Whether you have a small fishing boat, a pontoon, or a luxury catamaran, your boat is likely one of your prized possessions. Much like insurance for your home or vehicle, boat insurance can protect your investment.
Do you need boat insurance?
Many homeowner’s insurance policies cover boats, but only up to an extremely limited amount. The maximum coverage is typically $1,000. In some cases, it may go up to 10% of the home’s insured value.
Liability coverage — which pays for damages your boat causes to others — is rarely, if ever, covered under home insurance, so most of the time it is in your best interest to get a dedicated boat insurance policy.
What does a boat insurance policy cover?
Boat insurance is typically offered in coverage amounts ranging from $15,000-300,000. It covers damage caused by collisions, fires, theft, vandalism, and lightning. Anchors and other equipment that are permanently attached to the boat are also covered.
The liability portion of boat insurance policies covers damage to another person’s boat or other property, as well as medical payments and related expenses if someone on your boat is injured.
Some policies also include mechanical breakdown coverage. This covers the cost to repair or replace your boat’s motor as long as it’s not caused by normal wear and tear.
What isn’t covered under boat insurance?
Damage caused by sharks or any other animals, including insects, is not covered by boat insurance. Defective equipment, or damage caused by defective equipment, is also not covered.
Many boat owners keep expensive fishing equipment and coolers on their boats. Unless they’re permanently attached to the boat, they likely are not covered. Ask your insurance agent about additional coverage to insure these items.