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Boat Insurance Basics

Boat insurance resembles auto insurance in many ways yet it is also different in many ways too! Unlike auto insurance, many states do not mandate insurance on boats and while it may be tempting to jump in the water without coverage it is generally recommended not to do so. Boat insurance helps protect your boat and property from damage along with injuries you, your passengers or others involved in an accident may face.

What's Covered?

Bodily Injury Liability

Helps pay for the medical expenses of others if your boat was involved in an accident and you were at fault.

Property Damage Liability

Covers the damage caused by you to others property, for example if you hit another boat while out on the water.

Comprehensive Coverage

Helps pay for damage to your boat, motor or trailer from causes other than collision, such as theft, fire or natural disasters.

Collision Coverage

Covers the cost to fix or replace your boat if you hit something like another boat or dock.

Medical Payments

Pays for the medical expenses of you and your passengers in the event of an accident.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

Helps pay for medical and repair expenses if the other boater lacks the insurance to do so.

Boat Towing*

Typically an optional coverage and provides towing and emergency expenses if your boat is disabled while on the water.

Personal Effects*

Extends coverage for fishing or watersports equipment along with personal items such as cell phones and tablets if damaged or lost while on board.

*Typically offered as optional coverages

Keep in Mind

Most boat policies offer many optional coverages or the ability to reduce or remove coverages that are not needed. Feel free to reach out to us to understand your options and for a recommendation on the best fit for your watercraft. A few items to keep in mind are:

  • Discounts are typically available such as: multi-policy, multi-boat, boater safety courses and more.
  • Most homeowners policies include limited coverage that may be suitable for small, inexpensive boats.
  • Actual Cash Value vs Agreed Value – These two types of policies differ in the way they treat the value of your boat. An Agreed Value policy will provide the best protection because the value of your boat is agreed upon at the start of the policy whereas an Actual Cash Value policy will provide a lower premium but uses the current market value of your boat which takes depreciation into account.