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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Lightning Shield Policy

Founded in 2016, Mariners Alternative Insurance Services Inc. is a licensed insurance producer, dedicated to bringing innovative insurance solutions to the US recreational boating market.

Mariners Alternative was founded by an insurance industry veteran and life-long boating enthusiast who was unhappy with the out-dated approach to boating insurance maintained by the standard insurance companies. The market needed an alternative!

Our debut product is Lightning Shield – a first of its kind, supplemental insurance policy for boaters that provides impressive benefits to policyholders at a surprisingly affordable price.

Lightning Shield is a new, unique and surprisingly inexpensive, supplemental insurance policy that covers your boat against lightning damage.  It protects against physical damage to your boat from a direct or indirect lightning strike up to the amount of the policy limit that you choose.  Lightning Shield has no deductible and we won’t increase your premiums just because you have a claim.  Getting a quote is fast and easy online now.  There is no required inspection.

Lightning strikes are consistently one of the top 10 (or in some states top 5) causes of damage to recreational boats. Our goal is to get your lightning loss paid and get you back on the water as quickly as possible. We also want to allow you to keep your valuable claims-free record on your standard boat insurance so your insurer doesn’t penalize you with premium increases on future years.  When you have a loss on your Lightning Shield policy, we will not inform any of your other insurance carriers.

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Yes. As boaters ourselves, we believe so. That is why we created Lightning Shield. In fact, the concept was conceived out of the negative personal experience of one of our founders in making a claim for modest lightning damage on his own boat insurance policy.

Lightning affects 10,000 to 15,000 boats a year in the US. It is consistently in the top 10 of claims filed by boaters every year (and in the top 5 in some states). Anyone who has been boating for a significant length of time has either been impacted by a lightning strike themselves or knows someone who has been.

We’ve heard many stories about the difficulties of getting even a modest claim paid by standard boat insurance following a lightning strike. Furthermore, if the claim is paid, the standard insurance company will remove your no-claims status and increase your premium and/or increase your deductible for years to come. In the end you find you would have been better off if you had never filed the claim in the first place. That is where Lightning Shield comes in.

Lightning is a real risk to boaters and Lightning Shield is a real solution for boaters. Find out how inexpensive it is.

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  1. Lightning Shield is surprisingly affordable. Getting a free, instant quote is easy and takes just minutes on this website. Get a free, instant quote now.
  2. There is no requirement for a boat inspection to get a quote or bind coverage. You can get a quote right now on this website in minutes.
  3. Lightning Shield has fast and hassle-free claims service. We are experts in lightning claims. Our goal is to get you paid and back out on the water as soon as possible after a lightning loss.
  4. Lightning Shield has zero deductible, which saves you money in the event of a loss.
  5. Lightning Shield will not raise your premium just because you have a claim.
  6. Lightning Shield will cover a haul out to inspect for damage after a lightning strike, where appropriate.
  7. Lightning Shield protects your valuable claims-free record with your standard boat insurance in the event you have a typical lightning loss to your boat. The average lightning insurance claim is under $10,000 or even $5,000 – which are the limits that Lightning Shield offers.
  8. Lightning Shield offers a more generous depreciation schedule for navigation electronics loss compared to standard boat insurance policies.
  9. If you have a paid lightning loss, Lightning Shield will automatically re-instate your insurance policy limit at no additional charge for the remainder of the policy period. This means that you are covered for up to two lightning loss events per year.
  10. For damaged marine electronics, Lightning Shield utilizes a more generous depreciation schedule than standard boat insurance policies.

Lightning Shield covers physical property damage to your boat and its equipment resulting from a direct or indirect lightning strike. Some examples may include the damage or destruction of: navigation electronics, instruments, sails, wiring, through-holes, fiberglass, canvas, stays, bulkheads, fishing gear, antennas, outriggers, etc.. Following a lightning strike, we also will cover a haul-out to inspect for further damage if appropriate. And don’t forget Lightning Shield has no deductible and we will not increase your premiums just because you have a claim.

