What Boat Insurance Covers
Policies vary between insurers but coverage typically includes:
- Property damage coverage: also known as physical damage coverage, it insures against damages or loss of your vessel caused by collisions with other boats or objects , theft, sinking, fire, storms and other risks. The property covered may include the hull, motor, fittings, furnishings and other equipment.
- Liability coverage: helps pay legal expenses and settlements if you’re found at fault for someones injuries during a crash, for example. It also covers damages to others property, such as a boat or dock you collide with.
Optional boat insurance coverage
Boat insurance companies may offer extra coverage options for:
- Medical payments for injuries to you or passengers
- Roadside assistance if the vehicle used to tow your boat breaks down
- Wreckage removal in the event your boat sinks
- Watersport injuries or damages from tubing wake surfing, or other similar activities
- Fuel spill cleanups for accidents or a leaking gas tank
- Personal property such as fishing equipment, scuba gear, clothing, smartphones and more
- Uninsured/Underinsured boater damages your boat
- On-water towing if your boat leaves you stranded
- Mechanical breakdowns
- Ice and freezing damage
- Hurricane haul-out in case you have to move the boat to safety due to a storm
- Extending your navigation to Alaska, Bahamas, Mexico and the Caribbean
Types of boats covered
The types of watercraft covered vary across insurance companies but may include:
Does Boat Insurance Cover Storm Damage
If your boat is damaged in a storm, boat insurance can provide protection if you carry physical damage coverages on your policy. Physical damage coverages are optional, unless youre financing your boat, but they pay to repair or replace your watercraft if it was damaged due to a weather-related incident.
Will Insurance Cover A Leak In The Boat’s Hull
Typically, boat insurance can cover damages caused by a leak in the hull if you carry physical damage coverages. That also applies if the leak is a result of storm damage or another covered peril. Note that your boat policy wont cover the actual leak or any other issues due to wear and tear or lack of maintenance.
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A Few Days Ago We Posted A Video Of A Yacht Sinking In Greece Due To A Maneuvering Error We Wondered If The Insurance Would Cover Such A Damage
First of all, it should be remembered that yacht insurance is governed by the “terrestrial” provisions of insurance law “This title shall not apply to insurance contracts the purpose of which is to insure risks relating to recreational boating.” )
In recreational boating, insurance is not mandatory except in the particular situation of a sport practice which does not prevent the obligation to compensate the victims of an accident for which the boater is responsible.
In the field of boating, there are three main insurance policies .
When taking out the contract, the insurer will ask the yachtsman to indicate the insurance value of the boat. This value must be carefully determined, taking into account not only the economic value of the boat, but also the essential fittings and accessories. This value will have important consequences in case of a claim:
Important Things To Know
Here are some important things to know as far as boat insurance is concerned.
- âNavigational Limits – These are limits that outline where you can navigate your boat and you may not be covered if you venture beyond the agreed territory. Needless to say, your premiums will be higher if your navigation limits are extensive.
- – Most insurers will require your boat to be inspected by a certified marine surveyor to assess the condition for the boat and its market value.
- Layup Periods – These refer to periods when you take your boat out of the water such as during winter when you’re not boating. Most insurers will give you credit but you may not be covered if you take the boat out for a ride during the layup periods and something happens.
- Underage Operators – Do not be tempted to offer your boat to an underage if he/she doesn’t meet the age and license requirements in your area.
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Do I Really Need Boat Insurance
That depends on your boat. A standard homeowners insurance policy will generally cover small, inexpensive watercraft like:
- Jon boats
- Paddle boats
- Boats with low-powered engines
You can also add a liability rider to your homeowners insurance to cover property damage or injuries if you get in an accident with another boater.
But homeowners policies wont cover big, powerful boats. Youll need boat insurance for:
- Charter Boats Since your boat is your business, you may also need commercial insurance.
- Fishing Boats including bass boats, fancy offshore rigs and everything in between
- Houseboats Just like insuring a regular house, you need to insure your home on the water too.
- Personal Watercraft Watercraft like jet skis are super fun, but theyre also riskyhence the insurance.
- Pontoons Pontoons are where the partys at! So make sure your boat and your passengers are protected.
- Sailboats Activities like long distance travel, racing or historical reenactments require special coverage. Think of sailboats as the classic cars of the sea.
- Speedboats Fast boats are at higher risk for accidentswhich makes insurance a must.
- Yachts Luxury vessels need insurance because theyre more valuable and travel farther than most other boats.
