From wakeboarding to bass fishing, boaters are enjoying the great outdoors along with activities that promote healthy living and the building of communities. Whether you’ve just purchased a boat for the first time or you’re a lifelong boat owner, it pays to look into your insurance coverage and ensure that you’re properly protected while on the water. Or even on land for that matter if your boat rides on a trailer.
Types of Boat Insurance Coverage
To properly protect your boat, personal belongings, passengers and mitigate risk of liability, we can advise you on the right coverage for your boat, yacht or personal watercraft:
- Boat Hull Damage coverage– Your boat can be damaged through a collision either with another boat, a submerged obstruction or even by running into a dock. Think of this as collision coverage that will compensate you for the repair or replacement of your boat regardless of who is at fault.
- Comprehensive coverage- This covers losses from things beyond your control or involvement like fire or theft. Comprehensive coverage can offer a blanket limit or be extended to cover personal belongings, fishing gear, and marine electronics.
- Bodily injury liability coverage- Should you, your passengers or a third party be hurt by your actions, your liability insurance will cover a variety of claims. For example, it pays for lost wages, medical expenses, and even funeral expenses for those involved in accidents that you are responsible for.
- Sinking (Wreckage Removal)- Should the worst happen and your boat is submerged, local authorities and marinas can impose fees and claim costs if the boat is blocking access. Wreckage removal insurance will pat for professional retrieval service and proper disposal of the damaged boat.
Boat Insurance Coverage
For insurance purposes, boats are pretty similar to cars; you need liability coverage in case you or your passengers cause injury to someone else, comprehensive coverage to fix or replace your boat in the event of an accident or total loss, and underinsured (or uninsured) coverage in case the person who causes damage to you or your boat doesn’t have adequate coverage in place. So far, pretty similar to auto insurance, but with a boat there are a few uniquely additional issues that need to be considered.
At Phoenix Insurance we’re boaters too, with decades spent on the water piloting both sail and power boats. We understand the intricacies of boat construction, propulsion systems, fire suppression, safety, navigation and emergency preparedness. We also appreciate the beauty and majesty of boating in the great Pacific Northwest, whether inland or around the Puget Sound, all the way up to Alaska. We understand your needs. We’ll get you properly insured.
Boat Insurance FAQs
Boat insurance can cover as little as liability—in you cause an accident or injure someone—all the way to the boat, its contents and the medical expenses of all the people aboard in the event of injury. In addition, boat insurance can cover electronics, fishing gear, the boat’s motor and even towing service on the water. A licensed agent can help you choose the right boat insurance for your needs & circumstances.
There’s really no such thing as an average cost for boat insurance because boats and their owners vary so much. While some carriers may advertise that they’ll insure your boat for as little as $100 a year, that rate may only offer a small amount of liability coverage, so if your $20,000 is wrecked or stolen, you could receive nothing from the insurance company. The best way to find out what it’s going to cost for boat insurance is to speak with an agent who has access to many carriers and can offer you the best solution for your needs.
It depends on your policy. If you have Comprehensive coverage, you could be reimbursed if the boat is stolen. How much you receive from the insurance company depends on your policy; you could get an agreed value, or a market value, or under certain circumstances total replacement value. Keep in mind however that unless you have specific coverage for these items, fishing gear, electronics and personal property on the boat may not be covered.
Washington state does not mandate compulsory boat or watercraft insurance. That said, any activity that puts you at risk of financial loss and exposes you to potential liability is cause for insurance protection. Exactly how much insurance you need depends or many factors, including the value of your boat and other personal assets you need to protect in case of any claims against you.
As a minimum, jet ski insurance should provide liability coverage in the event you damage someone’s property or cause bodily harm. Your agent can help you choose a liability limit that adequately protects you and your assets in the event of a claim, and may even suggest an umbrella policy as a low-cost means of giving you the cushion you might need. And, with personal watercraft now costing up to $20,000, you’ll want to also have comprehensive coverage in case of theft or total loss.