The Beginners Guide to Boat Insurance

Personal Finance
a boat covered by boat insurance on clear blue water

If you want to protect your car, you get car insurance. But did you know you can also protect your boat with boat insurance? You can get boat insurance through many of the same places that you get your current coverage. If you’re unsure of where to start, this beginners guide can help gauge when you need boat insurance for your watercraft.

What is boat insurance?

Boat insurance can protect you in cases of damage to or loss of your watercraft. If you accidentally hit the side of some rocks and harm your boat, you can have your insurance pay to fix the issue.

Boat insurance is designed to cover watercrafts like fishing boats, pontoon boats, paddle boats, leisure crafts, and yachts. However, it doesn’t include canoes, kayaks, or personal watercrafts (PWCs). Small watercrafts, known commonly by brand names like Jet Ski and Sea-Doo, are often covered by homeowner’s insurance.

Do you need boat insurance?

Legally, you don’t need to have your boat insured by the state. However, you still may need insurance if you are leasing your watercraft. Furthermore, some marinas may require boater liability insurance, as well as requiring that the marina be listed as an additional insured. While these are reasons you may be required to get boating insurance, it may also be wise if you use your boat in areas that may damage it.

How much does boat insurance cost?

Boat insurance varies quite a bit, just as car insurance does. Not only does it depend on your boat, but the price may also vary based on the style, size, and age of the boat, the size of the motor, whether you’re using it inland or on open seas, and other additional insurance options. For this reason, it’s impossible to give you an estimate, but most insurance companies are happy to give you coverage quotes without any cost or subscription.

What does full coverage boat insurance cover?

Full coverage boat insurance covers a wide variety of things. The first is collision damage, which includes repair or replacement of the boat in the event of damage. This may not cover the clean-up required after a wreck, however. Next, full coverage boat insurance includes coverage of property damage. This coverage pays out if you damage another person’s watercraft.

A few other things you’ll get with your full coverage boat insurance is bodily injury and comprehensive coverage. These two parts cover damage to a person’s physical person, sometimes including medical bills. Comprehensive coverage is one of the most important features because it covers vandalizations, stolen property, or damaged in an accident or collision. Keep in mind that this feature covers a stolen boat but not the personal property within the watercraft.

In addition, you can add coverage for fishing equipment, oil spills, roadside assistance, and damages caused by uninsured boaters. Some insurance may even have coverage for blown engines or engine damage. The best way to check is to ask your boat insurance company.

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