Boat Insurance 101

Carl Chandler |
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What is boat insurance?

Boat insurance covers you in the event of a loss or damage to your boat. It covers most watercrafts with motors, including fishing boats, pontoon boats, paddle boats, leisure crafts and yachts. Boat insurance does not usually cover canoes, kayaks or personal watercrafts (PWC).

For small watercrafts, you may find some limited coverage under your homeowners policy. You may also be able to add a special endorsement or buy separate coverage. Contact an independent agent for assistance with all of your boat 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 damage 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. 

If 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.

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 have 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, their coverage would pay for your damage, up to the limits of their 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 damage (if you had that coverage in place).

 

To find more answers to your boat insurance questions visit: https://www.trustedchoice.com/boat-insurance/coverage-faq/

TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green

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