Insurance policies for watercraft are commonly referred to as Boatowners policies and Yacht policies. The coverages usually provided by boatowners and yacht insurance policies are physical damage, liability and medical payments.
- Boatowners policies are typically used to cover smaller watercraft usually less than 26 feet.
- Yacht policies provide coverage for more expensive watercraft and those that are larger than 26 feet.
Physical damage coverage typically allows for the repair or replacement of your boat if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, theft, lightning, vandalism, collision or windstorm (including damage from hurricanes and tornadoes). Covered items include the boat itself, inboard and outboard motors, the boat’s trailer, and may include some personal property kept aboard the boat. However, your personal effects (items not used in the normal operation of your boat and not permanently attached) are not covered. Some insurance companies offer separate coverage (requiring an additional premium) for fishing equipment, cell phones and computers that you use aboard the boat.
Your liability coverage will pay for bodily injury and property damage for which any covered individual becomes legally responsible. This coverage generally includes a provision to remove or destroy a wrecked or sunken vessel, if required by law. The boatowners and yacht insurance policies may also contain a “life salvage” provision, which will reimburse the costs incurred by others to save the lives of insureds involved in a boating accident.
This coverage pays for reasonable and necessary medical and funeral expenses due to a boating accident. The coverage is usually limited to $1,000 per person; however, the limit may be increased for an additional premium.
consumer guide to insuring your boat