Extra Coverage Can Help ‘Float Your Boat’ This Summer

Many boat owners assume their boats are covered under homeowners insurance policies. Homeowners insurance typically offers up to $1,000 in coverage for boats, boat trailers, motors, and related equipment-perhaps sufficient for small craft owners. However, the following exclusions exist:

  • Losses in the water, including damage from sinking and collision, including hitting rocks or other debris.
  • Wind loss if your boat is left in the open. Keep boats in a locked building on your property.
  • Flood damage.
  • Theft losses if they occur off your property. Take extreme safety measures to avoid theft when the boat is off your property.

Owners of high-value, regularly used boats may want to consider extra coverage, such as:

  • Coverage for hazards like sinking and collision is available as “special perils coverage.” Annual premiums are about 2 percent of the value of the boat and its related equipment, with at least a $100 deductible required. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums-which is good only if the premium savings justify the higher out-of-pocket expenses if losses occur.

Also, special perils coverage can usually be bought as a “scheduled item” on homeowners insurance. If you don’t have homeowners insurance, and/or need to save some money temporarily while still having limited coverage, some insurers may allow you to add your boat to your auto insurance. This should be considered temporary; you have the same limitations in coverage as with homeowners insurance, and this solution won’t cover loss of personal property on the boat.