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Home » Should you Purchase Watercraft Insurance?
June 15, 2012

Should you Purchase Watercraft Insurance?

Your homeowners coverage has a broad reach and can extend into covering your watercraft in certain situations. This should not, however, be confused with the more specific coverages offered by a separate, watercraft insurance policy.

Boat Owners/ Watercraft Package Policy
Boat Owners or Watercraft Package coverage is a combination of property liability and medical payments insurance. This type of policy will generally pay actual cash value on damages under the limit. Package policies can be very restrictive about the size of watercraft they will insure and the coverage may be excluded under certain uses, such as boat races.

Personal Yacht Policies
Larger boats and some sailboats may exceed the vessel length limits of certain policies and instead will need to be covered under a personal yacht policy. This coverage includes bodily injury and property damage liability which is called protection and indemnity within the yacht policy. It will also cover medical payments coverage, workers compensation insurance for any maritime workers you employ for boat and harbor operations, boat trailer insurance and hull insurance. For an additional amount, you can also add collision insurance to your yacht policy.

Outboard Motor and Boat Insurance
In order to cover risks to your motor and any subsequent loss as well as accessories, trailer or the vessel hull, there is outboard motor and boat insurance. Once again, damages are usually paid out as actual cash value, so depreciation could affect any claims settlements. This policy may also offer limited protection in the event of a collision with another vessel.

Personal Watercraft
Boats are not the only type watercraft that may need coverage. Jet skis, Wave runners and other small personal watercraft also need to have some coverage outside that extended by a homeowners policy.

  • All-Risk Coverage: At any time, your personal watercraft could be exposed to fire, theft, collision and other physical damages. All-risk coverage covers all of these risks, and more.
  • Roadside Assistance: Since personal watercrafts are used on the water, many people ignore the possibility that they may need a tow eventually. But if you run out of fuel or have a mechanical breakdown in the water, you might need a towing service to help you out. This service may be reimbursed by the coverage.
  • Replacement Cost Coverage: You can get a new personal watercraft replacement within a certain time frame (specified in your insurance contract) if you have damages that result in a total loss.
  • Medical Payments: If you injure another individual, one who is riding your personal watercraft with you or one who is on another craft that you collide with, medical payments coverage offers a no-fault source of damage protection.

Those with boat or personal watercraft insurance should examine their policy closely for exclusions. Some policies might exclude damages that result from waterskiing, towing certain items, engine power upgrades and/or damages that occur outside of navigational limits.

Boats and personal watercraft may be used exclusively for pleasure, but that doesn’t mean they are all fun and games. They need proper maintenance, accurate and serious handling, and liability-reducing insurance policies in order to ensure a long, fun lifespan and prevent them from becoming a burden to you and your family. Contact us to discuss your options for your boat insurance coverage.

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