Every trip out on the water is an opportunity for adventure. And the more prepared you are, the better experience you’ll have. That’s why, beyond following safe boating practices, you can also help protect yourself — and your boat — with boat insurance. Here’s a breakdown of the protections you may find in a typical policy.
Protections Offered By Boat Insurance
Loss or damage to your boat. Boat insurance typically helps cover damage from a collision in the water, fire, or lightning strike. Boat policies typically also offer protection if your boat is vandalized or stolen, and may help cover other related belongings, such as fishing equipment.
The protection typically covers the boat whether it’s on land or in the water, and not only includes the boat itself; you’ll likely find that coverage extends to your machinery, fittings and some equipment, such as the boat’s anchor. Other equipment, like outboard motors and trailers, is often covered separately, so you may need to purchase separate coverage for certain equipment you want to protect.
Policies will vary, though, in terms of their coverage, so be sure to ask your agent about any specifics before you buy. Some questions to consider asking: Does the policy cover the cost of towing? Is personal property on the boat (like fishing gear) covered? Are there restrictions on which waterways I’m allowed to navigate?
Liability protection while boating. It’s also important to remember that your financial responsibility as a boat owner isn’t just about the cost of patching up your vessel or replacing it when something goes wrong. There’s always a chance that you might cause a mishap that injures someone or damages their property. That’s where liability coverage can help. If you are at fault for an accident, it typically kicks in to help pay for damage to someone else’s property, medical bills or legal costs.
Why Homeowners Insurance Isn’t Enough
Some new boat owners assume their watercraft will be covered by their homeowners policy. While you may find that your homeowners coverage helps protect your boat and related equipment from certain occurrences, specific limits for boats are often less than the value of your boat. You’ll typically find that boat insurance will help protect your watercraft from a greater number of events, too.
And if you rely on your homeowners policy, you may also find yourself without any liability protection, because the liability coverage from a standard homeowners policy may not extend to your boat, says the Insurance Information Institute.
That’s why a separate boat policy makes good sense. You’ll probably agree that the money you spend to protect your boat – and your own liability when you captain it – can help bring you peace of mind when you’re out for a day of fun on the water. This guest post comes from the editors of The Allstate Blog and Allstate’s Tools & Resources, which help people prepare for the unpredictability of life.