Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hybrid Boat Insurance Deal

Connecticut insurance company Travelers (the guys at the golf tournaments with the red umbrellas) just announced the first hybrid boat and yacht insurance discount. Under the new and first of its kind probram, Travelers will offer up to a 10 percent discount on insurance for hybrid vessels.

One of the issues is that there are not many hybrid boats on the market, and those that are available are not as well known as their automobile counterparts like the Prius. In the boating world, the Hinckley Company offers a hybrid power option for customers interested in its DS42 model, Scout Boats launched a hybrid model in late 2007, Frauscher Bootswerft introduced its hybrid to the United States in May 2008 and the Island Pilot DSe Hybrid made its debut at the 2008 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show this past week. Steyr Motors, which powers the Frauscher vessels, markets its hybrid engine as the "world’s first serial hybrid propulsion system for pleasure boats."

Travelers defines a hybrid boat as "one that utilizes an integrated propulsion system that incorporates both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor in its original design. In this system, forward propulsion can be accomplished with the use of the electric motor with or without the use of the internal combustion engine."

Of course there is fine print on the offer: "A discount of up to 10% applies only to certain coverages. The discount may not be available in all states and is subject to individual eligibility."

Also, watch out for the phrase "up to". That could mean that you'll only get a 1% discount on your boat insurance. My advice would be to contact your insurance agent before you purchase your hybrid boat and get a firm quote on what your insurance costs will be to see if there is any additional savings.