Everything You Should Know About Boat Insurance

Owning a boat can be an amazing experience. The love of boating will take you out on the water and to new destinations where anything can happen. Anything. That’s why it’s smart to buy insurance to go along with your new investment. Operating, or even docking, your new vessel without having it insured can lead to a devastating loss. So, where do you begin?

First, it’s important to know that there are over 75 million people on the waters around the country. That’s a vast opportunity for unfortunate accidents to occur, which can all lead to property damage, injuries, long-term disabilities, and even fatalities. If you’re thinking this sounds very much like we’re talking about traffic accidents, that’s because they can be very similar in terms of insurance and civil lawsuits. This is why it’s just as important to insure your vessel as it is to insure your car or truck.

Many of the same companies that insure motor vehicles also offer boat insurance. Protection is provided by Allstate, Geico, The Hanover Insurance Group, Progressive, State Farm, and Travelers, just to name a few liability insurers that cover boats. No matter which company you choose, the policy to insure your boat will depend greatly on the type of vessel you own. Smaller boats will have policies similar to auto policies, while larger yachts will be covered by more expansive policies, resembling your homeowners policy.

Homeowners Insurance Won’t Cover Your Boat

While some boat insurance policies may resemble your homeowners policy, that’s not to say your existing homeowner’s insurance will cover your vessel. Those new to boat ownership presume that their homeowners policy will cover their vessel, but that’s just not true. In some circumstances, usually where it’s a very small boat without an engine, or one with a minimal engine, the homeowners policy may cover it, but it’s otherwise necessary to purchase additional coverage.
Mitch Jawitz of The Hanover Insurance Group says even a $10,000 to $20,000 boat is going to require a policy of its own. Aside from the cost of the vessel, the fact that it’s mobile points to the need for a different kind of insurance coverage. Just as your homeowner’s policy doesn’t provide protection for your car, neither will it cover your boat.
It’s not all bad news, however. Many insurance companies offer bundling packages to lighten the burden on customers. By going to one insurance company for all of your needs, you can get discounts on all of your policies. For instance, Travelers can insure a 30 foot boat with a 10% discount and provide a 15% discount on your homeowner’s or auto insurance.