Boat insurance and safety

Keep your head above water—understand how to protect your seagoing vessel, yourself and your passengers

Boats afford recreation and adventure to their owners, but they come with risks, as well. Don’t let an accident or disaster sink you—understand how to insure your prized vessel.

Boat insurance basics

The size, type, and value of the craft and the water in which you use it factor into what type of insurance you need and how much you will pay for insurance coverage. As with any insurance policy, make sure you understand exactly what perils are covered and what your policy limits are.

Typical boat insurance policies cover physical damage to the boat itself. They also cover property damage, theft and medical payments, each with different deductibles. Your insurer may offer additional, optional coverage for trailers and boat accessories.

Boat insurance policies generally provide broader liability protection than a homeowners policy. However, depending on the assets that are at risk, boat owners may also consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy, which will provide additional protection for their boat, home, and car.

Boat insurance coverage

Boat insurance is available in two types, each with different parameters and different premium costs.

Here are some of the common and optional boat coverages. Make sure you understand what exactly your policy will pay for and what the limits are.

Boat insurance discounts

If you’re thinking of obtaining boat insurance or changing insurers, inquire about discounts for the following:

Best practices for boat safety

There are thousands of recreational boating accidents per year, which can be costly in injuries and damages. Contributing factors to boating disasters include traveling too fast for water or weather conditions, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to follow boating rules and regulations, carelessness and inexperience.

The best way to ensure your years of accident- and claims-free experience is to follow boating safety practices.