It’s best to buy separate boat insurance, rather than adding your boat to your homeowner's policy. Many homeowners’ policies limit or don’t cover marine-specific risks, such as salvage work, wreck removal, pollution or environmental damage.
Insurers consider many factors when deciding whether or not to offer a policy. Almost any vessel can be insured— for a price. You just want to make sure the policy meets your needs.
- Age of Boat
- Condition (Does it meet US Coast Guard Standards)
- Primary residence (If the boat is used as a primary residence)
- Type (Amphibious boats)
- Homemade (Boats without a serial number, many kits are okay)
- Houseboats with no motor
- Ownership (more than 2 owners)
Types of Boat Insurance
There are two basic types of boat insurance—“agreed value” and “actual cash value.” How depreciation, is handled, is what sets them apart. An "agreed value" policy covers the boat based on its value when the policy was written. While it can cost more up front, there is no depreciation for a total loss of the boat (some partial losses may be depreciated). "Actual cash value" policies cost less up front, but factor in depreciation. In other word, the policy will only pay up to the actual cash value of the boat at the time it is declared a total or partial loss.
Kinds of Policies
Marine insurance covers a wide berth of watercraft. You may be surprised to find what can be insured. Marine insurance policies include:
- PWC / Watercraft
- Yacht – Generally, vessels 26' and smaller are called "boats,” and "yachts" are 27' and larger. Yacht coverage tends to be broader and more specialized because larger boats travel farther and have more unique exposures.
- Boat & PWC Rental – Although this is generally not required, rental insurance will help cover any damage the vessel, as well as the operator and passengers.
- Boat Clubs – Covers all members of club while operating a boat.
- Professional (ProAngler, Fishing Guides & Charters) – These policies are very customizable and can cover items like travel to a tournament, equipment and more.