Boat Insurance Blog

Boat Insurance Coverage: Questions to ask when Buying a Watercraft Policy

It’s summer and time to get out on the lake!

If you’re an experienced boater or perhaps you just purchased a boat, it might be a good idea to take a look at your insurance options. Before you head out onto the lake or safely store away your boat, you’ll want to know what you are and are not protected for.

If you’re in the market for boat insurance or want to review your current coverage, we recommend you ask a few essential questions.


Reasons to Carry Boat Insurance

ACV vs Replacement

Like any other motorized vehicle, the older a boat gets, the more the value can depreciate. Without Replacement/Agreed value coverage, you may have ACV – Actual Cash Value. Which type you have can make a huge difference regarding your boat coverage at the time of a claim. Replacement/Agreed value states the insured value of your watercraft plainly and provides a new model of a similar watercraft type. Actual cash value, however, depreciates the insured value of your boat, possibly leaving you underinsured if your boat needs to be repaired or replaced.

Liability Coverage

For most boaters, liability is the most significant financial risk involved with boating. Liability coverage is for injuries to people on the boat, in the water or on other watercraft. If someone else is injured in a boating mishap, you could be legally liable for injury-related damages as well as damage to the property of others.


Coverage Check

Your policy is designed to protect your boat and personal belongings against risks, in addition, to your liability coverage. However, as every insurer differs in wording and coverage, remember to ask your broker about the following three mentions:


While in storage, it’s not uncommon for vermin such as mice to crawl somewhere they shouldn’t. Vermin is a typical exclusion for a lot of insurers. Make a point of asking if there is a company that may provide this coverage for you.

Gear & Equipment

Gear and equipment coverage is typically included as an extension underneath a boat policy. However, there may be a coverage limit or exclusion for what can be claimed in an accident. Ask your broker what constitutes included boat gear and equipment. For example, navigation equipment, sails, or a trolling motor are excellent places to start your inquiry.

Additional Cost of an Accident

Have you considered the extra costs if you are in an accident on the water? Pollution or wreckage removal, boat towing, volunteer firefighting charges, and medical costs are a few common expenses. A watercraft in an accident might sink, requiring specialized (and expensive) equipment to pull the sunken boat out of the water.


​If you have a boat or are considering purchasing a boat this season, reach out to us today! We’ll help you protect what matters most so you can keep your summer days worry-free. Want to connect with one of our advisors?