If you have standard boat insurance, it may indeed already cover your boat for lightning. However, Lightning Shield is a supplemental and first-responding insurance policy with no deductible which means in the event of a lightning strike you call us first. Lightning is consistently in the top 10 (or in some states top 5) of insurance claims for damage to boats.

While occasionally a lightning strike can completely destroy a boat, in the vast majority of cases the strike causes damage under $10,000 – or even under $5,000. If the loss you experience is a typical one and within the limits of your Lightning Shield policy, then Lightning Shield pays you and there is no need to contact your standard insurance carrier.

Lightning Shield provides fast claims adjustment to get you back on the water as quickly as possible, and, best of all, you keep a valuable claims free loss record with your standard boat insurance. That claims free loss record with the standard insurance carriers is valuable to you personally because, if you make a claim on a standard policy, the insurance company will remove your no-claims status and may increase your premium and/or increase your deductible for years to come. Adding up all those premium increases, you may wish that you had never filed the claim in the first place.

Lightning Shield has no deductible and we will not increase your premiums just because you have a claim. Also, if you have a lightning loss paid, your Lightning Shield policy will automatically reinstate itself at no additional charge with a fresh insurance limit available in the unlikely event your get struck a second time during the policy period.

Lightning Shield is a supplemental and first-responding insurance policy relative to your standard boat insurance policy. This means in the event of a lightning strike you call Lightning Shield first. If the loss you experience is a few thousand dollars like the vast majority of lightning claims and within the limit you selected for your Lightning Shield policy, then we simply pay it and there is no need to contact your standard insurance carrier. The benefit to you is our fast and hassle-free claims service and, best of all, you keep a valuable claims-free loss record on your standard boat insurance.

That claims-free loss record with the standard insurance carriers is valuable to you personally because, if you make a claim on a standard policy, the insurance company will remove your no-claims status and may increase your premium and/or increase your deductible for years to come. Lightning Shield has no deductible and we will not increase your premiums just because you have a claim. Also, if you have a lightning loss paid, your Lightning Shield policy will automatically reinstate itself at no additional charge with a fresh insurance limit available in the unlikely event your get struck a second time during the policy period.

In the rare event that the lightning damage to your boat is so severe that it may exceed the limit of your Lightning Shield policy, then you should also file a claim with your standard boat insurance coverage. They will adjust your claim after we pay first. A payment by Lightning Shield may cover your boat insurance policy’s deductible, if any.

It’s very easy! Our goal is to make this the easiest insurance policy you have ever purchased. Click here to get a free, instant quote now. By answering just a few quick questions about you and your boat, our system will generate an instant quote that you can accept immediately. There is no boat inspection required. Our goal is no hassle. No agent will call you with more questions. The entire process from start to purchase should take under 10 minutes.

There is a big advantage to you in having a separate policy for lightning damage to your boat.

Lightning is consistently in the top ten of claims filed by boaters every year and top 5 in some states. While occasionally a lightning strike can completely destroy a boat, in the vast majority of cases the strike causes damage under $10,000 – or even under $5,000. If the loss you experience is less than the limit you selected for your Lightning Shield policy, then Lightning Shield pays you and there is no need to contact your standard insurance carrier.

We provide fast claims adjustment to get you back on the water as quickly as possible, and, best of all, you keep a valuable claims free loss record with your standard boat insurance. That claims free loss record with the standard insurance carriers is valuable to you personally because, if you make a claim on a standard policy, the insurance company will remove your no-claims status and may increase your premium and/or increase your deductible for years to come. You will not incur any rise in your standard insurance premium or deductible from making a claim under Lightning Shield.

Don’t forget that Lightning Shield has no deductible and we will not increase your premiums just because you have a claim.

Lightning Shield cannot be added to your existing policy. We are independent of the standard boat insurance companies. There is a big advantage to you in having a separate policy for lightning damage.

