Tips for Insuring Your Boat

In the U.S., roughly 75 million people own recreational boats. With that said, more than 4,400 boating accidents occur yearly. Whether you’re trying to repair a damaged vehicle or get medical treatment for injuries sustained on the boat, having insurance coverage in either situation lessens the financial burden.
What are your options for boat insurance? A homeowners’ insurance policy covers damage of a small boat on your property, but doesn’t extend to an accident that occurs out on the water. For more sufficient coverage, consider adding a rider to your homeowners’ insurance policy or taking out an entirely separate one. What should you know about each option?
Basic Coverage
A typical boat insurance policy blends elements of auto and homeowners’ coverage. As a result, your policy should cover repairs, replacing the boat, medical bills and any property damage. Coverage should further extend to bodily injuries, vandalism, fire and floods. In most cases, if damage occurs you’ll be reimbursed for the replacement cost or actual cash value of the boat.
Is a reimbursement or actual cash value better? Actual cash value takes depreciation into account, thus it is better if you purchased a used boat and need insurance. Replacement cost covers the initial sticker price and is usually better for those who purchased a new model.
Where You’re Covered
When it comes to boat insurance, it’s not only about how much coverage you have but where your policy applies. There are two factors to consider:

  • Navigational Limits: Ideally, your policy should cover all inland waters in the U.S., Canada and coastal regions if your boat is up to 26 feet long. However, if you’re taking your boat on vacation, make sure your coverage extends to your destination.
  • Transport: Boat insurance doesn’t always factor in the transportation of your vehicle to the water. Yet, while you might not have transit coverage, your car insurance could cover you through “trailering” – damage caused to other vehicles, property and people on the road.

For fluid insurance coverage between home, auto and boat, consider an umbrella policy that provides liability coverage beyond the standard amount. To see what works and what’s best for your vehicle, explore your options with Ion Insurance. To start the process, give us a call at 203.439.2815.