All these boats need insurance even if it isnt required by state law. Why? Because if youre uninsured, a boating accident can ruin your futurein more ways than one.
What Does A Boat Insurance Policy Cover
Our Nova Scotia boating season is in full swing! If your boat is financed, docked at a local marina, or stored in your private boathouse, boat insurance will provide much-needed protection. While boat insurance is not mandatory in Nova Scotia, it does provide very important coverage for damage, liability, and other unforeseen events. In this blog, Bauld Insurance Managing Advisor with 20 years of boat insurance experience, Dawn Marie Penney shares her insights on what you need to know about insuring your boat.
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What About Salvage And Recovery
The word “Salvage” can mean two things. If a third party recovers your boat when it sinks they may claim “salvage rights, which allows them to seek a substantial percentage of the boat’s value as a claim to release the boat. Your policy should have wording to address salvage claims, and that is outside the scope of this post.
We’re more interested in the second use – when your boat sinks at the dock, or in the channel outside your marina or somewhere shallow and accessible she may be recovered.
Depending on the condition of the boat, your insurance company may reserve the option to salvage her and pay for repairs instead of declaring the boat a total loss and paying out the policy. They must cover your loss, but they may not do it in the way you may want them to do it – by writing you a check.
Here you will get covered, but it will be like dealing with a flood or a fire in your home. Repairs will be made, and you may get your original vessel restored. This is more common with very expensive and valuable boats and not likely with a small sailboat where the recovery and repair costs will exceed the value of the boat.
William has been sailing and owning boats for over twenty years. Since 2012 he’s been cruising the world with his wife and living aboard full time.
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About Improve Sailing
What If Im Hit By An Underinsured Or Uninsured Driver
We offer protection against the cost of injuries or damage you may experience as a result of an accident caused by an uninsured motorist. The question is: how much coverage would you want to be available if youre injured?
When selecting your coverage amount, remember that uninsured boater coverage will pay for things your health insurance won’t, like pain and suffering, lost wages and treatments that medical insurance doesnt deem necessary. You cannot select more uninsured boater coverage than you have in bodily injury coverage.
Insurance is offered by Safeco Insurance Company of America and/or its affiliates, with their principal place of business at 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. This website provides a simplified description of coverage. Nothing stated herein creates a contract. All statements made are subject to the provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. Please refer to actual policy forms for complete details regarding the coverage discussed. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails. Coverages and features not available in all states. Eligibility is subject to meeting applicable underwriting criteria.
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What Are Scuppers On A Boat
Scuppers are located above the waterline and they are used to drain out water from your boat deck, caused by waves going over the bow, or from the rain. Scuppers are also referred to as self-bailing because they use gravity to drain out water, as opposed to using your bilge pump.
Most scuppers have flappers which help to keep seawater out but still allows water to drain. Sometimes scuppers can get clogged with leaves or other debris and has been known to sink some ships this way.
Boat Insurance Cost Factors
Many factors are used to set the cost of a policy, and they vary among insurers. Here are some items to consider:
- Cruising Area: Where you boat.
- Boating Safety Education: If you have been formally trained or certified.
- Good Driving Records: Both boating and driving.
- Liability Limits: The higher the limit the higher the cost.
- Deductible: The higher the deductible the lower the premium.
- Towing insurance requirements for offshore fishing .
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How Maritime Insurance Companies Justify Denying Claims When Boats Sink
A boat is a significant investment, so owners want to know that their vessel is protected in the event of an accident that results in damage to the hull, motor, cabin or other areas of a boat. While the greatest form of property damage that can be experienced by a boat owner involves a boat sinking, this type of claim is often denied under maritime insurance policies.
Insurance companies routinely assert that exclusions or limitations in coverage preclude payment of claims related to this penultimate type of disaster for boat owners. One of the most common rationales for denying such a claim involves the assertion that the policyholders boat was not subject to any accidental physical loss. The fortuity rule provides that maritime coverage requires proof of an accident. This principle of maritime insurance coverage is a longstanding and clearly established rule of federal maritime law.
A case decided by the Southern District of Florida, Great Lakes Reinsurance v. Soveral, provides an example of how this basic rule can impact coverage decisions. The policyholders boat was secured to a dock near the insureds vacation home. The insured did not cover the vessel, so water from rain storms accumulated inside the boat. The constant drain of power from the bilge pump removing the water in the boat caused the boat batteries to fail. When the bilge pump stopped operating due to a lack of power, the boat filled with water and sank.
