Boat insurance protects you financially from injuries or damage you cause to others while boating. Insurance can also cover your watercraft and trailer if it gets stolen or physically damaged. Boat insurance can cover many types of boats, including:
- Fishing boats
- Pontoon boats
- Personal watercraft, including Jet Skis and Wave Runners
As with auto insurance, you can select and purchase additional coverages, such as uninsured/underinsured boater (UB) coverage, to give you more protection on the water.
Boat insurance works the same way as car insurance does. If you damage your boat or cause injuries or damages to someone else, you file a claim with your insurer asking them to pay for the damages. If the incident is covered, your insurer pays for the losses or injuries up to your coverage limits.
Important note: One of the biggest myths about boat insurance is that you don’t need it because you’re adequately covered under your home insurance policy. While your home’s policy may provide some protection for a smaller boat while it’s on your property, it won’t offer the coverage you need on the water — especially if you’re operating a powerboat.
Boat insurance can cover physical damages to your watercraft as well as any injuries or damages you cause to others while boating. Here are some common coverages available on a boat insurance policy:
- Liability: Pays for any damages or injuries you cause to others while boating, up to the limits of your policy.
- Physical damage coverage: Physical damage coverage includes both comprehensive and collision coverage, and includes coverage for damages from events outside of your control, such as weather, theft or fire. Coverage also extends to damages sustained in a collision with another watercraft or object, regardless of fault, including if your boat capsizes.
- Uninsured/underinsured boater (UB): Pays for your injuries if you’re hit by a boater with little or no insurance.
If physical damage coverage is included on your policy, the hull, furnishings, fittings, and other components — such as motors, anchors, fuel tanks, batteries, and onboard safety equipment — are typically covered if damage occurs due to a covered incident. A standard boat insurance policy will also commonly cover fuel spills and wreckage removal if your boat sinks.