Boat Insurance FAQ

Should I include my boat on my homeowners’ insurance? 
We find that it is often for the best to separate your boat insurance from your homeowner’s policy. Many of these policies don’t cover the additional marine-specific risks including salvage, wreck removal, or environmental damages. Most Homeowners’ insurance will only cover inland waterways such as lakes and river. If you intend to boat beyond the coastal inlet, then you will certainly need a marine specific insurer.

What factors affect my policy? 
When determining the terms of a policy many factors are considered including age of the boat, length, value, horsepower, condition, primary residence, boat type, ownership history, where it will operate. 

What are the different types of insurance available?

The two types of insurance are agreed value and actual cash value. An agreed value policy covers the boat based on the value determined when the policy is written. This option typically costs more up front, however there is no depreciation for a total loss. You will typicaly pay a little less up front for an actual cash value policy, however these will only cover the actual value of the boat at the time it is declared a total or partial loss. 

What kinds of watercraft are insurable? 

There are many different policies that can cover a wide variety of watercraft including boats, personal watercraft, yacht, sailboats, dinghies, watercraft rentals, boat clubs, and professional.

What kind of coverage do I need? 
The type of coverage you need is determined by how and where you go boating. An all risk policy offers the best protection, however it does not cover every loss. All risk means that this policy will cover any risk that is not specifically omitted. These exclusions tend to include typical wear and tear, marring, denting, animal damage, manufacturers’ defects, design defects, and freezing. Extra coverage options are also typically available to cover medical payments, personal effects, uninsured boater liability, towing, assistance, and equipment. 

What are the common coverage add-ons?
Additional coverage can be included. These common add-ons are specialized coverage for a specific part of your boat, salvage to remove your boat when damaged, consequential damage to cover a loss caused by normal wear and tear, towing when your boat no longer runs, and cruising extension for additional, temporary coverage when leaving the USA.

How do I make a claim?
It is always a good idea to be prepared in case you need to make a claim. Although you are not required to carry proof of your insurance, we highly suggest keeping claim information handy in case of an emergency. When shopping for policies, always make sure to ask how the claim process works. You may also want to find out if a representative will be immediately available in the case that you need help dealing with a claim such as arranging towing or salvaging. 

What factors affect the cost of my insurance?
Some of the factors that determine the cost of your insurance may include where you boat, boating safety education, driving records (both on land and on the water), liability limits, deductible, and towing insurance requirements. 

What should I expect from my insurer if a storm is approaching?
If your primary boating location is in a hurricane zone, you may be expected to provide a hurricane plan. This plan should cover where you will store your boat in the case of an emergency – on land in a facility or into a safe harbor? This plan can affect your rates, and if a storm approaches this plan can affect your coverage. 

How do I reduce the cost of insurance?
Since many factors determine your insurance costs, there are many ways to reduce it. You may receive discounts for storing your boat in the winter, good driving records, taking a boating class, and boating in fresh water. These are just a few of the ways that you can manage your insurance, so be sure to discuss this with your insurer. 

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