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What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Most Boats are Not Covered under Your Home Insurance

You love your boat. Even more so, you love the fun, relaxation, and memories your boat offers. Think of that perfect Sunday looking for that ever-evasive fish, teaching your kids to water ski, or simply skimming the waters in your sleek sailing vessel. Ahh. However, with the pleasures, so come the responsibilities: maintenance, restoration, storm preparedness, winterization, and, yes, insurance.


Why do you need boat insurance?

Simply, second to your home, your boat is most likely your largest investment. What would happen if you lost it in an accident or storm? What would happen if someone broke in while you were on land? How would you handle the situation if you didn’t have enough coverage?


Most Boats Are Not Covered Under Your Home Insurance
Some believe boats are covered under their standard Homeowners policy. This may be true for smaller boats, but there are limitations. Obtaining a separate boat policy is always a good idea.


Boat Insurance Varies
Boat protection, like all types of insurance, varies widely between companies. This is true even between companies that specialize in marine insurance. When considering and comparing boat policies, contact your local independent insurance agent to help you determine the best coverage for the right price.


Main Components of Boat Insurance
Like your car insurance, boat insurance covers:

•Bodily Injury Liability - This coverage pays for expenses relating to injuries to others from an accident you caused. Medical bills, pain and suffering, defense costs and lost wages may all be covered.
•Property Damage Liability - This coverage can pay costs from damage to other property from an accident you caused. This could be damage to another boat, dock or other structure.
• Physical Damage- This covers damage to your own boat and its trailer. For example, if you hit a dock and your boat was damaged, the cost of repairing it would be covered. There are three ways this can be paid out:

• Actual Cash Value - The market value of your boat and/or its parts
• Agreed Value - You determine the amount of coverage when the policy is first written
• Replacement Cost - Your boat will be replaced with the same type of new boat. However, it is usually only available for boats less than two years old.


What Property is Usually Covered?
Again, boat coverage varies between companies and states. For this article, we will use a list prepared by the New Hampshire state government.

• Anchors
• Batteries
• Bilge pumps
• Boat furniture
• Boat and motor covers
• Cook stoves
• Deck chairs
• Depth finders
• Detachable canopies
• Emergency signaling devices
• Fire extinguishers
• Fittings
• Fuel tanks
• Horns
• Life preservers
• Lights
• Masts
• Mooring cleat & lines
• Motors
• Oars
• Refrigerators
• Seat cushions
• Spars
• Tarpaulins


What Property is Usually Not Covered?
Using the New Hampshire guidelines, Pleasure Boat Policies or Endorsements usually exclude the following property:

• Beverages and other perishables
• Cameras or video recorders
• Cellular phones
• Clothing
• Food
• Jewelry and other personal articles,
• Para-sails, hang gliders or other devices designed for flight
• Portable televisions
• Stereos, tape decks or other instruments for recording or reproducing sound
• Scuba and other diving equipment
• Sail, masts, or spars while boat is operating in an official race or speed contest
• Watches
• Water skiing equipment


Boat Insurance Costs
Actual insurance costs vary according to the value of your boat, its length, the type (sail or power), mooring location, intended area of navigation and how high a deductible you choose. Like your homeowners and car insurance, you can decrease the rate of your boat insurance by increasing the deductible.


“The information on this site is general in nature. Any description of coverage is necessarily simplified. Whether a particular loss is covered depends on the facts and the provisions, exclusions and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any policies, nor does it provide any guarantees. You should read your specific policy for a complete description of coverage.”

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