Standard boat insurance coverages and benefits
Full replacement cost
If you carry comprehensive and collision coverage, it will pay what it costs to return your watercraft to its pre-accident condition or better.
Example: You hit a submerged object, damaging your 10-year old motor. It may only be valued at $3,000 but costs $8,000 to replace. If we can’t repair it, the insurance company will replace it.
Bodily injury & property damage liability (BI/PD)
Bodily injury liability covers you if you’re in a boat accident and liable for injuring others. Liability boat insurance also pays to repair or replace any watercraft, object or other property you damage while boating, plus legal expenses if you’re sued.
Example: You crash your boat into the pier when trying to dock it, causing thousands in damage and injuring people on the pier. Liability will pay for the pier damage and people’s injuries up to your policy’s limits.
Most insurance companies pays for fuel spills, no matter how the spill happened: sunken boat, leaking tank, or a mishap at the fueling station.
Example: Your boat sinks in a nature reserve and the government issues you a fine-claiming your fuel spill threatens marine life and makes the water unsanitary. The insurance company will pay the fine up to your policy’s limits.
If your boat sinks, the insurance company will cover the cost of removing your boat from the water (if removal is legally required).
Example: In a heavy storm, your docked boat sinks, so the marina mandates that you remove it or pay a fine. The insurance company will take care of removing your boat, so you can avoid any fees.
This coverage comes standard if you have trailer coverage on your policy—the insurance company will pay to tow your disabled vehicle to the nearest repair shop.
Example: You’re hauling your boat to the lake, and your vehicle breaks down or runs out of gas. We’ll pay to tow your vehicle and watercraft to the nearest repair shop.
Water sports coverage
Water sports coverage pays for any injuries or damages you caused from tubing, knee boarding, wake boarding, wake surfing or other similar activities. Parasailing, kite boarding or other activities in which someone is pulled through the air won’t be covered.
Example: Your child’s friend is injured while tubing on your boat. Water sports coverage will kick in and pay for their medical bills up to your policy’s limits.
Optional boat insurance coverages
Total loss replacement
Available for purchase by some companies if you’re the original owner of your boat and it’s no more than one model year old. Usually If your boat is totaled within 5 model years, the insurance company will buy you a new one or give you the amount that you originally paid for your totaled boat—your choice. If you’re outside the 5 model-year window, usually the insurance company will still give you the original purchase price of your boat.
Example: You bought a new boat 3 years ago for $15,000, but it’s now only worth $10,000. If you have a total loss, it’s going to cost you at least $15,000 to buy a brand new one. So, we’ll spend the $15,000 and save you $5,000 in depreciation.
If your boat is disabled or breaks down on the water, boat towing insurance pays for on-water towing, jump starts, soft un-groundings, and fuel delivery if your boat is disabled on the water.
Fishing equipment or carry-on items
You can get full replacement cost up to a specified limit for fishing equipment and up to a specified limit for personal property such as scuba gear, phones or other items that you carry on board and are lost or stolen.
Example: $5,000 worth of fishing equipment is stolen from your boat, but it’s a few years old and only worth $2,000. The insurance company pays what it costs to buy brand new equipment (of similar models). That could be $5,000 or even more.
Mechanical Breakdown Coverage
The insurance company will pay to repair or replace the lower unit of an outboard motor, or upper & lower units of an inboard/outboard motor if you have a mechanical breakdown. Depending on the insurance company, general wear and tear may be covered.
Example: Your 10-year old lower unit simply runs its course and dies on you. Typically, insurance wouldn’t pay for that because wear and tear is not covered. This coverage is different. With mechanical breakdown coverage, if it can’t be repaired, the insurance company will replace it with a brand new one.
Comprehensive & collision
These are two separate coverages. Comprehensive covers events out of your control, such as theft, vandalism, sunken boat, fires, heavy winds, hurricanes, and other weather-related damage. Collision covers damage from boating accidents, such as hitting a submerged object, dock, another boat, and even covers any injuries to pets on your boat, etc.
Example: Heavy winds rip the sails off your boat, causing thousands in damage. If you have comprehensive, we’ll pay for the damage, minus your deductible.
Example (Collision): You hit a submerged object and damage your boat. The insurance company willl pay for damage to your boat, minus your deductible..
Uninsured/underinsured boater (UB/UIB)
If you’re hit by a boater with no insurance or not enough insurance, UB/UIB will pay for your injuries and damages up to your policy’s limits.
Example: Another boater without insurance hits you and injures everyone on board. The boater is uninsured and can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket for the injuries caused. UB/UIB will pay for what the boater is liable for, up to the limits you select.
You can pick a range of coverage limits to pay for you and your passengers’ medical bills if you’re in an accident or someone is hurt on your boat.
Example: You’re fishing and accidentally cut your hand with a sharp hook. You need stitches and have an expensive medical bill. Your health insurance company says they won’t pay the bill because you haven’t reached your deductible. So you can instead use your medical payments coverage, which has no deductible.
Trailer trip interruption
Pays your expenses if you break down at least 100 miles from home. The insurance company will reimburse you up to a specified limit to cover food, hotel, and other transportation costs.
Why you need specialized boat insurance coverage
Boat insurance is not required in all states. However, if you finance your boat or dock it at a marina, you may be required to have a specialty boat policy. Get more information on boat insurance requirements.
Off the water, you may be able to insure your boat on your homeowners policy. But homeowners policies typically cover small low-powered watercraft and offer few optional coverages. With us, you’ll get all the coverages listed above (or the option to select them).