Boat insurance

Looking at various boat insurance coverage options

With a boat, your life expands. You can travel to places near and far, swim with exotic marine life and live life at a slower pace—or rack up the thrills by careening over open waters. Of course, as with anything in life, owning a boat comes with some risks. You can minimize them to a certain extent, but the possibility of events such as theft, storms or sinking still remains. Similarly, there is the possibility that a passenger could get injured on your boat or that your vessel would damage another.

Getting boat insurance helps protect your boat, and yourself, in numerous scenarios. That way, you can relax and sail off into the sunset without a care on your mind. This type of insurance need not be expensive, either. In fact, it is possible to get adequate coverage for only $100 a year. Costs do depend on the type of boat you have, such as a powerboat, a sailboat, a pontoon, a bass boat or something else.

Check out potential costs yourself by getting a boat insurance quote now. Or, stick around to read up on the various types of coverage available for your boat. The more you know, the better your chances at obtaining thorough and cheap boat insurance.

Wreckage removal insurance

If your boat gets into an accident and some or all of the wreckage needs to be removed or towed, wreckage removal insurance takes care of these costs. Otherwise, they could be prohibitive.


Trailer coverage

Boats are not always on the water. In fact, you may need to tow them in a trailer to get them to rivers, lakes or oceans. With trailer coverage, you are protected if the trailer gets damaged.


Uninsured watercraft

Not all boat owners have insurance, and that can end up costing you greatly if they hit you. For example, you could have to pay for your own medical bills, lost wages and much more. With uninsured watercraft coverage, though, you have much more protection against every craft in the waters, not just those that are insured.


Water sports liability

A general liability policy typically covers water sports such as waterskiing or wakeboarding. After all, if you’re on a boat surrounded by water, why not do more than just boat? To be sure your general liability policy covers water sports, check with your agent.


Medical expenses

Boat accidents often don’t cause damage to just the boat(s) involved. People can and do get hurt too. Medical expenses coverage pays for medical care and other medical expenses.


Personal property

Your boat is not empty. Far from it, actually. Chances are that you have wetsuits, fishing gear, swimsuits and other types of personal property on it. If they’re damaged, you could spend a lot of money to replace them unless you have personal property insurance coverage.


Toxic waste liability

Many boaters are hyper aware of environmental issues and strive to keep waters as clean as possible. However, claiming an accident or ignorance of the law is no defense when it comes to discharging fuel or oil from your boat into the water. Toxic waste liability protects you from financial ruin in case you’re sued for such a water-related, accidental pollution event.


Annual policy

It can be a headache to get insurance coverage for only specific months or seasons. An annual policy saves you a lot of stress and hassle with coverage every month of the year.



Liability coverage helps safeguard you in cases of injuries or property damage. While this coverage is only basic, you have options for more coverage (see below).


Increased limits

If you want enhanced liability coverage, increased limits come to the rescue. This type of coverage can be really helpful if there is an expensive accident. As with many types of insurance coverage, whether you opt for this can depend on your risk tolerance. If you want to cover as many bases as possible, increased limits is a smart move and helps you save on out-of-pocket expenses.


Elective actual cash value hull coverage

Ideally, you will be able to use your boat for years. However, if there comes a time when it is declared a total loss, elective actual cash value hull coverage takes into consideration the boat’s depreciation value. It’s a budget-friendly option that should enable you to end up with a boat roughly equivalent to the one you lost at the time you lost it.


Agreed value hull coverage

If you’d rather not do elective actual cash value hull coverage, you have the option of agreed value hull coverage. You and the insurer agree on a total loss value amount before the insurance policy goes into effect. That amount is what the policy covers, regardless of boat depreciation.


Total loss settlement endorsement

You spent a lot of money on your new boat, and if something were to happen to it soon after purchase, you could be out that amount of money—plus the boat. Total loss settlement endorsement helps keep that from happening. It’s on top of existing insurance that gives you the opportunity to get a current vessel if yours is a loss. As far as cheap boat insurance goes, this type of coverage is frequently a good deal. You can get it many times for as little as $10 as long as you add the endorsement no more than a year after purchasing the boat.

There’s no sense in springing for the boat of your dreams only to spend many moments on it worrying about what would happen if you got hit or if someone got injured. There are many insurance coverage options to secure your peace of mind so that you can glide on the water in style.

When comparing boat insurance quotes, though, money may not be your only consideration. For example, some insurers may require you to submit navigation plans and marine surveys. If having to do that makes you feel constrained, don’t opt for insurance through these companies. Always be sure you understand if anything additional is required of you for boat insurance.

One more thing: If you use your boat for business operations such as guiding fishing tours, you may need some types of business-specific coverage. When in doubt, ask an insurance agent.


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Boat insurance FAQs:

What is boat insurance?

What does boat insurance cover?

Do i need to carry boat insurance?

What is the difference between boat insurance and jet ski insurance?

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