It’s likely that your boat didn’t come cheap. Regardless of whether you own a yacht or just a bass fishing boat, having the right boat insurance policy will be of great help in case of damage, injury or or theft.
Does home insurance cover my boat? Probably not. Most homeowner’s policies have restrictions on size, limits on horsepower and damage coverage.
You should definitely have boat insurance if you have a yacht, a jet boat, a large sailboat or personal watercraft. You’ll also require it if your boat runs faster than 25 miles per hour. Insurers offer watercraft insurance for a broad variety of vessels, ranging from bowriders and center consoles to personal watercrafts like WaveRunners and Jet Skis.
What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
- Damage to permanently attached equipment, like anchors
- Damage from a fire, lightning, collision, and vandalism
- Property damage liability (if your boat causes damage to another person’s property)
- Bodily injury liability (if someone is injured while on your boat)
- Guest passenger liability (covers legal expenses of someone else who’s permitted to drive your boat)
- Medical payments (covers your expenses, as well as those of your passengers)
You’ll want to seriously consider getting a commercial flood insurance policy if:
Business Owners Policy Explained
- Your business is located in an area that is prone to flooding, or it is situated near any body of water.
- You operate a business in a location that has cold and snowy winters and warm springs. That’s because snow that melts quickly is one of the main reasons why businesses flood.
- Your business is situated in a climate that receives a moderate amount of rainfall throughout the year. There is always a chance that outdoor drains could clog, and if that happens, the likelihood that your establishment will flood is high.
It's imperative that you understand what's exactly covered by your boat insurance policy before making your way out on the water. Check whether it covers these scenarios:
- Mechanical Breakdown – It’ll cover the cost of repairing or replacing your boat’s outboard motor. But, the insurer will not pay for that if it’s brought about by wear and tear.
- Salvage – Your boat may become disabled in such a way a basic tow will barely help. In this case, you might have to contact a salvage company to help you recover it. Salvage companies will typically ask for a certain fraction of the boat’s total value as payment. That can be very costly. It’d, thus, be an excellent idea to ascertain that your boat insurance policy includes the salvage coverage. However, not all insurers offer it.
- Gadgets – Only a few insurance firms cover costly accessories, such as fancy coolers or fishing equipment, especially if they’re not permanently attached to your boat. Some insurers offer personal property coverage, which compensates you if they’re lost or stolen while out on the water. You can inquire whether your insurer offers endorsements. These are handy additions if you wish to increase the personal property limits.
- Damage By Uninsured Boaters – Check if the policy covers damage that may be brought about by uninsured boaters.
Actual Cash Value – This boat insurance coverage will pay the boat’s value at the specific time it’s damaged. Your insurer will determine the boat’s market value once it’s destroyed and pay that amount as compensation.
Agreed Amount Value – In this case, the insurance company will pay you the amount they had agreed on with you beforehand. But, if it’s possible to repair the boat, the insurer will provide new items as a replacement for the old ones without accounting for depreciation.
What Boat Insurance Doesn't Cover
- Defective machinery
- Machinery damage
- Damage from aquatic life, like sharks and whales.
- Normal wear and tear
- Damage from insects and mold
How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost?
You’ll be allowed to choose your deductible – the amount that’s deducted from an individual’s insurance check once they make a claim. Typical policies will have deductibles of $500 for theft, $1,000 for medical coverage, and $250 for damage to property. But, liability claims filed against you won’t have a deductible.
Some insurance companies offer discounts and various ways through which you can save money, including:
- Using a diesel-powered boat
- Carrying other policies, like home or car insurance, with the same company
- Taking safety courses
What You Should Know About Boating Insurance
Navigational Limits – If you have a yacht or a large boat, your boat insurance policy is likely to have limits that outline where you can and cannot navigate the vessel. Should you navigate outside of the regions agreed to, then your boat insurance might not cover you. A broader navigation area will prompt for higher insurance costs.
Under-Age Operators – At times, you may be tempted to let your 13-year-old drive the boat. But, if he/she doesn’t meet the license and age requirements in your state, your policy won’t cover you. The license and age requirements for operating watercrafts vary from one state to another. You should, thus, check with your state’s boating regulatory agency.
Marine Inspections – In case you own an old model, most insurers will require that you have the boat inspected by marine surveyors. In turn, they will be able to assess its current condition and correct market value. A marine survey is worth considering for safety, even if it’s not needed.
Boat Trailers – Boat insurance may cover physical damage to a boat’s trailer. However, it doesn’t cover the liability brought about by towing a trailer. That’s often covered under an auto insurance policy. Bear in mind that trailering laws tend to vary from one state to another.
Layup Periods – It’s typical to take a boat out of the waters during cold weather. Most insurers might give you a layup credit since the boat isn’t being used. However, if you take it out before the specified period ends, the insurer won’t cover you because you’ll have violated the policy.
Enjoy Your Watercraft And Know You Are Covered
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Different States Boat Insurance
If you are looking for state specific Boat Insurance quotes, costs and information: