Do You Need Boat Insurance for Your Craft?

Boat Insurance, TJ Woods Insurance Agency, Worcester, MAEven more than homes or cars: boats – and watercraft in general – come in a staggering array of shapes, sizes, and roles. From single person personal watercraft to marina yachts, their housing, transportation, and costs vary widely. With such varied values and risks, and different locations for these risks to occur, it can be difficult for owners to judge the risk and necessity to insure the watercraft, especially when both Homeowners’ Insurance and Car Insurance can also provide coverages. This article goes over what coverage these insurances provide, as well as situations where you’ll need additional coverage.

Using Your Homeowners’ Insurance

Homeowners’ insurance is one of those policies that have many coverages, some of them very oblique. One of these coverages is for your watercraft: while some homeowner’s insurance policies might include exclusions, these watercraft are property, and generally somewhat covered under homeowners insurance. You’ll need to consult with your insurance provider about exact coverage, but certain limitation apply.

  • Homeowner’s Insurance provides limited damage coverage (usually the first $1000 or 10%).
  • Insurance may be limited to loss incurred while the watercraft is at home.
  • Liability, especially occurring outside of your home, is usually not covered.
  • Canoes, small sail, and 25 per hour or less small power boats are most likely to be covered.

In addition, Renter’s insurance may provide similar coverages.

Using Your Car Insurance

While Homeowner’s Insurance mostly provides protection while your boat is stored at home, when you’re transporting your vehicle it’s your auto insurance that is up to bat. In fact, your auto insurance will almost always supersede any other policies on your boat when it’s in a trailer your vehicle is pulling. This is true with anything your vehicle trailers. However, with a car accident potentially causing damage to the vehicle, trailer, and watercraft, your current auto policy might not be enough. To augment the coverage an umbrella insurance policy can be purchased.

Boat Insurance

At the most basic level, boat insurance is to watercraft what auto insurance is to cars. And while the daily use and sheer number of vehicles on the road have required car insurance to be mandatory, boating insurance is not. So why get it? For the same reason you have car insurance beyond that it’s required: it helps cover the cost of liability and losses. Below are some common examples:

  • Damage to the boat due to collision with other watercraft, terrain, or property.
  • Liabilities and payments due to bodily injury, medical payments, and passenger liability.
  • Damage to your vehicle due to vandalism and robbery, or theft of the watercraft.

Note that most policies have a “navigational warranty”, which makes the insurance only valid in certain places, most commonly in inland or coastal waters of the US and Canada, or for larger boats geographical points throughout the seas.

You can learn more about boat insurance on our website. The TJ Woods Insurance Agency is an old hand when it comes to insuring boats in the New England: let us help you too. Contact us today to learn about your options and coverage, and for your free quote.