If you’re lucky enough to own a powerboat or a sailboat, chances are, you’re awfully protective of your prize possession. But, have you ever looked into the details to determine exactly how you can get the best insurance coverage for your watercraft?
If you’ve been asking around and you’ve been told “just add the boat to your homeowners policy”, you should be very skeptical. While this is certainly an option, nearly all homeowners insurance policies have specific exclusions for certain types of watercrafts.
Generally speaking, any boat or watercraft that’s larger than 26 feet in length is not covered by a homeowners policy. You would need a specific Boat or Watercraft Insurance policy.
How insurance companies define “boat”
In the insurance world, “boats” are usually smaller powerboats and sailboats. Standard policies for boats cover damage to the craft, usually on what is called an “all-risk” basis. In this case, all-risk includes damage caused by fire, lightning, theft, vandalism and windstorms.
The coverage is usually available for the boat itself, outboard motor(s), the boat’s trailer and personal property on the craft that is part of the normal operation of the vessel. Some insurers offer separate coverage for fishing equipment, cell phones and computers that are aboard the boat.
The standard boat policy also provides liability coverage, which is usually offered in increments of $100,000 to as much as $1 million. Therefore, it is similar to auto insurance liability in terms of what is available.
Most standard policies also cover medical expenses incurred by you, your family and any other passengers on the boat. Some policies also provide coverage for injuries caused by uninsured boaters or by those boaters who don’t have enough insurance. If this sounds like uninsured motorist coverage in an auto insurance policy, it basically serves the same purpose.
Tip. If you’re in need of boat or watercraft insurance, it’s wise to consider only those policies that offer this coverage – it’s very unlikely that your homeowners policy will adequately protect your watercraft. Discuss this with your agent.
If you’d like to learn more, contact one of our Licensed Advisors . We’re here to help.