Our Top Picks For Boat Insurance
- Progressive Best for Policy Discounts
- BoatUs Best for Membership Benefits
- Foremost Best insurance packages
- Wreckage removal and fuel spill cleanup included
- Accident forgiveness and disappearing deductibles
- Coverage limitations for expensive watercraft, and for big boats in hurricane-prone states
Not every insurer includes in its standard coverage the removal of your boat if it is wrecked and damage from fuel spills. Progressive is among those that do, but there are limitations. Wreckage removal is covered only when it is deemed to be legally necessary, and fuel spills only to the limits of your liability coverage.
Progressive boat insurance policies include accident forgiveness which keeps rates from increasing if your claims are for $500 or less. Boaters whove been Progressive customers for at least four years and remained accident-free for three are exempt from rate increase for any boat accident, regardless of the claim amount.
For an additional cost, you may include a disappearing deductibles policy that deducts 25% from your deductible amount for every claim-free period on your boat policy until it reaches zero.
But Progressive has more limitations than some insurers on the vessels they will insure, and where they will do so. Personal watercraft worth more than $27,000 are not covered. In hurricane-prone states, insurance is not available for boats over 35 feet in length or that are worth more than $175,000.
Additional coverage options:
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Types Of Boat Insurance Coverage In Florida
Whether you are cruising, exploring, or fishing along Floridas coastline, there are several ways to enjoy Floridas waterways from the comfort of your boat. However, your boat is not the only watercraft in motion, and coastal waterways can quickly become subject to accidents, which boat insurance can help cover.
While the sunshine state does not require boat owners to have boat insurance in order to drive and enjoy them, several homeowners policies and marinas may require it, especially liability coverage, as your vessel may cause injury to an individual or damage to another boat.
When your boat is not in the water, it may be cruising behind your car on the way to a marina and could wind up damaged in a car accident.
The purpose of insurance is to save you from potentially hefty financial obligations that you may incur if your investments, or in this case your boat, gets damaged in an accident, while docked during hurricane season, or otherwise.
Obtaining boat insurance is the best way to protect your pocketbook and safeguard your investment.
How To File An Insurance Claim For Boat Damage
To help get your life back on track quickly and as stress-free as possible, we try to make the claims process uncomplicated. If you need to file an insurance claim for boat damage, you have options:
1.File your claim with your agent, online, through My Account or give us a call at 1-800-MYAMFAM
2.Youll want to have this information on hand:
- The date and time of the event.
- A brief description of what happened.
3.After you file a boat insurance claim, our on-call team of experts will be on site as quickly as possible, inspecting the damage and making sure you have everything you need to keep your life moving forward.
Can A Boat Insurance Policy Be Extended To Someone Else
Most boat and yacht policies exclude coverage while your boat is chartered to someone else, or used to carry passengers for a fee. Under the right circumstances, a good marine insurance company may extend your coverage to include those situations. So ask first to ensure that you will be properly protected.
Does Boat Insurance Cover Theft
Comprehensive boat insurance covers the theft of the boat itself. Personal possessions carried in the boat may or may not be covered, depending on the policy. Therefore, you should carefully review the comprehensive coverage of your policy to determine exactly what is and is not covered.
If you plan to carry expensive fishing equipment or other items of value, you can purchase one or more additional riders, or policy endorsement, to cover those assets.
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Types Of Boat Insurance Coverage
This will depend on the type of policy, but common coverage add-ons include:
- Specialized Coverage: Coverage for something specific on your boat like an expensive prop or navigation equipment.
- Salvage: Coverage that pays to remove your boat due to damage, from substantial to minor.
- Consequential Damage: Covers a loss that was the result wear and tear rather than an accident .
- Towing: Towing your boat across a body of water to safety can cost $400 per hour.
- Cruising Extension: You can get temporary, additional coverage if you plan on leaving the USA .
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The Key Takeaways From The Post
A standard boat insurance policy will cover collision coverage, liability coverage, and comprehensive coverage in general. Based on the insurance company, you can add/remove coverages in your policy. Thats why you can add additional coverages if you didnt get whats needed in a standard policy.
Similar to a car, boating insurance is essential for your boat. Although most states dont require boat insurance except Arkansas and Utah, it doesnt mean that you dont have to worry about insurance unless you live in one of those two states.
Choose your boat insurance coverages wisely without wasting money on unnecessary coverages.
The above is meant as general information and general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages. These descriptions do not refer to any specific contract of insurance, and they do not modify any definitions, exclusions, or any other provision expressly stated in any contracts of insurance.
We encourage you to speak to your insurance representative and read your policy contract to understand your coverages fully.