Usually this time of year, we start getting the calls for boat quotes. While the weather hasn't given us much cooperation to get out on the water we do look forward to the boating season. Here are some basics about boat insurance.
Your standard homeowner's policy gives you limited liability coverage arising from the use of small boats and sail boats. The policy will cover your small vessel for liability as long as the engine is 25hp or less or is a sailboat less than 26ft in length. Canoes, Kayaks and Paddleboats are also covered for liability since they do not have engines.
The standard home policy also give you $1,000 in coverage for the watercraft itself including its trailers, furnishings, outboard engines and equipment. Many homeowners policies often have enhancements that increase this level up to $3,000 so check your policy.
While you may have some automatic coverage provided by your homeowner policy for a small boat, if you do not fall into the categories above you do have some options.
Many homeowners companies have special watercraft program enhancements available that expand the coverage up to the actual cash value of your boat & trailer and will insure boats up to 32' that travel 50mph or less. You would want to check your specific company to see if the coverage is available.
Another and probably better way to insure a boat is on a watercraft policy. Specific boat policies will often give coverage that homeowner policy does not such Agreed Value on the hull, Total Loss Settlement with Replacement Cost, pollution liability, wreck removal, and towing/assistance. If you've ever had to call the coast guard for a haul out, it is not cheap! Many boat companies also allow for waterskiing and other sports liability whereas homeowner policies may restrict such activities on in their programs. They will often also insure boats that don't meet the homeowner programs such as Pontoon Boats, high performance vessels, Yachts, jetskis, inflatables, boats that exceed 50mph and fishing boats that have a need for extra coverage for expensive fishing gear.
If it's time for you to get the boat out of storage and would you like to discuss your boat insurance options, please give us a call at 1-978-352-8000. We are boaters ourselves and are happy to discuss all your boating and personal watercraft needs!
(This is me, on my insured boat with a largemouth bass)