Ask Fitz: Three Questions Answered on Boat Insurance

Summer means different things to different people. For many though, spending days on the water is what summer is all about. Over 140 million people participate in boating activities each year in the US. Therefore, it is important for boat owners to understand the coverages included in a boat insurance policy. Given the many different types of boats and seemingly endless uses, boat owners should spend some time getting familiar with the insurance options available.

Question 1: What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Boat coverage is similar to auto coverage in how it responds to accidents and damage. Below is a list of typical coverages included in most boat insurance policies.

  • Bodily injury: If a passenger on your boat sustains an injury while on your vessel, this coverage will respond to pay for medical costs and legal fees associated with the incident.
  • Property damage: If you are at fault in an incident that damages another boat, this coverage will respond to pay for damages.
  • Collision: If your boat sustains damage in an accident, this coverage will respond to repair or replace your damaged boat.
  • Comprehensive: if your boat sustains damage from something other than a collision, such as weather, fire, theft or vandalism, then this coverage will respond to pay for repairs.  
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorists: If someone without insurance, or inadequate insurance, damages your boat, this coverage will respond.


Question 2: What Additional Coverages are Available?

In addition to the standard boat insurance coverage, some extra options are available depending on your situation.

  • Wreck removal: Covers the cost to remove your wrecked boat.
  • Fuel spill liability: Covers the cost of cleaning up a fuel spill.
  • Emergency service: This coverage responds if your boat needs emergency services, including in-water towing.
  • Temporary repairs: This covers any “reasonable” repairs you make to protect your property from further damage following a covered incident.
  • Boat rental reimbursement and liability: During a repair, this covers the cost of a rental boat.
  • Ice/freeze coverage: This coverage responds if your boat if it sustains damage due to freezing weather.
  • Special fishing equipment: Covers the cost of specialized fishing equipment.

Question 3: Do You Need Boat Insurance?

To determine if you need boat insurance, you should consider a few different factors.

  • State and marina requirements: many States do not require boat insurance, however many marinas do require boat owners to maintain insurance. Therefore, you should become familiar with your State requirements as well as the requirements of any marina or dock that you plan to use.
  • Loan requirements: most lenders require boat owners to maintain insurance.
  • Consider the value of your boat and the cost of an insurance policy.

Boat insurance premiums can be very reasonable given the value of a boat. It is important for boat owners to consider how they use their boat as well as the insurance options available to determine the best coverage fit. Feel free to reach out to us so we can help you obtain boat insurance quotes and assist you in finding a policy that meets your needs. As a Trusted Choice Independent Agency, the Oswego-based FitzGibbons Agency is here to help you in this review.

Have further questions? Just Ask Fitz!

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