It’s boating season. Whether you own a jet ski, a sailboat or a fishing trawler, it’s important to find the right boat insurance that will come to the rescue if you have damage or theft. Here’s what you need to know:
Do you need boat insurance?
Your home insurance covers boats in some cases, but it does not go far. Homeowners policies typically cap coverage at $1,000 or 10 percent of your home’s insured value. Liability coverage, which pays for the damage your boat does to others, is not covered by homeowners insurance.
You need boat insurance if you own the following watercraft:
- Large sailboats
- Jet skis
- Jet boats
- Some pontoon and fishing boats
- Any watercraft that runs faster than 25 mph.
What does boat insurance cover?
You can typically buy liability insurance, which pays for damage your boat does to others. Here’s what boat insurance typically covers:
- Damage or destruction from a collision, theft or vandalism
- Damage to a boat and permanently attached equipment
- Bodily injury liability, which pays expenses when someone is injured on your boat
- Property damage liability, which pays for damage your boat does to someone else’s property.
- Medical payments, which pays medical expenses for you and passengers
What doesn’t boat insurance cover?
- Normal wear and tear
- Defective machinery or machinery damage
- Damage from sea creatures
- Damage from mold, insects, and zebra mussels.
You may need to purchase additional coverage for trailers and accessories for towing and for damage caused by an uninsured boater. We recommend checking whether your policy covers:
- Mechanical breakdowns which repairs or replaces outboard motors under circumstances other than wear and tear.
- Salvage, which pays for a salvage company to recover your boat when a basic tow won’t help.
- Gadgets. Not all boat insurance covers expensive accessories like fishing or navigational equipment.
How much does boat insurance cost and what discounts are available?
How much you’ll pay for boat insurance depends on the level of insurance coverage you want, as well as the size, horsepower, type, and value of your boat. Many insurance carriers offers discounts for:
- Carrying other policies, such as homeowners or auto with the same insurer
- No previous claims history
- Taking safety courses
About the Authors
Connie Greenwood has 35 years of experience as an Insurance Advisor. She enjoys helping her clients and prospects understand their insurance options, and crafting insurance solutions tailored to their unique needs. Connie finds great joy in being a trusted advisor for her clients. She loves helping protect their financial welfare against unforeseen accidents and circumstances and bringing them peace of mind.
Tim Pingel has almost 20 years of experience as a personal insurance adviser. He provides individuals, couples, and families with home, auto, and umbrella insurance. His ultimate goal is to be his clients’ trusted adviser and expert, so they have the peace of mind and protection they deserve.