Boat Insurance

What Boat Insurance Covers And Does Not Cover

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As a boat owner, if you are aiming to get a coverage plan for your boat, then it’s important to get to know beforehand what boat insurance covers and does not cover so as to fully understand what you are really getting into.

Owning a boat brings a sense of great achievement as well as responsibility. As a boat owner, there is a need to ensure that your boat gets adequate maintenance so as to prevent frequent breakdowns. And one of the best ways to achieve this is through boat insurance.

In this article, we will get to fully understand those things that are covered by boat insurance and the ones that are not. Also, we will get to know what boat insurance is all about.

What Boat Insurance Covers And Does Not Cover

What is Boat Insurance?

Boat insurance can be said to be a provision that you make to protect your boat against accidental losses that will likely arise in the future. This insurance protects you financially in the event of an accident or theft.

Just like other types of insurance, there are different types of boat insurance coverage that we will be discussing below.

Types of Boat Insurance Coverage

Below are the types of boat insurance coverage:

Overview of the Types of Boat Insurance Coverage

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage is one of the most important types of boat insurance coverage. This covers you if you are at fault in an accident and someone else is injured or their property is damaged. It can help cover medical bills, lost wages, and legal fees if you are sued.

Most states require at least a minimum amount of liability coverage for boat owners. However, it’s a good idea to purchase more coverage than the minimum amount to ensure you are fully protected.

Liability Coverage

This is the most common type of boat insurance coverage. Liability coverage protects you financially if you cause an accident while operating your boat.

Let’s say, for instance, you hit another boat and damaged it. Liability coverage would pay for the damage. It would also cover any medical expenses or legal fees that result from the accident.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage is a common type of coverage. It covers damage to your boat if you collide with another object, like another boat or a dock.

This coverage doesn’t cover damage from non-collision events, like theft or storms.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is an insurance type that covers damage to your boat from events that are not caused by collisions.

In comprehensive coverage, things that are covered include theft, vandalism, fire, etc.

Medical Payments Coverage

This coverage helps pay for your medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured in a boating accident, irrespective of who’s at fault.

It can also help pay for funeral expenses in a situation in which death is involved.

Towing and Assistance Coverage

This coverage pays for towing costs if your boat breaks down on the water. It can also cover the cost of having a service technician come and fix your boat if it’s disabled.

In addition, it can cover the cost of fuel delivery in case you are out of gas while still on the water.

The above are those aspects of owning a boat that are covered by boat insurance. let’s now consider those things that are not covered by boat insurance.

Agreed Value

This is a type of policy that covers the boat based on its value when it was insured. Agreed-value coverage does not factor in depreciation when it’s time to reimburse you for your boat.

This coverage does not pay you what your boat is worth at the present moment; instead, it pays the agreed value of your boat when you were purchasing your insurance.

Actual cash Value

This coverage type costs less compared to the agreed value but factors in depreciation. That is to say that this type of policy only pays you what your boat is worth at the moment. Did your boat value appreciate or depreciate? Well, that’s not what it cares about.

With an actual cash value policy, your insurer will be the one to determine the current market value of your boat at the time of damage and pay you accordingly, irrespective of what you paid at the time of purchase.

As you know, as your oat ages, the value depreciates, so the cash value of your boat is more likely to depreciate when it’s time to receive payment for your boat.

Bodily Injury Coverage

This coverage ensures that any kind of injury sustained by someone when you are involved in a boating accident is taken care of medically. That is to say that this insurance covers the medical bills if someone is injured in a boating accident and you are at fault.

It covers the cost of surgery, medications, hospital bills, etc. In a situation where a victim loses his job or is unable to work due to injuries sustained, this coverage helps in taking care of his wages until he fully recovers.

Property Damage Liability Coverage

Property damage liability coverage is another important type of liability coverage for boat owners. It helps cover the expenses that arise when you cause damage to another person’s property while you are operating your boat.

What Boat Insurance Covers

The following are things that are covered by boat insurance:

Overview of What Boat Insurance Covers

1. Hull Damage

This refers to the physical parts of a boat that is damaged. Boat insurance covers those physical parts that are affected in the course of an accident.

