Thursday, May 9, 2024

Does Boat Insurance Cover Towing

What Is The Difference Between Boating Insurance And Auto Insurance

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  • The easiest way and most simple way to explain the difference between boating insurance and auto insurance is this: if you are driving then you are covered by car insurance but if you are in the water then you are covered by boating/boat insurance.
  • Here is where it gets more complicated though: if your boat hits another car, then your liability coverage will most likely cover it. We say most likely because it truly depends on what type of car insurance you have.
  • However, if you are driving and your boat hits another car because the trailer was detached then that is a different problem.
  • In both of these scenarios, however, any damage to your boat will not be covered.
  • In order to protect your boat against any damages, you could try adding a trailer or towing coverage to your car insurance.
  • Before you do this, please make sure that your car insurance actually covers trailers first.

Basic Boat Insurance Coverages

Bodily injury liability

If you cause an accident with your boat and someone is injured, this coverage can help pay their medical bills and loss of income.

Property damage liability

This coverage helps pay for damages to another persons vehicle or property, if you cause an accident with your boat. Pollution liability coverage and wreckage removal are included.


Collision pays for damage to your boat, motor, trolling motor, trailer, and permanent and portable boating equipment if youre in a covered accident with another boat or object.


This coverage can help pay for damage to your boat, motor, trolling motor, trailer, and permanent and portable boating equipment from losses other than collision. This includes damage from fire, theft or storms.

Uninsured motorist

Helps pay for bodily injury damages if you or someone on your boat is injured in a covered accident with an uninsured or hit-and-run boater.

Underinsured motorist

Could pay for bodily injury damages if you or someone on your boat is injured in a covered accident with an underinsured boater.

Medical payments coverage

Med pay can help cover medical bills if you or others are injured while operating or occupying your boat.

Does My Auto Insurance Cover Towing A Boat

If youre a boat owner and want to head out to the water for the weekend, you may be asking if boat trailers are covered under auto insurance. The boat itself will not be covered .

However, if youre in an accident while towing your boat, the damages to your vehicle and the vehicles of anyone else involved will likely be covered by the appropriate collision coverage in a typical auto insurance policy.

If you feel you need protection specifically for your boat, you can speak to a licensed insurance agent about a boat policy.

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What Is Boat Towing Insurance

Boat towing insurance is an add-on policy to your boat coverage that will cover you for various scenarios when your boat needs to be transported.

There are two types of boat towing insurance:

  • On-road towing: This covers the costs of towing, up to your policy limit, if you have a problem while trailering your boat on the road and need it towed. On-road towing is sometimes covered in a standard auto insurance policy, but it is a good idea to check the fine print of your policy to make sure. If your auto insurance doesnt cover boat towing and youre involved in an accident while your boat is hitched up, you could face some major costs to have another company move your vessel.
  • On-water towing: This will cover the costs of towing, up to your policy limit, if you have a problem on the water and need your boat towed in to shore. On-water towing will cover the hauling of your boat to a service area if it is stuck or stalled, runs out of gas or is in an accident. Because on-water towing professionals risk their boats and lives to bring you safely to shore, the price you’ll pay is likely going to be high an uninsured boat towing incident can cost $500 to $1,000 or more. If your boat is disabled due to an accident, the tow can be far pricier. By contrast, boat-towing insurance is typically very reasonable at about $100 to $150 per year, depending on the company you work with.

Is Your Boat Covered By Your Homeowners Policy

Does Car Insurance Cover Towing a Boat?  Best Boat Report ...

Most likely, no. The homeowners policy provides liability coverage for low-horsepower outboard-motor-powered boats. If you have a jet drive, inboard outdrive, or stern drive boat, you would receive no coverage from the homeowners policy.

Your homeowners policy also does not offer coverage for pollution liability, wreckage removal, damage to your boat, towing, emergency assistance, and many of the other great coverages a Safeco watercraft policy provides. Talk with your local independent agent to make sure you understand your risks.

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Why You Need Boat Insurance

Everyone wants to have a safe experience while theyre out on the water, but operating a boat does come with some risks that could result in costly injuries and damages. Insurance could help cover you, your passengers and your boat as well as other people and their property.

Erie Insurance offers coverage for sailboats, powerboats, houseboats, inboard or outboard motorboats and personal watercraft .

