Why Boating Insurance is a Good Idea

For many, a summer is not complete unless the boat is in the water. Any boat owner should be aware that there are some risks involved with the activity of boating. For instance, that shiny new fiberglass hull could easily run into floating debris, turning it into floating debris. Boats are not immune to the common losses of fire, theft, or storm damage. Your home-owner’s policy might provide coverage on a limited basis for a boat, however it is subject to some specific circumstances that you should be aware of. The following should be considered if you choose to forgo separate insurance for a watercraft and seek coverage under your home-owner’s policy:

– Boats are subject to specific causes of loss, and not all of the covered causes include the most common boating accidents
– If your boat is damaged by windstorm or hail, there is no coverage unless the damage occurred while the boat was inside a fully enclosed building
– There is no coverage for a stolen boat unless it was stolen from your “residence premises”
– Coverage under standard home-owner’s forms is limited to $1,000.

As you can see, the standard home-owner’s policy was not designed to provide a lot of coverage for damage to your boat. Let’s say however, that you have an old clunker, or you’ve got a little dinghy, and you are not worried about damaging it. In this case, you only need to consider what property damage or injuries you may cause in the operation of your boat. Liability exposures are again limited under a standard home-owner’s form:

– An inboard motorboat that you own is not covered.
– An inboard motorboat that you rent is covered IF it is less than 50 horsepower.
– Your outboard motorboat is covered, as long as the motor is less than 25 horsepower.
– Your sailboat is covered, as long as it is less than 26 feet.

To help your home-owner’s policy, there are endorsements you can purchase that are added to the policy such as an Outboard Motorboat Floater Endorsement, or a Watercraft Endorsement. These will increase the coverages on your boat, but a separate Boat-owner’s or Yacht policy will provide the most comprehensive coverage for your floating craft.

Make sure your agent is aware of the type of watercraft you own, and when you are going to use it. The latter is especially important because some policies are subject to seasonal use limitations