Boat Insurance FAQs
Boat Insurance – Don’t get caught without it!
We’re all more than familiar with Auto Insurance. Without it, like it or not, we’re not going anywhere. Well, legally anyway. And it today’s world, you’d pretty much have to be crazy to drive without it. The penalties are far too severe.
And for the most part, it’s basically the same when it comes to operating your boat without insurance. We’re all well aware that things can and often do happen when you least expect it. And to not be prepared is simply a recipe for disaster.
The following is a list of Boat Insurance FAQs that will help to explain the many benefits of having boat insurance.
What Is Boat Insurance?
Boat Insurance covers you in the event of a loss or damage to your boat. It covers most watercraft with motors, including fishing boats, pontoon boats, paddle boats, leisure crafts and yachts. Boat insurance does not usually cover canoes, kayaks or personal watercrafts (PWCs).
For small watercrafts, you may find some limited coverage under your homeowner’s policy. You may also be able to add a special endorsement or buy separate coverage.
What Does Boat Insurance Cover?
Your boat insurance policy may include the following:
- Collision damage: Includes repair or replacement of your boat, but may or may not include clean-up of wreckage unless you purchase optional additional coverage.
- Property damage liability: Covers damage you might cause to someone else’s boat, a dock, or other property or structures.
- Bodily injury liability: Covers injury you might cause someone while using your boat; includes medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and legal expenses.
- Comprehensive: Provides compensation if your boat is vandalized, stolen, or damaged in an incident other than a collision.
- Additional coverage options: Coverage for medical payments, fishing equipment, oil spills, personal property and roadside assistance, as well as damages and injuries from accidents caused by boaters who are uninsured or underinsured.
The amount of compensation you receive for a claim depends on a few things, including your deductibles, limits and whether your boater’s insurance covers your boat’s actual cash value, replacement cost or agreed upon value.
How Does Boat Insurance Work?
When you buy boat insurance, you must decide on the amount of coverage you need for your boat, the deductible (maximum out of pocket expense per claim) and the types of coverage you need. In the event that you have an accident, experience a theft, or have another loss that is covered under your policy, you can file a claim and receive a payment covering the loss.
As an example, if you were in an accident with another boat that caused serious damage to your vessel, one of the following things would most likely occur, depending upon the insurance coverage you and the other boater own and the laws in your state:
- If you were at fault, your boat liability insurance would cover the damage up to the limits of the policy.
- If the other boater was at fault, his coverage would pay for your damages, up to the limits of his policy.
- If the other boater was at fault, but did not have boat insurance, or did not have enough to cover your expenses, uninsured/underinsured boaters coverage could cover the damages (if you have that coverage in place).
How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost?
The cost of boat insurance varies depending on:
- The state you live in
- The type, size, and age of the boat you wish to insure
- The size of motor and how it is powered
- Whether you are using it on inland waters or the open seas
- Whether you have selected additional coverage options
- In general, boat insurance can range anywhere from as little as $75 to as much as $500 per year.