Boat Insurance: Essential for Your Peace of Mind

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Property damage on boats has been on the increase in recent years, according to information provided by the U.S. Coast Guard. There are some states that now require you to have insurance if you own a boat. If you have a slip in a marina, or if you take out a loan to purchase your boat, you will be likely to be required to have insurance on your boat. Even if there is not a circumstance that requires boat insurance, it’s still a good idea.

Types of Insurance Coverage for Boats:

The types of coverage you’ll want to look at for your boat include: liability, theft, physical damage, medical payments, trailer coverage, docking fenders, motor coverage, boat covers and communications devices. The discounts you may receive include those for newer boats, burglar alarms, automatic fire extinguishers, ship to shore marine radios, and a discount for drivers who have taken approved boater education courses. Since no two boats have the same exact usage and extras, check with your boat insurance agent to see if there is other coverage you may need, and for any other discounts you may be eligible for.

There is a difference between coverage for liability and physical damage to your boat, but these two form the base for a marine insurance policy. The liability portion covers any legal obligations you may have to third parties, due to property damage, loss of life, or injuries. Physical damage will reimburse the owner for damage caused to any part of the boat or its machinery. The most inclusive physical damage policy is called “all risk” coverage, which will cover any cause of damage that is not excluded specifically from your policy, like vandalism, wind storms and dock collisions.

Experienced boaters and boat insurance agents recommend for you to select a policy that will cover your boat even when it is in transport on a trailer, or being stored. In addition, when you compare coverage for physical damage, check to be sure whether your insurance settlements will be based on actual cash value or agreed value.

Actual cash value takes depreciation into account, including the boat’s condition at the time of the loss. This is lesser coverage, but the premium is generally lower. Agreed value will reimburse you for the amount listed within your policy if your boat is a total loss.

There are other coverages you can add into your boat insurance policy. Medical payment coverage will pay for first aid, hospital and ambulance bills in case you have an accident. It will also cover any passengers who may be injured while on your boat.

Towing and assistance coverage will pay for emergency assistance use, including emergency repairs while you are underway, towing of your boat or delivery of fuel to your boat while you are at sea.

Personal property insurance will reimburse you for any loss of your own personal effects, like fishing gear, clothing and more.

Uninsured boater coverage will compensate you, as well as your passengers, if you sustain injuries from the driver of a boat who does not carry any liability insurance.

The cost of your boat insurance will depend on various factors, including how much the boat’s assessed value is, how long it is, the type of boat it is (power or sail), the location where you moor it, the area where you use the boat, and the amount of your deductible. There are ways to reduce your premium, such as acceptance of a higher deductible, reducing the areas where you boat, the installation of safety devices, and making sure that your policy covers layup periods, when your boat isn’t in the water.

When you shop for yacht and boat insurance, compare the various quotes you receive, and speak to experts in the field of boat insurance. If you deal with a company that doesn’t insure many boats, the agent may overlook essential coverage that you need

About the Author

Jane Warren is a boater and water sport enthusiast. Because of her involvement in boating and water activities, Jane publishes a website with reviews of water towables, and other high quality boating and water sports products. Garmin GPS handheld units are included, along with Celestron waterproof binoculars.

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