There is nothing like enjoying a day in a boat on the water with your family. But when you own a boat, you need to have peace of mind that you are protected with boat insurance. When deciding which type of boat insurance is best for you, you need to know the basics before you can shop for the best policy.
Below, we will discuss the basics of boat insurance and why it should be a top priority for every boat owner.
What is covered by boat insurance?
Boat insurance is similar to car insurance in that it comes with many different types of coverage. The considerations that determine coverage include boat type, areas in which it will be used, and how often it will be used.
Here are the basic types of coverage you can expect to receive with your boat insurance:
Property coverage protects the boat against damage due to an accident. It also protects against theft or sinking, and covers the boat on land and in water.
The property covered can vary by policy, but boat insurance will usually cover:
- Fuel tanks
- Onboard safety equipment
A boat trailer may or may not be covered depending on the policy. You should discuss with your independent insurance agent everything your boat insurance policy covers.
Your boat insurance policy will cover you if your boat damages someone else’s property or injures someone during an accident. This coverage also applies to docks or other structures. It is important to remember to manage your wake properly while boating because large wake can cause damage to property or injury.
Liability coverage for boats typically covers your legal fees if you are sued over an accident or any other problem covered by the policy.
Uninsured watercraft coverage
Just like with car insurance, boat insurance covers you if an uninsured watercraft should strike you or your boat. This coverage will pay your medical bills.
Additional boat insurance coverage
Depending on your boat usage, boat owners may need to purchase additional coverage with their boat insurance. This includes:
- Boat trailers
- Special electronics
- Fishing gear or other special equipment
- Mechanical breakdown
- Professional liability insurance
- Ice and freezing insurance
- Mechanical breakdown
What is not covered by boat insurance?
Boat insurance does not cover everything. That is why it is important to discuss your policy options with your independent insurance agent. Here are some common things that boat insurance does not cover:
- Normal wear and tear
- Zebra mussels
- Damage from bugs
- Manufacturer defects
- Design flaws
Agreed value vs actual cash value for boats
One thing that will affect how much you pay for boat insurance is whether you have “agreed value” or “actual cash value” coverage for your boat. This determines how much you will get reimbursed if you file a boat insurance claim.
Actual cash coverage premiums are cheaper because they will pay you based on the book, or depreciated value, of what your boat is worth at the time of the accident or theft.
Agreed value coverage premiums are typically more expensive because the insurance company agrees in advance how much they are going to pay you in the event of a total loss on your boat.
How to get boat insurance
One of the advantages of using an independent insurance agent for your boat insurance is they can shop for policies that fit you best. They can also help you get discounts, such as:
- Bundling multiple policies
- Completing safety courses
- Having a safe boating record
- Using Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers
Before requesting boat insurance quotes from your agent, use this article to think about the type of coverage you are going to need for your boat. Also think about how you are going to use your boat and any additional boat insurance coverage you may need.
Talk to a Cole Harrison Insurance agent today to determine the best boat insurance policy for you!