There are lots of hidden costs associated with owning a boat; dock fees, maintenance, and
winter storage, to name a few. One cost boat owners should never skimp on is purchasing
the best available insurance policy for their watercraft.
Since buying a boat is a huge investment, owners should protect their boat with comprehensive insurance coverage. Plans are often based on the type and size of the boat.
Many homeowner’s insurance policies provide limited coverage for property damage if the
boat’s engine is less than 25 mph horsepower or if it is a small sailboat, but without additional insurance, no liability coverage is included. Owners of larger, more powerful boats and yachts will need to purchase a separate insurance policy for their boat. The insurance company will take into account the size and type of boat, its value, and where the boat sails when drawing up the conditions and cost of the policy. Separate boat and watercraft insurance policies provide much more coverage to the owner. These policies generally include loss and damage coverage to the boat’s hull,machinery, furnishings, fittings, and any permanently attached equipment, like a navigation system.
Liability coverage is extended to:
• Bodily injury to other persons
• Damage to other’s property
• Legal expenses associated with non-consensual operation
of the boat
• Medical costs for injuries to the owner and passengers
• Boat theft
Policyholders can choose the liability limits of their plan and policies can be individualized based on the boat owner’s needs. Other coverages can be added to cover the boat’s
trailer, fishing gear, and other accessories. Also, make sure to ask whether or not the policy covers the boat while it is being towed.
Discounts for watercraft policies apply in certain cases. For example, insurance companies favor diesel-powered engines over gasoline ones because diesel fuel is more stable, making the engine safer to operate. Having items like approved fire extinguishers and ship-to-shore radio equipment could reduce the amount of the premium. Also, completing a boater’s safety course can gain some favor with the insurance company. Maintaining a clean boating record is just as important as being accident-free on the roadways, when it comes to lowering insurance rates. Premiums are usually discounted for every two years the boater goes without an accident or filing a claim. Bundling your watercraft insurance with homeowner’s and vehicle policies is another good way to save money on coverage costs. A solid insurance policy gives boaters the peace of mind needed to set sail and enjoy the open waters. Nothing is more relaxing than knowing your investment is covered.