Examples of such damages are damages caused by lightning, collisions, wear and tear, etc.

It is important you read and understand your insurance policy so that you can understand what and what is fully covered when purchasing boat insurance.

2. Mechanical Breakdown

Mechanical breakdowns in your boat are usually covered by the boat insurance policy. The cost of repair and replacement of the mechanical parts is covered by boat insurance.

Also, breakdowns caused by wear and tear are protected by this insurance.

3. Personal Effects

Boat insurance covers the cost of replacing personal items in a situation where they are lost or even damaged in your boat.

Examples of such items include clothes, electronics, tools, and other valuable personal belongings.

The plan for these items is usually separate from the general boat insurance. Hence, it’s important you make thorough findings and understand the insurer’s policy before purchasing their plan.

4. Pollution Liability

Boat insurance covers the liability that comes as a result of pollution. This insurance covers the cost of cleaning up pollution caused by your boat.

Examples of such pollution include oil spills, fuel leaks, and other accidental discharges of pollutants.

5. Fishing Equipment

Your fishing gear and other fishing equipment are protected in the event of theft or accident.

Fishing equipment coverage is usually an add-on to a standard boat insurance policy, and it may have a limit on the amount of coverage available.

6. Personal Injury

In case of sustaining an injury, a boat injury policy takes care of the treatment bills and other activity costs such as ambulance, transportation to a nearby hospital, etc.

This coverage also applies when someone in your boat is injured in an accident, whether they are at fault or not.

7. Damage From Natural Disasters

Boat insurance also covers some damages that are a result of natural disasters such as hurricanes, storms, wind, etc.

It is important to note that not all natural disasters are covered by this type of policy, so it’s important to check with your insurance company to see what is and is not covered.

8. On-Water Towing Assistance

In a situation where you get to tow your boat, boat insurance takes care of the towing costs. This insurance comes in handy when your boat’s engine breaks down, or if you run out of fuel or have other problems while out on the water.

On-water towing assistance is typically included as part of a comprehensive boat insurance policy, but it is important to check with your insurance company to be sure.

9. Emergency Roadside Assistance

Boat insurance provides help if your boat breaks down while you are on the road, such as if you have a flat tire, run out of fuel, or need a tow.

These companies provide coverage that typically covers the cost of emergency assistance on your way. Such emergencies could include meals, hotel stays, and other costs that are associated with your boat breakdown.

10. Fuel Spillage Cleanup

In a case where there is spillage of fuel, your boat insurance coverage helps to clean up those messes by paying for the cost. This is important, as fuel spills can cause environmental damage and are very costly to clean up.

Most boat insurance policies will cover fuel spillage cleanup, but it’s important that you check with your insurer to be sure. Fuel spillage coverage is typically included in comprehensive policies.

What Boat Insurance Does Not Cover

The following are not covered by boat insurance:

1. Wear and Tear on Your Boat

Why is wear and tear on your boat not covered by insurance? This is because normal wear and tear is considered part of owning a boat. As your boat gets older, it starts to develop these things if you don’t maintain it properly.

So it is expected that you replace these parts and maintain them.

2. Damages Caused by Acts of War or Terrorism

Damages that are caused as a result of war or even terrorism are not insured because these events are considered to be outside of the control of the insurance company.

They’re considered to be “acts of God,” and they’re not something that the insurance company can control. So if a war breaks out or there’s a terrorist attack, your boat insurance won’t cover any damage that results from it.

3. Mechanical Breakdowns that are Covered by a Warranty

This is because you should be able to get your repairs covered by your warranty. For example, if your engine breaks down and it’s still under warranty, you should be able to get it fixed at no cost to you. That’s why your insurance company won’t cover it.

Do you want to cover what’s already covered by a warranty? Well, that’s not possible.

4. Damage Caused by Improper Maintenance or Repairs

These damages are not covered by boat insurance because it’s your duty as a boat owner to keep your boat in good working condition.

