Boat Insurance Policies
Boat insurance is available for many types of vessels, such as powerboats, sailboats, yachts, fishing boats, houseboats or even wooden boats. Its often similar to car insurance or homeowners insurance, but not all boat owners carry it. A boater may have to carry insurance if a state requires it, to satisfy a loan through a bank or to moor it in a marina. The only mandatory vessel to carry insurance in the U.S. is a sailboat.
The basic boat insurance policy may include bodily injury liability, property damage liability and physical damage. Bodily injury liability covers injuries your boat inflicts on another party. Property damage liability covers damage your boat causes to other boats, docks or structures. Physical damage covers damage to your boat and trailer.
Specialized coverage is additional coverage that may include uninsured boaters, medical pay, comprehensive, on-water towing, wreckage removal, and total loss replacement. Total loss replacement covers your boat when totaled. It comes in two types, “agreed value” or “actual cash value." An “agreed value” policy covers your boat for its value when the policy was written. “Actual cash value” policy factors in depreciation and you receive the actual value of the boat.
Other factors can affect your policy such as territorial limits. Your policy may only cover boating in inland waters, such as lakes and rivers. To take your boat along coastal waters or to travel out to sea may require extended charter insurance. Your insurance may only cover your boat during a season, like May to September, requiring a lay-up period for winter storage.
Policies can vary by different vessels and specialized coverage can add additional protection by insuring your favorite fishing pole or complete replacement of your boat due to an unfortunate accident. Boating safety combined with a good insurance policy can give you piece of mind, can save you thousands of dollars in unseen loss and allow greater enjoyment in the world of boating.