR MIC KEYED. 2) How many POB (person's on board)? Ages? They will also ask that everyone put on a lifejacket. 3) What is your location? USCG is looking for a GOS position. If you do not have that then call a boat close to you and have them relay to USCG. If you are within cell phone range the FREE BoatUS App will show your GPS position one the 1st screen! Good to have!!!! After all that they will determine who can get to you fastest. Rest assured - we are listening and probably on the way as well!
Q – Can you tow my boat from New York back to Morehead City, NC?
A – Well sure we can but it is not a covered incident with TowBoatUS. TowBoatUS provides emergency towing coverage for your recreational vessel while underway. If you were on your boat in New York and broke down, TowBoatUS would cover the cost of your tow to a repair facility or back to where you put your boat into the water. If you broke down in Oriental and needed to get back to Morehead City however, your towing charges would be covered up to $2500.00 (which is quite a lot of towing) with a TowBoatUS Unlimited Membership (that only costs $149.00 annually by the way).
Q – I heard that TowBoatUS only goes out 20 miles and then the Member has to pay out of pocket. Is this true?
A – Absolutely not! All TowBoatUS ports are required to cover at least a 25 mile radius from the towers port. If the port has personnel and vessels that can provide extended service then you are covered there also. For example: TowBoatUS Beaufort provides coverage in a 75 mile radius of our home port in Morehead City, NC. With our Curtis 41’ we can easily travel off-shore to the Big Rock and beyond. If you EVER have to pay out of pocket (fuel, oil, some dock-to-dock charges, etc) your TowBoatUS Captain will let you know well in advance.
Whatever type of boat you have you should have Boat Insurance AND TowBoatUS Towing Coverage!
Call today for more information. 252-728-5088 ext 0