Watercraft coverage

Boat insurance covers:

  • Bodily injury—for injuries caused to another person
  • Property damage—for damage caused to someone else's property
  • Guest passenger liability—for any legal expenses incurred by someone using the boat with the owner's permission
  • Medical payments—for injuries to the boat owner and other passengers
  • Theft

Most companies offer liability limits starting at $15,000 and which can be increased to $300,000. Typical policies include deductibles of $250 for property damage, $500 for theft, and $1000 for medical payments. Higher limits may be available. Additional coverage can be purchased for trailers and other accessories. Boat owners may also consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy which will provide additional protection for their boat, home, and car.

Boaters should also inquire about special equipment kept on the boat, such as fishing gear, to make sure it is covered and verify that towing coverage is included in the policy.

Boat owners should also inquire about discounts including:

  • Diesel powered craft, which are less hazardous than gasoline powered boats as they are less likely to explode
  • Coast Guard-approved fire extinguishers
  • Ship-to-shore radios
  • Two years of claims-free experience
  • Multi-policies with the same insurer, such as a car, home, or umbrella policy
  • Safety education courses, such as those offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadrons, or the American Red Cross