With the rising temperatures and the sunny skies, there’s no doubt about it — boat season in the midwest is here! But before you get out on the water, have you ensured that your boat is fully protected by the right insurance policy?
Homeowners insurance offers robust coverage for incidents involving theft, fire damage, flooding, and other damage-inducing incidents — but that doesn’t guarantee coverage for every item on your property. If you’re a boat owner, you’ll likely want to dig into your policy to gauge whether you have the desired level of coverage for your watercraft.
What’s covered under your homeowners policy?
Do you own a canoe, or maybe a small kayak? These items are covered under your policy. Additionally, small john boats and small sailboats (under 26 feet) are generally covered for liability as well. If you want physical damage coverage, you’ll have to add that coverage.
What’s not covered under your homeowners policy?
There are several fun “toys” not covered under a traditional home policy. ATVs, boats (motor and sailboats 26 feet and larger), jet skis, and wave runners all require a separate insurance policy. It is important to understand what is available in terms of liability insurance in the event of injury in a boating accident — your typical homeowners policy will not provide coverage for that.
The ins and outs of boat insurance
Boat insurance helps protect boats (and other watercraft) from certain risks. For instance, property coverage may help pay to repair your boat after it’s damaged in an accident. It may also help pay to replace your boat if it’s stolen. This coverage usually protects a boat whether it’s on water or land. When you buy boat property insurance, you may be able to choose between coverage types: actual cash value coverage, agreed amount coverage, or total loss replacement if the boat is new (or relatively new).
How do the different coverage options work? Actual cash value coverage takes depreciation into account when it comes to paying for repairs. Agreed amount coverage helps pay for repairs based on the valuation of your boat, as agreed upon by you and your insurer when you purchase coverage. Total loss replacement works to replace your damaged vessel with one in brand new condition.
Because not all homeowners carriers offer these coverages, it’s imperative to make sure you have wreckage removal and fuel spill coverage if your boat sinks or you’re responsible for a fuel spill. Another important piece of coverage for boaters is uninsured and underinsured boater UB/UIB. If you’re hit by a boater with no insurance or not enough insurance, UB/UIB will pay for your injuries and damages up to your policy’s limits.
Lindow can help you protect your boat
Sometimes it is best to have a separate boat policy that isn’t attached to your homeowner’s insurance. The stand alone policy can offer better coverage — and if you ever have to make a claim, it does not go against your homeowners. Need help navigating which type of coverage is right for you and your watercraft? Reach out to one of our expert agents; we’ll shop around for you to evaluate all your coverage options and find the best fit for your individual situation.