Extra Insurance Options for Your Boat
What Does Basic Boat Insurance Cover?
Basic boat insurance policies cover:
Physical Damage covers damage to and loss of the boat due to fire, wind, hail, falling objects, smoke, lightning, theft, vandalism and more.
Liability covers bodily injury and property damage the driver may cause while operating the boat.
Guest Passenger Liability covers injuries and damage a guest driver may cause while operating the boat with the insured boat owner’s permission.
Medical Payments coverage provides medical expense compensation for the driver and their passengers after an accident.
You may adjust your coverages in order to fit your specific boats. Larger boats with more modifications will generally need higher coverage limits than smaller, simpler boats.
Sometimes, basic coverage isn’t enough. It’s important to consider the unique aspects of your boat when it comes to insurance, as not everything is covered by a basic boat insurance policy.
Important additional coverages to consider include:
Trailer Insurance covers the trailer used to transport the boat in case of damage.
Boat Accessories Insurance covers certain fixtures and accessories added to the boat such as fuel tanks, permanent motors, horns, anchors and more.
Loss or Theft of Belongings provides compensation for personal belongings that are lost or damaged while left on the boat.
Towing coverage helps with the cost of towing the boat.
If you believe your boat needs more liability limits than offered by the original policy, you can also purchase an umbrella liability insurance policy. Umbrella liability insurance covers gaps left by your other liability coverages, including car insurance and home insurance liability. For example, say you throw a birthday party on your boat with around fifty people. While out on the water, you accidentally crash into another boat, resulting in $2 million in damages and bodily injury. Your regular boat insurance policy only covers $1 million, leaving the remaining $1 million. Umbrella liability insurance will step in to cover the rest of this cost so you don’t have to struggle to pay it out of pocket.
Does Home Insurance Cover Boats?
Home insurance provides some coverage for boats, but it’s very minimal. Most home insurance policies only offer $10,000 in boat insurance coverage for damage, theft and loss while the boat is located in a driveway or garage. This insurance isn’t nearly enough to cover accidents that occur on the water or injuries that may occur as a result of such accidents.
How Much is Boat Insurance?
The average cost of boat insurance ranges between $300 and $500 a year. Basic policies tend to cost less, though they leave you open to expenses related to damages and injuries. Adding coverage may raise your rates, but also provides more compensation in case of an accident.
Raising your deductible can lower your monthly premiums, but it also means paying more out of pocket when it comes time to file a claim. Be sure to accurately calculate the replacement cost of your boat and its accessories in order to purchase the best amount of insurance for your boat.
Some policies are actual cash value policies, which provide compensation for loss of or damage to the boat and its accessories while accounting for depreciation. This means that as the value of the boat goes down, so does the amount of compensation you will receive. Other policies are agreed amount value policies, which don’t account for depreciation.