What is watercraft insurance?
Watercraft insurance helps protect the owner of a water-based vessel from costs associated with collision damage, storm damage, theft, and towing. It does not typically include wear and tear, dents and scratches, blistering, electrolysis, manufacturer's defects, and damage caused by ice.
Our expertise and strategy.
Watercraft insurance is an umbrella term that generally includes the following four types of insurance:
The National Boat Owners Association defines a boat as being less than 197 feet in length (anything longer is considered a ship). Boat insurance primarily covers fishing boats, motorboats, pontoons, dinghies, and catamarans, amongst others. Smaller craft—such as canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and small sailboats—are typically covered under a standard homeowner's or renter's insurance policy.
A yacht is typically defined as being at least 30 feet in length (anything shorter is considered a pleasure boat). Yacht insurance comes with a higher deductible because they generally have a higher price tag, travel farther distances, and come with greater risks.
Personal watercraft insurance
Personal Watercraft (PWC) is the generic term for Jet Skis, Sea-Doos, WaveRunners, and other surface-skimming watercraft. PWC policies are commonly bundled with higher liability limits due to their greater risk of bodily injury.
Watercraft liability insurance
Similar to automotive liability policies, this type of coverage helps financially protect the insured from costs associated with the bodily injury caused to another person, whether they were a passenger, aboard another boat, or swimming in the water.
Why do you need watercraft insurance? Because things can get choppy.
Even though watercraft insurance is only required by a handful of states, most boat owners choose to purchase policies anyway due to the high financial investment and inherent risks involved with water-based activities. Many marinas and boat rental companies also require owners to have watercraft insurance, so if you want to use these services, you'll need the proper coverage.
Who should get watercraft insurance?
Anyone who owns a boat
If you're buying a boat or another watercraft for the first time, we highly recommend you purchase a policy—even if your state doesn't require it. If you already have insurance on a previous vessel, you should call your insurer right away so they can add the new boat to your policy.
Anyone financing a watercraft
Regardless of the legality in your state, many banks will require the purchase of at least a basic watercraft insurance policy if you wish to finance your vessel with them.
Anyone who docks at a marina
If you wish to tie your sailboat to a slip or mooring ball, most marinas will require that you have an adequate watercraft insurance policy should something happen while you're away.
Anyone who participates in professional watersports
Watercraft insurance policies can be customized to cover travel to a tournament, watersport equipment, commercial fishing gear, and any other items onboard your watercraft.
How we approach watercraft insurance.
We want to get to know you, to find out what you need protecting, and where you have exposure.
We'll present you with all the options and help guide you in the right direction.
Not all carriers are created equally. Fortunately, we know who's good at what.
Buying a new boat? Embarking on a deep-sea expedition? We're always here to help with any policy changes.