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What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

By The Ahoy! Crew
Published May 24, 2022
As more Americans take to boating, the risks of boating increase

In 2020, the number of boating accidents increased 26.3%, the number of deaths increased 25.1%, and the number of injuries increased 24.7% from the year before, according to data compiled by the American Boating Association.

It makes sense that the across-the-board increase in boating-related risk is tied to the rise in boat sales during the same period. The fact that there are more inexperienced boaters on the water, increases the likelihood of collision risks. In addition, inexperienced boaters often require some form of on-water assistance, which means that all boaters can benefit from a comprehensive boat insurance policy.

Does homeowner insurance cover boats and watercraft?

A standard homeowners’ policy or renters’ insurance policy may offer limited coverage of a small boat or watercraft, such as a canoe, small sailboat, or skiff with less than 25 horsepower as well as the motor and trailer. Homeowners’ insurance policies usually cap coverage limits at around $1,000 for boat damages caused by fire, wind, and other common hazards.

Though most homeowners’ policies do not offer liability coverage, some allow homeowners to add liability coverage as an endorsement.

As a general rule, most homeowners’ policies will only cover:

•         Personal watercraft whose inboard motors are less than 50 horsepower,

•         Personal watercraft with outboard motors less than 25 horsepower, and

•         Sailboats smaller than 26 feet.

What does a traditional boat insurance policy cover?

A comprehensive boat insurance policy will cover physical damage to the boat itself, as well as property damage, theft, and medical payments.

In addition, boat insurance will provide broader liability protection than homeowners’ insurance, which covers you only if you cause damage to other property or bodily injury to others.

Actual cash value boat policies vs. agreed value boat policies

An actual cash value boat policy factors in the depreciation of the value of your boat over time. Agreed value does not; rather, the insurance company and the boater agree upon the value of the boat at the outset of the policy, and that value remains stable over time. While actual cash value boat policies offer less coverage, they cost less.

The agreed value policy comes with higher premiums but will pay the full agreed-upon value in the event of a total loss. In the event of a partial loss, agreed amount value boat policies will replace old items with new ones without deductions for depreciation.

Common boat insurance coverages

Below are four of the most common boat coverages, though specialty marine insurance companies may offer additional options. Before deciding on your policy, take time to get clarity on what exactly your policy will pay for as well as coverage limits.

Boat insurance property coverage

If an accident on water or land damages your boat, property coverage may cover repairs or replacement. Boat insurance property coverage may also pay to replace a stolen boat.

Liability coverage for boats

If you damage another person’s property with your boat, liability coverage may help cover the expenses, including the cost to repair or replace the other person's property. If you injure another person with your boat, liability coverage may also cover their medical bills.

Note that most marinas, mooring fields, and other storage facilities are requiring minimum liability coverages as well as adding them as an additional insured party to the boat policy.

Medical payments coverage

If a boating accident injures you or a passenger aboard your boat, medical payments coverage may help pay for hospital bills, medications, or other medical expenses incurred.

Uninsured/underinsured watercraft coverage

If a collision with an uninsured or underinsured boater leaves you or one of your passengers injured, uninsured watercraft coverage may help cover the resulting expenses.

Boat Insurance Tip: Before you commit to a boat insurance policy, ask about discounts that could lower your costs.

For example, Ahoy! offers a 5% discount if you pay your policy in full (i.e., annually) as well as a vanishing deductible when you upload photos of your boat via the Ahoy! self-inspection app.

There’s an additional discount for claims-free boaters.

What does Ahoy! boat insurance cover?

Ahoy! tailors innovative boat insurance solutions to meet the needs of modern boaters. As naval officer veterans and avid boaters who also happen to be insurance executives and technology entrepreneurs, we have real-world knowledge of everything that can (and likely will) go wrong on the water. Our comprehensive suite of boat and yacht insurance includes the old standards, as well as unique coverages that other insurance providers may not think of, including:

·        hull coverage,

·        fuel spill coverage,

·        consequential damage coverage,

·        replacement cost coverage,

·        on-water towing,

·        boat trailer coverage,

·        fishing equipment,

·        roadside assistance,

·        boat rental reimbursement,

·        personal effects, and

·        cell phone coverage if it falls overboard!

Get better coverage for your boat today

In addition to customized boat insurance policies designed for boaters, Ahoy! offers lower deductibles, a speedy claims process, and more support on the water - thanks to our innovative mobile app. Our patented software technology gives you more agency when it comes to protecting your boat with features like self-inspection, safe navigation, and stolen boat retrieval. You’ll also get faster, more accurate customer support when you access our “First Mate” concierge service for non-intrusive assistance with problems or claims processing support. Start building your quote today.


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