Do I Need Boat Insurance? All Your Boat & Yacht FAQs Answered
Boat Insurance Policy Basics
Boat and yacht insurance – sometimes referred to as marine insurance – is designed to help protect you and your boating guests from the potentially high cost of accident-related damages or injuries. It is a contract between you and your insurance company in which you pay a premium to the insurance company in exchange for a set of available coverages you select. If you finance or lease your vessel, your lender may require specific insurance coverages and limits.
Carrying boat or yacht insurance is a smart decision. Contrary to popular belief, your vessel is not automatically covered under your homeowners policy. If you cause an accident, or get into one with an uninsured vessel, you may be held responsible to cover related expenses, such as repairs, property damage, medical bills and more. Without the proper coverage, your financial well-being could be at risk.
Working with an insurance representative to create a marine insurance policy that helps fit your individual needs and budget can help protect you, your loved ones and your assets in the event there is a boating accident.
Boat insurance coverage options depend on the state where your boat is used, your insurance company and the coverage you choose. Standard boat insurance coverage options typically include:
- Physical damage: Collisions with another boat or submerged object.
- Liability: Bodily injury or damage to the property of others.
- Personal property: Including, but not limited to, fishing equipment, clothing and boating-related equipment such as life vests.
- Towing and assistance: Reimbursement for transportation of your boat to a repair facility when it’s inoperable, and for gas delivery and roadside assistance.
To get the most complete protection for your individual needs, discuss available boat insurance coverage options with your insurance representative.
Your boat insurance coverage provides protection to any operator listed on your policy.
Your policy may offer some protection for operators not listed on your policy who you occasionally allow to use your vessel, such as:
- Extended family.
- Marina or maintenance personnel.
- Other permissive operators you occasionally allow to use your vessel.
Check with your insurance representative to learn more about who needs to be included and who is covered on your boat insurance policy.
Before you purchase a boat policy, it is a good idea to talk to an insurance representative who can help you determine your insurance needs and explain your coverage options. Things to consider and discuss with your agent include:
- What are the basic coverages, if any, required by your state or by your lender (if vessel is financed)?
- Will you be able to afford to pay your deductible and expenses above your policy limits in the event of a loss?
- How much would it cost to replace or repair your vessel, its fixtures and electronic equipment in the event of a loss?
- Do you frequently take people out on your boat?
- Do you have special features on your boat that might need extra protection?
- Where do you store your boat when it’s not in use?
- How do you transport your boat?
- Where do you plan to use your boat?
- Do you qualify for any discounts on your premium?
Once you purchase a boat insurance policy, it is important to review your coverage needs with your insurance representative on an annual basis, or whenever there is a major change in the status of your boat or its use (e.g., you renovate your boat or change its storage location), to ensure your policy remains adequate for your needs and budget.
Choosing a boat insurance policy that fits your needs starts with choosing the right insurance company.
Travelers has been an insurance leader, committed to keeping pace with the ever-changing needs of our customers, for over 160 years. As one of the nation’s largest casualty companies, we offer a variety of competitive policy options and packages to ensure you get excellent coverage at a competitive price. Our highly qualified insurance representatives are available to help you select coverages with your needs and budget in mind.
We also understand that having insurance is about more than just protecting your vessel. It is about making the process after any incident as simple and stress-free as possible. We’re here to support our customers when the unexpected occurs – with fast, efficient claim services and marine insurance specialists available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Getting a boat insurance quote from Travelers is easy. Just contact one of our insurance representatives.
Many factors affect your cost for boat insurance – among them are the state in which you store and dock your boat, as well as the “navigation territory,” or the waters in which you use your boat.
If you store or dock your boat in an area that is more prone to catastrophic weather events, your policy premium may be higher. You may also have a windstorm deductible. Certain states or marinas may also require you to carry specific coverages and limits, which could affect your premium.
Where you use your boat matters, too. For instance, boats used inland typically have a lower rate than boats used on coastal waters.
A boat is a major investment, and one that should be protected year-round. Fire, theft, weather and natural disasters can damage your boat anytime, anywhere. Without adequate coverage, your boat remains exposed to these threats all year long. Your insurance representative can help you determine which boat policy options best fit your needs and budget.
Most boat policies renew each year as long as you continue to meet underwriting requirements. We will notify you about any policy or premium changes in advance.
It is important to review your coverage needs with your insurance representative on an annual basis, or whenever there is a major change in the status of your boat or the personal belongings you keep on it. This will help ensure that your boat policy meets your needs and budget.
You can update your coverages and boat policy limits by speaking to your insurance representative. We will notify you and adjust your payment accordingly. Note that making changes to your policy can affect your premium.
Remember, it’s important to review your coverage needs with your insurance representative on an annual basis, or whenever there is a major change in the status of your boat or the personal belongings you keep on it. This will help ensure your policy meets your needs and budget.
Umbrella insurance is a separate, personal liability policy that can provide an additional layer of protection beyond what your boat insurance policy may provide.
The cost of damages for which you may be personally responsible after a serious incident involving your vessel can quickly add up to exceed the limits on your boat policy. Umbrella insurance can provide extra protection in these cases, and is a valuable addition to any insurance portfolio, particularly if you have many assets to protect. Talk to your insurance representative to see if an umbrella policy is right for you.
