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What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Monday, September 25, 2023

Many people claim that life is better on a boat. And we think there may be something to that! Not much else matches the serenity that comes with taking your boat out on open water, whether that water is at sea or inland. But with this tremendous joy comes the responsibility of ensuring your vessel’s safety. In addition to the life vests, whistles, and fire extinguishers that are all part of your boat’s safety kit, boat insurance can be an important tool in keeping your vessel – and your finances – afloat. Here, we’ll help you learn more about boat insurance, its importance, and how much it costs.

boats docked in a marina

What Is Boat Insurance?

Just as you insure your car, home, and life in case of incidents, boat insurance is an agreement between you and your insurance provider to provide financial protection for your boat. Once you pay the premium, the insurance company promises to protect you against the potential financial losses detailed in your policy.

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

So, what does the boat owner’s policy provide coverage for? The details of your specific policy will likely vary depending on your insurer and will carry with it different limits. However, in most cases, boat insurance covers:

Property coverage

This portion of the policy helps pay for repairs to your boat after an accident and may also cover the cost of replacing your boat if it’s stolen. This protection usually applies to your boat, whether it is on land or in the water.

Liability coverage

If you’re responsible for an accident that damages someone else’s property, liability coverage may help pay for the expenses that come as a result.

Medical payments

In the unfortunate event of injuries sustained by you or your passengers, medical payments coverage can help cover expenses such as hospital bills, medications, and X-rays.

Uninsured watercraft coverage

If an uninsured boat collides with your watercraft, causing injuries to you or your passengers, the uninsured watercraft coverage in your boat insurance policy may step in to help pay for the resulting expenses.

Other coverage

Some policies offer coverage for boat trailers, accessories, equipment, and towing. Speak with an insurance agent to determine if this option is available to you. 

What Does Boat Insurance NOT Cover?

Understanding your boat insurance policy’s exclusions is just as important as knowing what’s included. The boat owner’s policy might not cover certain types of losses, such as:

  • Wear and tear
  • Damage from aquatic creatures
  • Mold
  • Defective machinery

Always read your policy thoroughly to ensure you’re aware of the exclusions in your coverage.

Marine Insurance vs. Boat Insurance

While both marine and boat insurance offer a layer of protection for a vessel, they differ in specifics. What does marine insurance cover? Typically, it is designed for commercial vessels and covers larger boats and vehicles that transport goods by ocean or land.

Marine InsuranceBoat Insurance
PurposeDesigned for commercial vesselsTypically for personal vessels
CoverageCovers larger boats and vehicles transporting goods by ocean/landCovers smaller, personal boats for recreational use

The Cost of Boat Insurance

Boat insurance typically ranges between $200 and $600. However, the cost can vary significantly based on factors such as the boat’s value, size, age, type, and intended use. The deductible and location can influence boat insurance costs as well. 

While boat insurance might seem like a significant expense, there are some ways to lower the cost. For instance, completing a boating safety course or having multiple policies with the same insurer can lead to discounts. Additionally, new types of boat safety equipment and tracking devices can help you reduce risks and lower your premiums. By installing safety devices, such as GPS tracking systems or automatic fire suppression systems, you may be eligible for additional discounts on your insurance premiums.

When To Get Boat Insurance

Based on our experience, it’s best to purchase boat insurance as soon as you become the owner. Even if your boat is on land for maintenance or storage, it still can be affected by unforeseen incidents like fire, theft, or vandalism.

How Does Boat Insurance Work?

In case of damage or loss, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurer and provide all relevant information and evidence relating to the incident. The insurer will then assess the claim and, if approved, cover the costs up to your policy’s limits.

At Independent Insurance Associates, our skilled insurance team is here to help you find the best coverage for your vessel. We will happily point you in the direction of one of our insurance partners. Get in touch with us today and boat with confidence!