Boat insurance is a specific coverage you will need if you own any kind of boat or watercraft. Whether you operate a jet ski or a deluxe cabin cruiser, you need more coverage than your homeowners’ policy can facilitate. The typical homeowners’ policy facilitates only limited coverage for your liability due to operating any type of watercraft. It also limits coverage for loss or damage to your watercraft to $1,000 including trailers, furnishings, and motors. And coverage for watercraft applies only on your premises, rather than where theft or damage is most likely to occur—in transit or on the water. Boat insurance policies are nonstandard policies, so boat and watercraft insurance terms, conditions, and limits vary widely. At a minimum, however, you will want a policy that facilitates:
- Property damage coverage: Look for coverage due to theft—no matter where located—and physical damage due to fire, theft, windstorm, lightning, or vandalism. All policies cover the hull and machinery; look for a boat insurance policy that covers your trailer, permanently installed equipment, and personal property required for the boat’s operation, such as tools, GPS, etc.
- Liability coverage: Limits usually range from $100,000 to $1 million. The more assets you have to protect, the higher the limits you need. You may also wish to consider buying an umbrella policy to facilitate more liability protection. One million dollars in extra coverage often costs less than $500 a year and would extend to your home and auto insurance policies as well.
- Typical boat insurance policies include deductibles of $250 for property damage, $500 for theft, and $1,000 for medical payments, although these may vary from company to company.
Most boat insurance policies also include water sports liability, which covers risks associated with activities such as waterskiing.
Some boat insurance carriers offer additional coverages, such as towing and assistance coverage, uninsured boaters coverage, medical payments coverage for someone injured on or while boarding/leaving the boat, and fishing tackle coverage. Other coverages that are usually available include:
- Newly acquired watercraft: Some policies will give you an extended period of coverage before requiring you to report the acquisition of a new boat to the company.
- Reasonable repairs: Coverage for repairs made to your boat to prevent further damage.
- Emergency service: Carriers may pay a small amount, often $500, for reasonable costs incurred because of emergency service to your boat, motor, or boat trailer.
- Wreck removal: Reasonable expenses are paid for attempted or actual raising, removal, or destruction of the wreck of your boat when damage is caused by an insured loss and removal, or destruction is required by law.
If you have several personal watercraft, you may qualify for a multi-boat discount on your boat insurance. Additional coverage can also be purchased for trailers and other accessories.
We can help you find the policy that covers your boating needs.