In a situation where you fail to properly maintain your boat and it breaks down, the insurance company won’t cover the damage.

It’s your responsibility to keep your boat in good condition, and that includes making sure it’s properly maintained.

5. Accidents That Happen While Racing or Doing Stunts

Racing and stunts are very risky activities, and insurance companies don’t encourage people to partake in them because they won’t insure them.

If you get into an accident while racing or doing a stunt, you’ll have to pay for the damage out of your own pocket.

6. Theft or Vandalism That Occurs While the Boat is not in Use

Any theft or vandalism that occurs when the boat is not in use cannot be covered by boat insurance. This is because the boat is not being used for its intended purpose at the time of the incident.

It’s important to keep your boat in a secure location when it is not in use to help prevent theft or vandalism.

7. Towing of Other Vehicles or Boats

Using your boat to tow other vehicles or boats is regarded as using the boat contrary to its purpose. So, it is not covered by boat insurance.

Towing can also put a strain on the boat’s engine and may lead to damage. Additionally, if an accident occurs while the boat is towing another vehicle or boat, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault, which may lead to disputes over liability.

Overall, it’s better to avoid using your boat to tow other vehicles and boats.

8. Rental or Replacement Costs for a Damaged Boat

Boat insurance policies do not cover rental or replacement costs for a damaged boat. This is because your boat is not considered a necessity like a home or car, and therefore it is not considered essential to replace it.

In a situation where your boat is damaged, you will need to pay for the repairs out of pocket.

9. Labor Costs for Repairs

Don’t you think you are supposed to cover the labor cost of your boat repair? Well, you have to. It is necessary for you to make an out-of-pocket payment for the labor expenses that come with repairing your faulty boat.

The exclusion of labor costs is highly intended to keep the cost of boat insurance as low as possible and to encourage boat owners to adopt the habit of high maintenance so that they won’t be spending thousands of dollars just on repairs.

10. Lost or Stolen Property While on the Boat

This is also similar to the just discussed point above. A good number of boat insurance policies do not include coverage for lost or stolen property while you are still on the boat.

This means that you can’t file a claim with your boat insurance company if your belongings are lost or stolen while you are on your boat.

Shopping for Boat Insurance

To shop for boat insurance, first, you have to start with a little fact-finding. Ask people around, probably your boating friends, which company they use and how their claims have been handled.

The way an insurer has handled claims in the past will tell you about the quality of their service, and you will decide if you will go ahead.

Tips for Choosing the Right Boat Insurance Policy

Below are some tips you’ll need when choosing a boat insurance policy:

  • it’s always important that you make sure the policy covers everything you need it to cover
  • Ensure that the deductible is comfortable and convenient for you
  • Make sure the premiums are affordable for you
  • Read the policy carefully to make sure you understand what’s covered and what’s not
  • Ask your insurance agent if you have any questions about the policy
  • Shop around and compare policies to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

It’s important that you carefully go through those tips so that you will understand the processes involved when purchasing boat insurance.

Do you have any questions or concerns concerning this article? If yes, then don’t hesitate to use the comment section. But before you do, check out the frequently asked questions below to see if an answer has already been provided to your questions.

FAQ on What Boat Insurance Covers And Does Not Cover

Is boat insurance really necessary?

Although boat insurance is not required by law, it is necessary for your own good as a boat owner.

What is covered under a boat insurance policy?

Most boat insurance policies cover damage to the boat, theft, personal liability, and medical expenses. Some policies also cover other things, like roadside assistance.

How much does boat insurance cost?

The cost of boat insurance varies depending on a number of factors, including the type of boat, the location, and the insurance company.

What kind of boat insurance do I need?

The type of boat insurance you need depends on a number of factors, including the value of your boat and your budget.


Boat insurance is an important way to protect your investment and make sure you’re covered in cases of an accident.

When choosing a boat insurance policy, make sure you consider the costs, the coverage, and the deductible.

You should also make sure you understand the terms of the policy and what is and isn’t covered.

Good luck on your journey to getting insurance for your boat.

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