Stop Paying Too Much for Insurance

Family Out On The Water

You don't have to own a yacht to enjoy the perks of boating. Everyone who enjoys nautical fun can find a craft for their convenience at a good price. Sometimes, small motor boats or sailing craft are best for you. In other cases, canoes, kayaks or water scooters might prove better fits. However, they'll all cost you, and you'll want to make the most of them. Therefore, you might wonder if you can get insurance to protect these belongings.

Sometimes, you might need boat insurance for protection. In other cases, you might need to turn to your homeowners coverage. How do you know which policy will help you?

How Boats Qualify For Insurance

A boat has an insurable interest. It costs a lot of money, and you use it for practical and recreational purposes. You don't know when an accident might come along that might damage the boat. It could happen while you are out enjoying the water. Or, damage might occur when you park in the boat in your driveway on its trailer.

Problems like these might cost you a lot of money, as you try to pick up the pieces. However, if you have the vessel insured, you probably will receive a degree of help from the policy. Therefore, you won't have to pay all these costs out of pocket. Still, the way every watercraft qualifies for coverage varies.

  • Larger, motorized vessels often qualify for standard boat insurance policies. Larger, rigged sailboats also often qualify for coverage. You can buy boat insurance from major insurers.
  • Smaller vessels — such as canoes, kayaks, jet skis or personal watercraft — do not qualify for standard boat insurance. These vessels usually do not have high enough values.

Yet, though a vessel won't qualify for boat insurance, that doesn't mean it has no protection.

  • Homeowners insurance might apply to these smaller vessels. Home insurance usually has possessions coverage, and your small vessel will often qualify as one of these possessions.
  • Some insurers offer coverage called non-motorized boat insurance. This is a specific type of policy that applies to smaller boats but offers more specific coverage than home insurance.

Standard Boat Insurance

If you have a boat that qualifies for boat insurance, contact your Auto Insurance Discounters agent. They can help you obtain the appropriate coverage for this vessel. While the law often doesn't require you carry boat insurance, that doesn't mean you should skip coverage. Your policy might include:

  • Collision Insurance: This coverage will pay for damage your boat sustains in a wreck. For example, if you hit another boat on the water, you can use this coverage to pay for the damage or repairs.
  • Comprehensive Insurance: More than just wrecks could damage your boat. Comprehensive insurance can pay for boat damage such instances as fire, theft, vandalism or weather damage.
  • Liability Insurance: If you cause a boat accident that harms others, this coverage can help you pay them for their losses.
  • You might also get coverage for Medical Payments, Pollution Cleanup, Salvage Costs and Personal Possessions lost with the vessel.

All policies will differ. You must set coverage limits and deductibles to insure the full value of your vessel. Therefore, you might need different perks based on the unique characteristics of your vessel. Let your Auto Insurance Discounters agent guide you through the policy setup process.

Homeowners Coverage For Small Vessels

Even if you can't qualify for a stand-alone boat insurance policy, don't let that stop you. Ask your agent if the boat qualifies for coverage under your homeowners insurance policy. Homeowners insurance usually includes possessions or contents insurance. Your small vessel is one of your belongings. Therefore, it sometimes has coverage.

Let's say you store your canoe in the garage. One night, a fire might breaks out in the garage and burns the boat. You'll want to replace the boat. So, if you make a homeowners insurance claim for the canoe, you might be able to get help with repairs or help paying for a new canoe.

However, home coverage for boats is not a catch-all solution. Your policy often limits coverage.

  • You might have no coverage for a boat that sinks. Many policies cover only boat damage that occurs on your property.
  • You might not get a large payout. Most boat policies will only pay set amounts, usually no more than $1,000, for boat damage. Even if you have a boat worth more than that amount, you'll only get that maximum coverage payout. You'll still have to pay other costs yourself.
  • Your homeowners liability protection will only have limited protection for injuries third parties sustain in these damages.

Non-Motorized Boat Insurance

If you want more coverage for your boat than just homeowners insurance, ask your Auto Insurance Discounters agent if you can get a non-motorized boat policy. Coverage will contain many of the standard policy elements of a standard boat policy, such as:

  • Liability Insurance
  • Physical Damage Protection
  • Medical Payments Coverage
  • Equipment Coverage (for items like motors added to the vessel)
  • Personal Effects Coverage

The best way to determine which type of coverage you need is to talk to your Auto Insurance Discounters agent. Based on your boat's specifications, you might find standard or non-motorized boat insurance a better fit for you. Or, you might decide that you only want homeowners coverage.

Tell your agent about the vessel's value and special features. They can help you determine the right course of action.

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