Get The Smartest Boat Insurance Coverage

Whether youre just starting out and shopping for boat insurance for your shiny new toy or youre a seasoned boater and youre looking for new insurance, we recommend contacting one of our Endorsed Local Providers . Our ELPs are independent agents who are experts in multiple types of insurance, including boat insurance.

Theyll do the legwork for you, by comparing boat insurance policies, coverage amounts and prices, to get you the best deal.

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

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Does My Car Insurance Cover Boat Damages While My Boat Is In The Water

  • Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no.
  • You do have liability coverage for your boat once it is in transit. However, your auto insurance does not protect you when your boat is damaged in the water. This also goes whether it is your fault or another partys fault.
  • To get your boat protected while in the water, you will need boat insurance with separate personal liabilities.
  • Boat insurance will also give you peace of mind while you are taking your boat out in the water, whether it be a lake or out in the big sea.
  • For those who are interested in more protection, do consider looking into a Personal Umbrella Policy.
  • The Personal Umbrella Policy is great and it will give you a blanket liability protection.

What If Im Hit By An Underinsured Or Uninsured Driver

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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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The Final Word On Auto Insurance Coverage For Towing A Boat

If you are part of an accident where the boat you are towing inflicts damage on another car, then you could be covered by your liability policy for the damages.

However, the coverage will only extend up to your policy limits and will not cover you if the boat was not attached to the car or trailer when the accident occurred.

The reason boat insurance makes sense for avid boaters is that damage to your boat itself is not covered by your standard car insurance policy when you are towing it on public roads.

Consider the advantages of bundling your car and boat insurance through the same insurance company and that you have adequate coverage for the value of your boat.

Boat Insurance Basics: What’s Covered

Learn about boat owners insurance and what the coverage means to you.

Did you know that boat insurance is one of the earliest known forms of insurance? Ancient sailors knew firsthand about the risks of a life at sea and sought to insure their boats against hurricanes and other unpredictable weather and waters. And it still applies today.

Boat insurance policies can vary widely in what they do and do not cover based on a number of considerations, including the type of boat, the waters it will traffic, and how many months of the year the boat will be used. Still, there are a few basic kinds of coverage you can expect to receive, as well as some potential discounts for safe boaters.

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How Much Boat Insurance Do I Need

The amount of boat insurance you need depends on a number of factors, including the boats value, motor size, age, and how you use it. If you have a brand-new high-performance speed boat, you will need more coverage for bodily injury and property damage liability than if you buy a pleasure cruiser.

Insurance professionals recommend buying at least $1,000,000 in liability insurance, and even more if you have a fast, powerful boat that is both riskier and can cause more damage.

For uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, a typical minimum is $10,000. However, the amount you purchase should reflect the potential injuries and damage you may need to cover if you or one of your passengers is seriously hurt, or your vessel is damaged.

Your other coverage amounts, including collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, should be based specifically on the value of your boat.

Does Safeco Offer Actual Cash Value Coverage On Watercraft

Do You Really Need Boating Insurance?

No, we do not. All watercraft polices with physical damage coverage are insured for agreed value, which means you receive that agreed-upon amount if your watercraft is deemed a total loss due to theft, sinking, collision, etc.

With ACV coverage, your boat is subject to depreciation and you likely wouldnt be able to replace your boat with the depreciated settlement amount. Watercraft maintain their value for a long time, so it makes sense to have agreed value coverage.

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Boat Insurance Coverage From Erie Insurance

When something unexpected happens to your boat, ERIE offers coverage1 for:

  • Physical damage to your boat and boating equipment as well as the trailer or outboard motor, if its included in your policy. So if your boat is vandalized or it hits another boat, a rock, a log or a marine obstacle, insurance can help cover the damages.

  • Liability for injuries to other people or harm to property.

  • Medical costs for injuries to you, your family members and others.

With ERIEs boat insurance coverage, weve also built in extras, such as coverage1 for:

  • Emergency services, including towing to the nearest marina if your boat motor breaks down, when youre stranded on the water2 or run out of fuel, oil or battery life.3
  • Certain personal effects in or on the boat, such as clothing or fishing equipment.4
  • Fire extinguisher recharge or replacement after its used to fight a covered fire.5

What Is Boat Insurance

Simply put, boat insurance covers you if your boat is damaged or destroyed.

