Green Light Insurance
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Motorcycle Insurance Agency
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7300 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60645
tel: (773) 761-8800
fax: (773) 761-6932
 Watercraft/Snowmobile Insurance

Boat Insurance Basics


What you should know before purchasing your boat insurance policy.

This overview will help you make an informed decision when you're ready to buy boat insurance. Boat insurance policies are normally designed to cover boats up to 26' in overall length. If the size of your boat is greater than 26 feet, it's generally considered a "yacht", and therefore qualifies for yacht insurance.

Boat Insurance provides physical damage coverage to repair your boat if it's accidentally damaged or destroyed by a covered peril such as collision, fire, theft, windstorm, lightning or vandalism. This coverage is broad, and provides coverage for the boat, including its machinery and auxiliary equipment, outboard motors, boat trailer and personal property.

A Boat Insurance policy can provide physical damage coverage on an Actual Cash Value (ACV) or an Agreed Amount Value basis. Both types of policies offer important coverage’s for your boat but there are significant differences.

Actual Cash Value policies pay for Replacement Costs less depreciation at the time of the loss. In the event of a total loss, used boat pricing guides and other resources are used to determine the approximate market value of your vessel. A partial loss is settled by taking the total cost of the repair less a percentage for depreciation.

Agreed Amount Value policies mean you and the insurance company have agreed on the value of your vessel and in the event of a total loss you will be paid that amount. Agreed Amount Value policies also replace old items for new in the event of a partial loss without any deduction for depreciation. Most Agreed Amount Value policies require actual cash value on certain damaged property such as sails, protective covers, batteries, dinghies, trailers and aged outboard motors, lower drive units or outdrives.

Example of Actual Cash Value vs. Agreed Amount Value with $15,000 damage to a 4 year old Outdrive.

Actual Cash Value
Agreed Amount Value
Damage $15,000            Damage $15,000
Less Deprecation -$7,000 Less Deprecation -$0
Less Deductible -$500 Less Deductible -$500
ACV Payment $7,500 Agreed Amount Payment $14,000

Physical Damage coverage is usually subject to a deductible. The boat and motor usually have the same deductible with additional deductibles for the trailer and personal effects. The deductible is the amount you are willing to pay in case of a loss. The higher the deductible, the lower your insurance premium. Boat policy deductibles are usually calculated as flat amounts of $250 or $500.

A good boat insurance policy should also offer Personal Effects coverage to provide protection for those items not intended for the normal operation of your boat, such as portable TVs, cellular or portable phones, stereos, radios and cameras.

Boat Liability

The Liability section of the policy provides protection if you are legally responsible for damages to property or injury to someone other than yourself or a family member. Boat Insurance liability provides protection if you are sued as a result of hitting another boat or if someone is hurt onboard your vessel because of your negligence. This coverage is usually offered in increments of $20,000 up to $ 500,000.

Medical Payments

The Medical Payments section of the policy provides protection for reasonable medical, ambulance and hospital costs should someone be injured while in, upon, boarding or leaving your boat.

Uninsured Boat Owners Coverage

The Uninsured Boat Owners section of the policy provides coverage for injuries caused by an accident that you are entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an uninsured boat or "hit-and-run" boat.

Towing and Assistance enables you to be reimbursed for the reasonable costs incurred when you break down and need to be towed back to land.

These are some of the basic coverage’s you should look for when purchasing boat insurance.  The above provides only general information on insurance coverage’s and is not intended to offer advice on your specific insurance needs or coverage’s. Should you have any additional questions, please contact us at any time.


Jet Ski Basics


There is very little that is more fun than spending a sunny day on the water playing with your jet ski. When used properly jet skis are lots of fun and will be an important part of some of your best memories. A less fun, but important part of Jet-Ski ownership is making sure your jet ski is properly insured.

For some reason, Jet-Ski owners seem to think that because their machine is small and easy to use, it doesn't need to be insured. The reality is that it doesn't matter how small the Jet-Ski might be, it is still considered a watercraft and you are required to have it insured. When you stop and think about how expensive a new jet-ski is, not having insurance is just crazy!

Why Jet Ski Insurance is Necessary

Jet Ski owners seem to think that they will never get in an accident while they are riding their jet skis. They assume that because the Jet-Ski is light, quick, and maneuverable, they will be able to avoid an accident. This is not the case! There are about 6,000 accidents every single year, nearly half result in serious injuries. According to the statistics, a person is about 10 times more likely to get injured while riding on a ski, than while being a passenger in a boat.

What the Insurance Covers

The type of insurance you will have to purchase for your jet ski is called Personal Watercraft Insurance.  A good Personal Watercraft Insurance plan will cover so much more than just the cost of repairing your machine when it gets damaged in an accident. When you are purchasing this type of insurance for your jet ski, you want to make sure that it covers accidents, medical expenses, fire, vandalism, and theft. You should also make sure that your policy has an additional clause that covers accessories like kneeboards, wakeboards, towable tubes, and water skis. If something happens to you, your machine, and the person you are towing, you will be grateful that you opted to spend the few extra dollars on the additional insurance coverage.

Just like automobile insurance, not all Personal Watercraft Insurance policies for jet skis are alike. Different companies have different requirements. When you are shopping for insurance for your jet ski, you have to look at more than just the cost of the insurance policy. You also need to read through the insurance policy jacket very carefully. You want to know exactly what types of boating accidents are covered by your policy. Make sure you will be covered if someone other than yourself is driving the Ski at the time of an accident. You should also know exactly what steps you will need to take after an accident occurs.

These are some of the basic things you should look for when purchasing Personal Watercraft Insurance.  The above provides only general information on  insurance coverage’s and is not intended to offer advice on your specific insurance needs or coverage’s. Should you have any additional questions, please contact us at any time.


Snow Mobile Basics


Snowmobile Insurance coverage can vary depending on your state of residence and the level of coverage that you personal desire. The staff at Green Light can help you through all the available coverage options that we have, so you can find the policy coverage that is right for you!

Bodily Insurance Liability

Protects you against financial loss when you are held legally responsible for an accident causing injury or even death to someone else. This insurance coverage also includes the cost involved in your legal defense for a covered suit as well as court costs and bail bond expenses.

Property Damage

Covers you against financial loss if you are found liable for damages to other people’s property cause by your snowmobile.

Medical Payments

Pays reasonable and necessary medical expenses, up to the selected limits, directly resulting from an accident with your vehicle. This insurance coverage may include expenses for medical care, recovery, rehabilitation, and remedial care, as outlined in your policy.

Uninsured / Underinsured Bodily Injury

Pays benefits for bodily injury or death to you and any passengers if you are struck by:

  • A snowmobile driver who does not have any insurance coverage
  • A snowmobile driver who has some insurance coverage but not enough to cover the losses that results from the accident
  • A “hit and run” snowmobile driver that you unable to identify

Comprehensive Coverage

Pays for damage to your vehicle caused by events such as fire, theft, and vandalism. This coverage pays up to the actual cash value, less your deductible.


Pays for damages to your vehicle caused by a collision to another vehicle or structure. Insurance pays up to the actual cash value of your snowmobile less the deductible.

Towing and Labor

Pays up to the selected limit for towing of your snowmobile when it is inoperable whether or not there is an accident.

Additional Coverage

Trailers, personal effects, and custom equipment are not covered unless you insure them. Remember it is always best to have a copy of the receipt in your file as well of pictures of what you are insuring.

These are some of the basic things you should look for when purchasing snowmobile insurance.  The above provides only general information on  insurance coverage’s and is not intended to offer advice on your specific insurance needs or coverage’s. Should you have any additional questions, please contact us at any time.



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