Who Needs Boat Insurance?
If you own a boat, then you likely need boat insurance. Your boat might not qualify, but usually these policies are for vessels up to 26 feet in length. If a boat is larger, then it is usually considered a yacht. If that’s the case, then you will need yacht insurance. In any case, this coverage will help with repair costs or replacement costs if your boat is accidentally damaged or totally destroyed. The catch is that the damage must occur because of a covered incident. And coverage usually includes outboard motors, auxiliary equipment, machinery, boat trailer, and even personal property.
Two choices you will likely face include choosing an Actual Cash Value (ACV) or an Agreed Amount Value policy. The ACV covers replacement of your boat minus depreciation. If your boat is a total loss, then a boat pricing guide will be used to figure the boat’s market value. For a partial loss the total repair cost minus a depreciation percentage is calculated.
An Agreed Amount Value policy means the boat’s value has been previously determined, and you will be paid that amount, no matter the actual value of the boat. This policy will also replace old items for new ones in a partial loss situation with no deductions for depreciation.
It is likely that your homeowner’s policy does not include boats. It may have some coverage for very small boat like a sailboat that does not have an engine. But you may have the option to bundle the boat policy with your auto or home insurance. This move will save some money.
Comprehensive coverage is recommended for things like fire, flood vandalism, and uninsured boater insurance. Then there is personal property coverage for things like fishing gear, and roadside assistance in case you need a tow. If you store your boat in the cold months, then you might be able to temporarily suspend your boat insurance coverage.