In 2020, the U.S. Coast Guard counted 5,265 accidents that involved 767 deaths, 3,191 injuries and approximately $62.5 million in damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.1 Thats a lot of damage, and a lot of repair bills!

Depending on individual policy coverage, boat insurance policies cover damage to your own boat or equipment, as well as injuries to people and damage to other boats or property.

Typically, boat insurance covers most watercraft with motors or sails like fishing boats, yachts, sailboats, speedboats, etc. It does not usually cover boats without a motor or sail like canoes and kayaks.

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Consequences Of Operating A Boat Under The Influence

Alcohol use was the leading cause of fatal boat accidents in 2019, according to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Like drinking and driving, operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in every state. Also, federal law prohibits boating under the influence , which the U.S. Coast Guard enforces. This law prohibits all boaters from operating vessels while under the influence, even foreign boats in U.S. waters.

Penalties for drunk boating vary by state and jurisdiction of the waters but can include:

  • Large fines
  • Suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges
  • Suspension or revocation of drivers license
  • Jail time

In addition to facing state and federal penalties, you may get severe consequences from your insurance company. For starters, if you get into an accident as a result of operating a boat under the influence, your insurance company might only pay out a liability claim against you. It might not cover damage to your own boat. Your insurer could also decide to cancel your boat insurance coverage after a drunk boating accident.

If youre convicted of BUI with no accident, your insurer could still drastically raise your boat insurance rates or, worse, cancel coverage. While you might be able to find other boat insurance coverage after a cancellation, youll likely have to pay significantly more for a new boat insurance policy.

Is My Boat Covered Under My Auto Insurance Or Homeowners Insurance Policy

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If youre lucky enough to own a boat and a home and a car, thats awesome. But the key word there is own. If you still owe money on those thingsand especially if you have debt on vehiclesits time to rethink a few things.

When youre on Baby Step 2, every dollar you arent using to keep the Four Walls in place should go toward getting you completely out of consumer debt. We all need a way to get to work, so were not saying you need to sell your car and walk everywhere.

What we are saying is that no vehicleboat, car or otherwiseshould delay your date with debt freedom. So, boats arent in your dock right now, and neither are luxury cars. Downsize to a cheaper car and get intense about eliminating your debt for good ASAP.

Theres also a rule of thumb about things with motors in themyou know, cars, trucks, lawnmowers and boatsthe total dollar value of those items should never add up to more than half of your annual income.

Thats because anything with a motor in it goes down in value quickly. If those numbers dont match up for you, you have too much money tied up in stuff thats plummeting in value. Sooner or later, youll be underwater on all of themand underwater is the last place you want to be on a boat.

For example, say you pull in a yearly salary of $50,000. You also have a $10,000 car and a $20,000 boat. The math says you need to sell one or both of them, even if you own them outright!

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What Is The Difference Between Towing And Salvage

If your battery dies, you run out of gas or your motor fails while on the water, you may need a tow. If your boat is involved in an accident and there is extensive damage that leaves it un-seaworthy, then you will need salvage services.

Damaged boats are more fragile and prone to sinking, so salvage is a more involved towing process that ensures your boat is handled carefully and can get to shore without sinking, capsizing or suffering further damage.

Because salvage is a special towing service, prices on a salvage operation can be extremely high so checking for a salvage provision in your boat towing coverage is wise.

Save on Boat Insurance

Our independent agents shop around to find you the best coverage.

And Don’t Forget The Discounts

The same kinds of factors that apply to your car insurance rates also affect the price of your boat or camper coverage.

For example, if you haven’t filed a claim, you’ll pay less than someone who has. Your driving record also affects the rate you’ll pay.

But you’ll find a lot of familiar discounts as well.

Insurance companies love customers who buy more than one policy, so look for a multi-policy discount if you purchase your boat insurance from the same company that provides your auto insurance or homeowners insurance coverage. You’ll find the same kind of loyalty and early-payment discounts, too.

But some benefits won’t be available on your everyday Camry or Explorer, like:

  • A discount if you take a boating safety course.
  • Emergency expense coverage if your travel trailer is damaged or destroyed while on the road.
  • Campsite liability for any accidents that occur once you’ve parked your travel trailer.

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