What Are the Different Boat Insurance Policies?

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When most people think of boat insurance, they mainly focus on the features of the policy that repair damage to their boat. However, boat insurance policies can potentially cover much more. As a result, it’s critical to understand the nuances of the coverage. Here’s an overview.

Property Coverage on Boat Insurance

In 2021, boating accidents in the United States led to an estimated $67.5 million in property damage. Property coverage in your boat insurance policy helps cover the costs associated with damage resulting from an accident, and it comes in several forms.

First, you have property coverage that’s oriented to you and your boat. That includes assistance with repair costs on your vessel, as well as coverage for personal effects that were on the watercraft.

On the other side, property liability coverage helps offset the costs relating to property owned by others that you damage in an accident. For instance, if you crash your boat into a dock that’s owned by another party, property coverage on your policy could help handle the costs.

Liability Coverage on Boat Insurance

Liability coverage is part of your boat insurance policy that covers expenses others would shoulder if you cause a boating accident. Usually, liability coverage is limited to a specific dollar amount that’s outlined in your policy. On the low end, it may provide up to $100,000. However, you can choose to extend that coverage to $500,000, $1 million, or more.

In some cases, liability coverage is divided into sections, essentially setting specific payout limits for particular types of expenses. For instance, there’s property damage liability and bodily harm liability, which are commonly broken out but fall under the broader liability coverage umbrella.

Does Boat Insurance Cover Medical Payments?

In 2021, there were 658 fatalities and 2,641 injuries related to boating accidents. Since such incidents can result in medical costs, many people wonder if boating insurance covers medical payments.

Generally, medical payments made to others are covered through a policy’s bodily injury coverage. That includes medical expenses relating to incidents in which you injured someone else while boating. Additionally, it may offer payments for wage losses for the injured person if they’re unable to work for a period.

There are also policies that cover medical payments for the boat owner and any of the passengers on the policyholder’s boat. This is separate from bodily harm liability coverage, which only compensates other parties.

Boat Insurance Add-Ons

While basic boat insurance policies offer coverage against specific damage, theft, and many forms of liability, that coverage doesn’t address every potential incident. Additionally, there are often coverage limits that reduce coverage on specific items. As a result, boat insurance add-ons may be necessary to handle gaps in the core policy.

Essentially, boat insurance add-ons – also called endorsements or riders – are supplemental coverages for specific situations. For example, a high-value item add-on can cover expensive components with values above what’s supported by your base policy. Towing add-ons give you financial support if your boat requires a tow after becoming inoperable due to an accident or mechanical failure.

The add-ons that are available vary by insurer. As a result, it’s wise to examine your base policy for potential gaps and directly inquire about riders the insurer offers.