All About Boat Insurance

dock with boats
Sea dock with boats waiting

Boat insurance usually covers a stolen or damaged sailboat, motorboat, or other kinds of personal watercraft. You are protected in case of theft or if someone’s property is damaged or they suffer injuries as a result of a boat accident If you are lucky to own a boat, put your mind at ease by knowing all about boat insurance coverage.

Coverage Provided by a Boat Insurance Plan

A typical boat insurance plan may cover different portions of your vessel such as the hull, machinery, furnishings, fittings, and permanently attached equipment. This usually falls under the category “boat insurance property coverage.” Other than that, the agreement tends to include liability coverage, uninsured watercraft coverage and medical payments coverage.

Liability Coverage

Liability Coverage takes care of damage inflicted on another individual’s property due to an accident involving your watercraft. It helps pay for the resulting expenses. So, the best plan will depend on your needs as well as boat type and requirements. In general, insurance specialists recommend getting a plan that offers at least $1,000 in liability insurance. This amount should be more if you have a fast and powerful vessel because that increases the risk of both bodily harm and boat damage.

Boat Insurance Property Coverage

Boat Insurance Property Coverage offers protection from risks related to the condition and safety of your vessel on both land and water. It includes the cost of repairs due to damage caused by an accident or things like fire or lighttening and the arrangement of an alternate boat in case of theft.  

When buying boat property insurance, you have to choose between one of two coverage types:

  • agreed amount coverage
  • actual cash coverage

With Agreed Amount Coverage, you are covered for repair based on the value of your watercraft. This is usually an agreed-upon amount between you and your service provider at the time of insurance purchase.

On the other hand, depreciation is considered when paying for repairs under the Actual Cash Coverage plan.

Uninsured Watercraft Coverage

Uninsured Watercraft Coverage provides protection in case your boat collides with another one whose owner doesn’t have insurance cover. You are covered if your vessel sustains damage. Additionally, you are covered if you or any of your passengers are injured.

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical Payments Coverage pays for the cost of treatment (medication, doctor bills, etc.) if you or your passengers get hurt due to an accident on your boat.

Miscellaneous Protection

While the types mentioned above are usually there in most plans, the coverage needs of one boat owner may be considerably different from another. Therefore, while evaluating a boat insurance plan, it’s a good idea to discuss coverage in some other important areas with your service provider. These include towing coverage, boat accessories (geo-location instruments, radars, etc.), boat trailers, special equipment (such as fishing gear), etc.  

In addition, when shopping for boat insurance, ask if the particular policy offers coverage for oil spills. There are also plans that help pay for the cost of wreckage removal in the event of an accident at sea. Make sure you have these bases covered.

The Cost of Boat Insurance

On average, boat insurance would cost you a few hundred dollars a year. However, this may exceed $1,000 based on your personal profile and boat type. The rate you’re able to get will largely be dictated by the kind of boat you have, its length, and the expected use of the vessel. What you pay will be considerably different if you have a yacht compared to a small fishing boat or a speedboat.

Factors Affecting Boat Insurance Cost

Various factors affect boat insurance cost. These include the size and type of boat, intended use, owner’s boat insurance claims record, safety measures in place, owner’s motor vehicle driving record (good automobile drivers tend to make good boat drivers), boat specifications, and the owner’s credit score among others.

Getting the Right Plan

You now know about boat insurance and can consider all the factors mentioned to figure out what type of plan would be best for you. For instance, if you own a speed boat, then you’ll need more coverage for “property damage liability” and “bodily injury” than if you have a yacht or pleasure cruiser in your name.

Getting quotes online is one way of finding a policy that suits your needs. We also suggest reaching out to independent agents in your area. They are well aware of local insurance laws and will be able to answer all your queries in a satisfactory manner. Moreover, they can look around and compare rates from different insurance companies so that you are able to make a well-thought-out decision.