If the lightning loss you experience is a few thousand dollars like the vast majority of lightning claims, then we pay you. There is no need to contact your standard boat insurance carrier and you keep a valuable clean loss record with them. You will not get an increase in your standard insurance premium or deductible from making a claim under Lightning Shield.

Don’t forget that Lightning Shield has no deductible and we will not increase your premiums just because you have a claim.

Lightning Shield currently offers insurance policy limits of $5,000 or $10,000.

No problem. Even if you do not have standard boat insurance, you can buy a Lightning Shield policy. Not having a standard boat insurance policy does not change the quote we will give you.

If you are like many boat owners with an older or smaller boat or one that you use infrequently, you may still have thousands of dollars of electronic navigation and/or fish-finding equipment to worry about. Lightning Shield offers inexpensive protection against lightning – one of the most frequent causes of loss for marine electronics – whether the boat is in the water, at a marina or on the hard.

There is zero deductible. We pay the first dollar of your lightning loss.

Yes. If it is appropriate, following a lightning strike we will happily cover the costs of a haul-out.

Lightning Shield covers damage to your boat from both direct strikes and indirect strikes. This includes situations where lightning strikes a boat near yours and arcs into your boat, or it goes into the water and comes up into your boat.

An indirect lightning strike occurs when lightning strikes a boat or other object near your boat and either arcs into your boat or goes into the water and comes up into your boat. Lightning Shield covers damage to your boat from both direct strikes and indirect strikes.

Boats are vulnerable to lightning strikes no matter where they are. Lightning Shield covers your boat for the entire year no matter where it is. It’s covered on land, on the hard, on a trailer, in the water, or even in escrow awaiting sale to a new owner.

Not a problem. Lightning Shield covers your boat no matter where it is, at a marina, on land, on a mooring, a private dock, at anchor or under way.

No. If your boat is based in the US you are covered by Lightning Shield wherever you take your boat.

Currently Lightning Shield is available only for boats based in the US. If your boat is based in the US you are covered wherever you take your boat. However, Lightning Shield is currently available only to residents of certain states.

Currently Lightning Shield is available only for residents of the following states:

Florida

However, we plan to keep expanding the number of states in which the coverage is available. Please click here to allow us to contact you when Lightning Shield is available in your state.

No. We will not raise your premium just because you have a claim. We know that lightning is an “act of God”. It is Mother Nature at work and beyond your control. We do not think it would be fair to raise your premium rate because of something beyond your control. Also, if you have a lightning loss paid, your Lightning Shield policy will automatically reinstate itself for the remainder of the policy period at no additional charge with a fresh insurance limit available in the unlikely event your get struck a second time during the policy period.

A common reaction of power-boaters is that only sailboats get hit by lightning. We know that seems logical, because sailboats have a big metal mast pointed at the sky. However, this is far from true as powerboats get struck also. Lightning is an unpredictable weather phenomenon. Lightning strikes 10,000 to 15,000 boats per year in the United States; the vast majority of those are powerboats. There are documented incidents where powerboats were struck by lightning sitting between two sailboats.

It is true that a sailboat is statistically more likely to get struck by lightning. However, if a powerboat is struck the cost to repair the damage is usually much more expensive than compared to a sailboat. Also, even though a small powerboat may have a low vertical height, it may be adjacent to an object that is a higher vertical target. Many smaller boats experience lightning damage from indirect strikes – strikes that first impact nearby objects then impact a smaller boat as a secondary target.

The premium rates of Lightning Shield are based on your probability of being struck by lightning. Therefore, as you might expect, the premium for sailboats is more than the premium for powerboats. The premium for smaller powerboats is generally the lowest. In fact, in some cases it is as low as around $2 a month.

Lightning Shield pays the depreciated value of the damaged electronics just like standard boat insurance. However, the depreciation schedule we use is far more generous for you than the one used by standard boat insurers. So, this is an added benefit of the Lightning Shield policy.

Lightning Shield is surprisingly affordable. Lightning Shield premiums are determined from the statistical probability of a lightning loss based on relevant factors like zip code location and factors specific to your boat. We are not a one size fits all pricing model. If you have a low risk of lightning loss, your premium will be low. In some cases, it can be as low as around $2 a month.

