When investing in something as expensive as a boat, you need to make sure it’s well protected. Boat insurance can be confusing to say the least, which often makes boat owners, especially new ones, push figuring out what coverage they need to the bottom of the to-do list. They may also assume they don’t need boat insurance because it’s covered under their homeowners or auto insurance.
The bad news: Only small boats have coverage under a homeowners policy. We’re talking very small engine to no engine here, and the coverage is nowhere near what you would get on a separate boat insurance policy.
The good news: With a little research and our expert advisors at DVA, you can easily protect your boat at a price that you can afford. Below are some things to consider as you begin researching which coverage options will provide you with the most bang for your buck.
#1: Boats have limited coverage on a homeowners policy.
As mentioned above, because their boat is small, some owners might assume it’s covered under their homeowners insurance. It is, but only to a certain extent. Most homeowners insurance policies only offer limited coverage for boats. Furthermore, unless you’re towing the boat, the damage must occur at home. Speaking of towing, homeowners policies often only include limited trailer coverage ($1,000). Since boat towing is typically included on a boat insurance policy, it usually makes more sense to go that route.
#2: Large watercraft vessels need their own boat insurance policy.
When deciding on boat insurance, several things must be considered. Not only do homeowners policies have limits on boat value or horsepower, but they also have limits on size. These days, mast-less powerboats are referred to as yachts. Determining which boats are considered yachts is based on factors like size, value and attitude. For example, your boat may only be 27 ft., and while it’s not large in size, its varnished mahogany hull gives it the attitude it needs to be a yacht. The point is, if you own a $10,000 or $20,000 boat it should have a boat insurance policy of its own.
#3: Boat policies come with limited coverage for personal effects.
Additional coverage can be picked up from personal property coverage on the homeowners policy, even if the boat is on it’s own policy. However, additional deductibles usually apply. It’s safer, and more cost effective in the long run, to protect your personal property by increasing coverage on the boat policy.
#4: There are ways to save on boat insurance.
There are numerous ways to save money on your boat insurance. Taking a boating class or boating safety education course can save you money. Talk to us to find out which courses apply. The type of boat that you own will greatly influence the cost of insurance. Be specific with the year and model of your boat to get the most accurate quote. You can also lower your premiums if you have certain safety precautions on board in the event of an emergency such as a fire extinguisher, a ship-to-shore radio, or a wireless auto tether.
Boat insurance can get confusing very quickly. That’s why it’s best to have a trusted insurance advisor like DVA help you figure the best coverage for your situation.
Watercraft Insurance Series:
- 4 Things You Should Know About Boat Insurance
- Marine Survey FAQs
- Boat Towing Coverage Types
- Lay-Up Period for Boats
- 5 Reasons Why Boat Owners Should Carry Insurance Year-Round