uw logo


Owning your own watercraft is a satisfying yet often costly investment. Therefore, you may want to purchase boat insurance for your own investment protection. The idea of going into trouble with your boat seems to be very much unlikely. Still, the sad reality of life is that mistakes happen, and accidents occur. So really, we should think about keeping and protecting a boat the same way we do for a car. That is why it is essential to have all your boats covered with boat insurance.

Get Insurance for Boat

Everything You Need to Know About Boat Insurance

What is boat insurance?
arrow icon

It is a policy contract that provides financial protection for the loss or damage of your marine vessel, regardless of whether it is on land or water and liability while operating it. The policy only provides protection provided the loss or damage meets the coverage limit, peril clause, and other exceptions included in the policy agreement. A Peril is the cause of loss, and the peril clause is the policy coverage based on the type of peril. However, for insurance, the types of perils considered are accidents resulting from weather-related incidents, collisions with other marine vessels or boats, submerged objects, fire, theft, and vandalism.

What is Covered under Boat Insurance?
arrow icon

The boat insurance may cover the following:

  • Replacement or repair: If damaged or completely wrecked due to the perils mentioned above, your insurance will pay for the expenses incurred for repairing or replacing it with a new one. The repair or replacement also includes the machinery, hull, or anything permanently attached to the boat. For instance, insurance will cover repair expenses of the broken parts if damaged due to an accident, provided the type of peril is included in the peril clause.
  • Medical bills: Whether you were injured alone or with another person on your boat, the insurance will cover the medical expenses incurred. For example, because of a tide change, your passenger broke his arm while trying to support himself when falling to the ground. In such a scenario, the insurance will pay for the expense incurred for the treatment. It covers the third party because it features a protection and indemnity section that covers your legal obligations to the third party Liability.
  • The physical damage section of the policy includes protection and indemnity cover for damage or loss of your personal property and third-party belongings. If thieves vandalized your boat while in the process, your passengers' luggage was damaged. The liability coverage will pay for the damages.
  • Underinsured watercraft
  • Cover the injuries caused by other watercraft that are either underinsured or not insured. For instance, while operating your watercraft and colliding with an underinsured or uninsured watercraft, the insurance will pay for the injuries or expenses incurred for treatment.
What is NOT Covered under Boat Insurance?
arrow icon

Your boat insurance will not cover if the damage or loss is due to the following reasons:

  • Damage or loss happened when you sailed off the limited waters or out of the geographic region. Therefore, it would help to know or inquire about the insurance navigation limit. This is due to the farther you sail, the more risks it becomes.
  • Inappropriate use of the watercraft. Your policy will not cover damages or loss if you use it for competition races because they are considered intentional risks.
  • Poor maintenance: Poor maintenance increases the risk of your boat prone to accident, sinking due to waterlogging, spillage and infestation of insects, animals, molds and waterlog. Moreover, poor maintenance also makes parts of the sailboat like the engine, hull, and anchor faulty. Therefore, if loss or damage results from poor maintenance, insurance will not cover the expenses incurred to replace or repair it.
  • Damages or losses incurred due to the deterioration of your boat will also not be covered. Therefore, it is your responsibility to maintain your watercraft to avoid inconvenience when the need arises.
  • If multiple boats were involved in an accident, but the person sailing it was not included in the policy contract, insurance would not cover it.
  • The owner was sailing under the influence of substances. Alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine resulting in the accident are likely to decline in a claim.

Getting boat insurance with no experience
arrow icon

If you don't have any experience insuring a boat, you may not know what you're getting into. You could find yourself paying thousands of dollars for a policy that covers just a few hundred dollars of liability per year. It's easy to make a wrong decision when you're not familiar with the ins and outs of the industry, but you can save yourself a lot of trouble by doing some research. Boat insurance will help cover the repair costs if something goes wrong or help pay for the repairs if you've damaged the boat. If you have an accident, it can help cover your medical expenses. Boat insurance will also help you avoid paying excessive taxes if the boat is lost. Boat insurance is essential to owning a boat, so we'll go over all the ins and outs of buying boat insurance.

How much boat insurance do I need?
arrow icon

The amount of boat insurance you need depends on the size of your boat, its age, and how much risk it presents. You'll also need to factor in the value of your boat and the items on board. You can follow some general rules, but if you have a boat that isn't a traditional powerboat or a yacht, you may need more insurance than the rules suggest.

Is there short-term boat insurance?
arrow icon

Consider getting short-term liability insurance if you're planning to rent a boat for a short-term period. A trip such as a vacation or fishing trip will bring you peace of mind. This insurance policy will protect you from any damage or injury while renting the boat.

Types of boat insurance

There can be many types of insurance choices. It should be based on coverage that meets your comfort, legal, and contractual obligations and risks exposure. Below are types of insurance a watercraft owner may settle for:

What is third-party boat insurance?
arrow icon

This type of insurance policy provides financial coverage for any loss or damages to another individual's watercraft. A "third-party liability" boat insurance is needed to protect boat owners. It includes being sued by passengers or other third parties who may be injured or killed in a boating accident. Boat insurance is an important part of a boat owner's insurance policy.

Marine hull and Liability insurance
arrow icon

This insurance covers loss or damage to the vessel and liability and includes third-party cover. However, this type of insurance is recommendable for commercial vessels because it provides comprehensive coverage.

Homeowner watercraft storage insurance
arrow icon

This type of insurance provides coverage for loss or damage of your boat while at home, but not in marine waters.

Additional/extra coverage

Besides providing basic coverage for medical expenses, liability, underinsured boats, repairs and replacement of your boat, you may sign up for more premiums for comprehensive coverage. This additional coverage includes:

Emergency towing
arrow icon

For instance, if you had an accident, mechanical failure, or fuel shortage while on the sea, your boat insurance will pay for the cost incurred for emergency towing.

Legal protection
arrow icon

Did you know that spilling fuel or sailing under the influence is illegal? It also attracts a huge penalty. Therefore, you should subscribe to legal protection premiums to cover you if such incidents arise for such an incident.

Spillage cleaning
arrow icon

Your boat might spill fuel on water due to a faulty fuel tank or accident. Therefore, the insurer will cover the expenses used for cleaning the spillage on the water.

Transportation of wreckages
arrow icon

Many boat insurance covers the expenses of transporting broken or damaged ship wreckage from the sea to the land. However, this varies across individual insurers. Hence you should confirm if it is included in the policy.

Fishing Equipment
arrow icon

The basic insurance excludes replacement or repair of fishing boat equipment upon damage or loss within your boat because they are not permanent attachments of the vessel. Therefore, before signing up for a policy, you should inquire if the insurer covers fishing equipment.