We ask a few questions in our application and there are certain factors that, depending on your answers, could result in a lower premium quote.

Currently Lightning Shield is available to owners of boats under 51 feet in length and only for residents of the following states:

Florida

However, we plan to keep expanding the number of states in which the coverage is available. Please click here to allow us to contact you when Lightning Shield is available in your state.

In cases where it is apparent that the loss will exceed the Lightning Shield policy limit, Lightning Shield pays out very quickly to get out of the way and let you contact your standard insurance carrier.

Lightning Shield offers policies that are effective for one year at a time.

No. Lightning Shield only covers physical damage from a lightning strike to your boat. It does not cover any other loss or liability.

No. Lightning Shield only covers damage to the vessel named as the insured boat in the policy.

No. In fact, Lightning Shield comes with a free reinstated limit. During your policy period, if you have a lightning loss that pays out the policy limit, your Lightning Shield policy is still in effect and the insurance is reinstated for one more limit for the remainder of the policy period.

No. In the event you have a paid claim under Lightning Shield we will not increase your premium upon renewal. We will also not introduce any deductible.

Unfortunately, no. An application must be submitted for each insured boat separately.

Yes. As long as the boat and address of the boat owner remain in the same state. If you move your boat to another state, you need to let us know. It may affect the premium we charge you. If you move to another state yourself, you also need to contact us. Lightning Shield is a new insurance product and is currently only available to residents of certain states.

If you move your boat to another state, you need to let us know. It may affect the premium we charge you. In many cases it can result in premium savings. If you move to another state yourself, you also need to contact us. Lightning Shield is a new insurance product and is currently only available to residents of certain states.

Yes. If you change boats during the policy period please notify us via our website. Your premium will be re-calculated and you may be entitled to a refund.

Our goal is fast and hassle-free claims service. In the event of a lightning strike you can file a claim quickly via this website. All we do is adjust lightning claims so we have the experience to deal with it fast and efficiently.

Yes. You do not have to be on your boat for it to be covered under the Lightning Shield policy.

You will receive an email from us in advance of the expiry of your Lightning Shield policy telling you what you need to do to renew the policy. When you purchase your Lightning Shield policy, you will be offered the option of storing your payment card information to facilitate your future purchases and renewals.

Lightning Shield currently offers policy limits or $5,000 or $10,000. Which limit you purchase is your own decision and should be based on the value of your boat and its equipment.

Yes. Coverage under Lightning Shield is not restricted to use for private pleasure purposes.

How Do I?

Mariners Alternative strives to bring innovation to the boating insurance space by utilizing technology. You apply for Lightning Shield online and you can file your claim online. Click on the FILE A CLAIM button and fill out the requested information. You will be contacted by a live claims adjuster who is an expert in lightning claims. Alternatively, you can call us toll-free on 833-548-6464. Our goal is to handle your claim quickly and without any unnecessary fuss or delay.

In order to give you the best premium quote for a policy we need to get to know you a little. Our application will take less than 5 minutes to complete. We will ask you mostly about your boat.

Your policy will be emailed to you when you have elected to bind and pay for coverage.

You will receive an email from us in advance of the expiry of your Lightning Shield policy telling you what you need to do to renew the policy. When you purchase your Lightning Shield policy, you will be offered the option of storing your payment card information to facilitate your future purchases and renewals.

Yes. You purchase Lightning Shield online via this website and pay with your credit or debit card.

Yes. You can bind coverage and pay for the policy on this website. Coverage will take effect in 24 hours.

Yes. You can cancel the policy by notifying us of the date and time on which you want the policy cancelled. We will calculate and inform you of any return of premium that may be due to you as a result of the calculation.

Contact us and let us know what changes you need to make to your policy. We recommend contacting us via the website or, alternatively, you can call us toll-free on 833-548-6464 or write to us at Mariners Alternative Insurance Services Inc., 4279 Roswell Rd. NE, Suite 280 #238, Atlanta, GA 30342.

