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April 24, 2021

The Value of Karl’s Tackle Insurance

The Value of Karl’s Tackle Insurance

You have to love the advertising videos for Karl’s Bait & Tackle. I always laugh at them. When I first saw one for Karl’s tackle insurance program, I thought it was a joke, but I was wrong.

Karl's Bait & Tackle is a division of Catch Co., the company with well-known brands including Mystery Tackle Box, Googan Rods, 10,000 Fish and Biospawn. Karl's Bait & Tackle recently announced tackle insurance as a free benefit for Karl's Club Members. Members pay $49 per year in return for savings of up to 30% and free shipping on many items, among other perks.

According to the Karl's Bait & Tackle website, this is how the tackle insurance program works:

“Members can submit 4 Tackle Insurance claims per year and receive a free replacement product with their next qualifying order…Items eligible for replacement include any non-terminal, non-soft plastic tackle product priced at $20 or less purchased on shopkarls.com during the past 90 days. You must have been a Club Member at the time of purchase and at the time of redemption. Replacement items ship with a subsequent Karl's Bait & Tackle ecommerce order over $25.”

There are some exclusions. Rods, reels, line, accessories, and other non-tackle categories are not eligible. You are able to choose a different color of the item to be replaced but you can only claim one replacement with each new order.

Let’s assume I am already a Karl’s Club member and regularly buy items that qualify under the insurance program. We’ll use Mike Bucca’s Baby Bull Gill as an example. The Karl’s Club member price is $10.49 per bait.

Purchase 1: I buy one Baby Bull Gill at $10.49.

Purchase 2: Within 90 days of purchase 1, I place an order of $25 and claim the first lure is lost. I am sent a replacement lure along with my new order.

Purchase 3: Within 90 days of purchase 2, I place an order of $25 and claim the second lure is lost. I am sent a replacement lure along with my new order.

Purchase 4: Within 90 days of purchase 3, I place an order of $25 and claim the third lure is lost. I am sent a replacement lure along with my new order.

Purchase 5: Within 90 days of purchase 4, I place an order of $25 and claim the fourth lure is lost. I am sent a replacement lure along with my new order.

At this point, I have maxed out my insurance claims for the year, while spending close to the least amount of money possible. My total expenditures are $110.49 and I have received $41.96 in free lures (four Baby Bull Gills). If the lures you claim have a lower price, your savings will be less.

In the above example, the total savings is 38%, assuming:

  • You are already a Karl’s Club member. If you are not currently a Karl’s member, you’ll have an additional cost of $49 to join. If you add $49 to your total expenditures ($159.49), the total savings drops to 26%.
  • You already place quarterly orders with Karl’s. If you don’t currently order four times a year from Karl’s, you may find yourself spending more of your tackle budget with them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as they have some excellent products but the insurance program is really an incentive to become a member and/or renew your membership. My guess is that the average Karl’s member makes fewer than four purchases a year and the insurance program is a technique to increase the average number of orders per year.

By the way, if you’re like me, you aren’t going to buy only $25 in tackle with each order. As we like to say at the Lure Love Podcast, why buy one lure when you can buy 103? Once you get me to place an order, I’m going to add more items and spend more money than the $25 minimum for the insurance program.

  • You remember to claim each lost lure. I’ve read estimates that about 50% of rebates are never claimed. This may be because of difficult rebate processes. The Karl’s process seems pretty straight forward, although I am not a member, so I am unable to see the actual form you need to complete. But some people will join Karl’s because of the insurance but never max out their claims.

The bottom line: If you are already a Karl’s member who makes four purchases a year, the insurance program is going to be a great way to get four free lures a year. If you are not already a Karl’s member or are a Karl’s member who only places one or two orders a year, the benefit will be less but still may be worthwhile. The insurance program is really like getting a percentage discount from your next order. If your order is for $100 and you get one $10 lure for free, it's a 10% discount. If you spend $50 and get one $10 for free, it's a 20% discount.

Regardless of whether you become a Karl's member, seeing Karl Von Dibble talk about the "heartbreak of lost lures" is priceless, and something to which all of us can relate.