Depending on the state where the boat is used, boat policies can be purchased at a very reasonable cost.
Premiums & Boat Discounts
You may be eligible for discounts based on factors like:
- Your level of boating education.
- Your boat’s safety and security features.
- Your boat is a hybrid or electric.
- You insure more than one boat with Travelers.
- You have another policy, such as car, homeowners, renters, condo or umbrella insurance, with Travelers.
- How and when you pay your premium.
Ask your insurance representative about these and other incentives to ensure you are getting all the boat discounts for which you are eligible.
Yes, we offer a discount of up to 10% for one other qualifying policy and up to 15% off for two or more qualifying policies. Ask your insurance representative about our multipolicy discount.
In many cases, having a GPS unit, radar or other security and safety devices installed on your boat will qualify you for savings. Ask your representative for more information about this and other boat discounts for which you may be eligible.
With Travelers, if you qualify you get to choose whether to insure your vessel for the “agreed value” or “actual cash value.” Agreed value provides coverage at an agreed amount in case there is a total loss to the vessel. Actual cash value provides coverage at the depreciated value and can earn you savings on your premium.
A deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of your own pocket before your boat insurance kicks in. Typically, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
To keep monthly premiums low, boat owners and operators can opt for higher deductibles. But it’s important to choose a deductible you can afford in the event of a loss. Contact your insurance representative for more information about the deductible options available to you.
A policy limit (or “limit of liability”) is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for any claim covered under your policy.
It’s important to choose a liability limit you can afford in the event of a loss. Remember, you will be responsible to pay accident-related expenses above your policy limits. Contact your insurance representative for more information about your policy limits and options.
Boat Coverage & Limits
Physical damage coverage provides protection if your boat collides with another vessel or submerged object, such as a log or a rock. It is included in most boat and other marine policies.
Discuss your physical damage coverage needs with your insurance representative. Consider what it would cost to repair or replace your vessel when choosing your deductibles and policy limits. If you finance your vessel, your lender may require specific coverage options and limits, too. Remember, you will be responsible to cover your deductible, as well any related costs above this limit.
Personal property damage coverage provides protection for items on your boat, including clothing and other personal belongings. It is included in most boat and other marine policies.
Discuss your personal property coverage needs with your insurance representative. Consider the items you and your guests often bring aboard your vessel and how important it is to protect them when choosing your policy deductibles and limits.
Towing and assistance coverage generally reimburses the cost to transport your boat to a repair facility in the event it is inoperable due to a covered loss, and can also cover gas delivery (but not the gas itself) and “boatside” assistance if you are stranded. It is included in most boat and other marine policies.
Discuss your towing and assistance coverage needs and reimbursement levels with your insurance representative to ensure you have adequate protection.
Liability coverage helps protect your assets and financial well-being if you are found legally responsible for causing property damage or injury to other people while operating your vessel. In most cases, it includes coverage for bodily injury, property damage and legal expenses. It is included in most boat and other marine policies.
Consider your risk tolerance and financial circumstances when choosing the level of protection that’s right for you – then discuss your liability coverage needs, options, deductible and policy limits with your insurance representative.
Transport coverage depends on where and how you are transporting your vessel.
Overland transportation, which is typically included on marine policies, covers physical damage that occurs while your vessel is being loaded, unloaded or transported on its trailer within a 500-mile radius of your home port or storage yard. This protection is extended to dinghies on yacht policies, too.
Your boat, yacht or dinghy, however, is not covered while being transported as waterborne cargo, including loading and unloading.
The typical boat insurance policy covers your boat while it’s in water or on land. Please note that whether a particular loss is covered depends on the specific facts and the provisions, exclusions and limits of the actual policy.
If you have the applicable endorsements on your boat or car insurance policies, the trailer you use to tow your boat may be protected. Your insurance representative can help you determine which polices and options are best to insure your trailer.
In most cases, both. Boat policies typically include the coverage limits you select for damage to auxiliary equipment and personal property stored and used on your boat, as well as to the vessel itself.
Liability coverage, which is included in most boat and other marine policies, provides protection if you are found legally responsible for causing injury to another person while operating your boat.
In most cases, yes. A typical boat insurance policy includes coverage for damage or loss due to theft, fire, natural disasters and weather events. Your insurance representative can help you determine which policy options best fit your needs and budget.
A deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of your own pocket before your boat insurance policy kicks in.
Here’s one example of how deductibles work: Let’s say your boat collides with a submerged rock, you have a policy limit of up to $10,000 and your deductible is $1,000. If the cost to repair your boat is $500, you will pay the entire $500 since it is less than your deductible. If the cost to repair your boat is $8,000, you will pay your deductible of $1,000 and your insurer will pay the remaining $7,000.
To keep monthly premiums low, boat owners and operators can opt for higher deductibles. But if you can’t pay your deductible or accident-related expenses above and beyond your policy limits, you may find yourself in financial crisis. Choose wisely. Consider your risk tolerance and financial circumstances when deciding the level of protection that’s right for you and your family – then work with your insurance representative to create a policy that balances your individual needs with a premium and deductible you can afford.
It’s important to review your coverage needs with your insurance representative on an annual basis, or whenever you make “after-market” modifications to your vessel, to ensure your policy remains adequate for your needs and budget.