By BassFan Staff
It doesn't take any of us long to recall our most recent incident of "bad luck" on the water.
Not much can be done about that 7-pounder that coughed up your jig and swam away just as you were about to slide the net under her massive belly, and there's certainly no guarantee that the same thing won't happen again the next time you hook such a fish. There is a way, however, that you can rest assured that if you lose your lower unit 20 miles from the launch ramp or incur a punctured tire on your boat trailer on the drive home, help will be on the way shortly, and it won't cost you every cent you've allocated to fishing for the rest of the year.
A BoatUS Angler membership provides that security in the latter two scenarios. For the price of a full tank of gas for your tow vehicle, you can be covered on both the water and the road.
Experience the Difference
There's a misperception among some that BoatUS Angler is "just another insurance company." Yes, the company is indeed in the insurance business, but because the services are targeted specifically toward anglers, it delivers a great deal more.
Changing insurance companies is not even required to purchase a BoatUS Angler membership. And once you're a member, you're automatically eligible to enroll in the "Weigh to Win" contingency program that covers the Bassmaster Opens, FLW Tour and EverStarts, Professional Anglers Association and Lady Bass Anglers Association events.
"BoatUS has been around for 45 years and the Angler program started in mid-2007," explained BoatUS Angler brand manager Steve Levi. "It's really starting to grow, and the message we're trying to push to the masses is that some people don't change their insurance when they join. It applies to the masses because who tows a boat more than a tournament bass fisherman?"
A combo membership that includes both Unlimited On-the-Road and Unlimited On-the-Water towing can be had for $81. Those options are also available separately for $38 and $67, respectively.
"The towing packages are the biggest benefits and the main reason people come on board, and the Weigh to Win incentives are a way to get people to look at the program and sign up," Levi said.
All Bases Covered
Missouri's Darold Gleason, who fishes the Bassmaster Opens, helps BoatUS Angler register competitors at those events.
Bassmaster Elite Series pro Casey Scanlon is one of the many anglers who've cashed in as part of the Weigh to Win contingency program.
"Say I have (another insurance company's roadside assistance plan) and I'm going to California for a tournament and I break down on the way," he said. "That (other plan) will take care of the truck, but the boat is my problem. BoatUS Angler takes care of both the boat and the truck.
"Or in a tournament, anybody could somehow end up on a sand bar, and anybody who's had to get a towboat to get off of one knows how much that costs. Last year at the Lewisville Open there was a guy who looked at the program at the registration meeting, but he didn't sign up. He got stuck on a sand bar and had to pay full price to get off like $275. He could've spent $81 and been covered for the whole year."
As for the "Weigh to Win" program, Gleason said it creates its only little tournament side pot for the members.
"The only requirement is you have to be the highest-finishing member and finish among the top 50 percent of the field, so if you're 25th in a 130-boat tournament, you have a chance. You start going through the standings and looking for guys you know you needed to beat.
"In a BFL, where the entry fee is $200, you can make your money back that way. That extra cash keeps a lot of guys going."
> Options that are available with a BoatUS Angler insurance policy include up to $5,000 in tackle reimbursement coverage in case of theft and up to $500 to cover lost entry fees. An instance in which the latter would apply is if an angler were practicing the day prior to a tournament and his boat suffered mechanical issues that prevented him from competing in the event.