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Navigating Boat Insurance

Liability coverage on a boat insurance policy might be the lowest cost option for your boat insurance. Let’s take a look at the coverage policies typically include.

Bodily injury

Your liability for injury or death when you’re operating your boat is covered up to the limits of your policy of boat liability insurance. You’re even covered if you’re docked. Your coverage applies if you’re sued for bodily injury by a guest, somebody in the water or another boater.

Property damage

Damage to another person’s boat, dock, or items of personal property that is caused by your carelessness or negligence is covered under your property damage liability insurance up to the amount of your policy limits. This can apply whether you’re operating your boat in open water or at the dock.

Costs of defense

On both your bodily injury and property damage coverage, your insurer will retain and pay a defense attorney selected by it along with other costs of your defense if you’re sued.

Wreck removal

When your boat is damaged by a covered loss and rendered unusable, most watercraft insurance will pay for removal, raising, or destruction of the boat if required by law. For example, this type of situation might arise if your boat becomes a hazard to navigation at or near the entrance to a harbor.

Pollution liability

If that boat is in a wreck or even sinks, nearly all marine liability insurance policies cover pollution liability for containing and cleaning up oil and gas leaks up to your policy limits. Note that any civil or criminal fines will most likely be excluded.

As long as you’re looking at boat liability insurance, you might want to ask your agent about an umbrella policy that covers your home, vehicles and boat. Umbrella coverage starts out at $1 million of coverage, and it’s remarkably inexpensive given the coverage you get. Remember that if you’re towing your boat, your car rather than your boat insurance coverage will apply. Make sure you’re sufficiently covered.

Don’t forget that your marine liability insurance only covers you within the geographical area and calendar dates contained on your declarations page. If you want to save a little more money on your watercraft insurance, most companies will discount your premium for any months that you pull your boat out of the water before the season’s end.

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