We recommend that you contact us via this website by clicking here. Alternatively, you can call us toll-free on 833-548-6464 or write to us at Mariners Alternative Insurance Services Inc., 4279 Roswell Rd. NE, Suite 280 #238, Atlanta, GA 30342.

You need to advise us of any loss within 48 hours of the discovery of the loss. Please refer to the section of your Lightning Shield policy entitled “Your Duties After A Loss”.

Contact us and let us know what you believe is incorrect on your policy. We recommend contacting us via the website or, alternatively, you can call us toll-free on 833-548-6464 or write to us at Mariners Alternative Insurance Services Inc., 4279 Roswell Rd. NE, Suite 280 #238, Atlanta, GA 30342.

Contact us via the website by clicking here and request a paper copy of your policy.

We recommend that you contact us via this website by clicking here. Alternatively, you can call us toll-free on 833-548-6464 or write to us at Mariners Alternative Insurance Services Inc., 4279 Roswell Rd. NE, Suite 280 #238, Atlanta, GA 30342.

When you click on the “File a Claim” link it will take you to that section of the website. The page will ask you a few questions about the lightning damage. Please have photos of the damage readily available.

You purchase Lightning Shield online via this website and pay with your credit or debit card.

We use third parties for the secure processing of card transactions. Information that you are required to provide in order to pay your insurance premium is not stored by us but is stored securely by the third party. We encourage you to review our Privacy Policy for full details of how we handle any information you provide to us.

We recommend using the website for the purchase of your Lightning Shield policy. It’s fast and easy. Click here to get started.

We recommend that you contact us via this website by clicking here. Alternatively, you can call us toll-free on 833-548-6464 or write to us at Mariners Alternative Insurance Services Inc., 4279 Roswell Rd. NE, Suite 280 #238, Atlanta, GA 30342.

Legal

Mariners Alternative is not an insurance company. We are a licensed insurance producer that was formed by experienced boaters for boaters. Your Lightning Shield policy is underwritten through Agent Alliance Insurance Company, a member of the National General family of underwriting companies, and rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best.

Please click here to see a list of all states in which Mariners Alternative Insurance Services is licensed as an insurance producer.

Mariners Alternative is not an insurance company. We are a licensed insurance producer that was formed by experienced boaters for boaters. Your Lightning Shield policy is underwritten through Agent Alliance Insurance Company, a member of the National General family of underwriting companies, and rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best.

Please click here to see a list of all states in which Mariners Alternative Insurance Services is licensed as an insurance producer.

Lightning Shield is an insurance product developed by Mariners Alternative Insurance Services Inc. Lightning Shield is underwritten by Agent Alliance Insurance Company.

Mariners Alternative is not an insurance company. We are a licensed insurance producer that was formed by experienced boaters for boaters. Your Lightning Shield policy is underwritten through Agent Alliance Insurance Company, a member of the National General family of underwriting companies, and rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best.

Richard Tolliday is our CEO. He has 25 years of insurance company experience including being the former CEO of a major insurance company and started his career as a yacht insurance underwriter at Lloyd’s of London in 1990 – contributing to reinventing the yacht insurance space at the time.

Your privacy and the protection of your privacy is important to us. How we use your personal information and our responsibilities in connection with its protection are set out in our Privacy Policy which is available on this website for you to read.

Once you purchase a Lightning Shield policy the policy document itself will be emailed to you. It is only a few pages but we encourage you to read it. The policy document sets out your obligations. You must ensure that any information that you provide to us is complete and correct. You also have responsibilities in the event of a loss. Please refer to the section of your Lightning Shield policy entitled “Your Duties After A Loss”.

Mariners Alternative is a licensed insurance producer that was formed by experienced boaters for boaters. Your Lightning Shield policy is underwritten through Agent Alliance Insurance Company, a member of the National General family of underwriting companies, and rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best.

Please click here to see a list of all states in which Mariners Alternative Insurance Services is licensed as an insurance producer.