What Kinds of Boat Insurance Can I Buy?

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Boat insurance offers boat owners financial protection against the costs associated with accidents, theft, and a range of other issues. However, you need to get the right type of coverage based on the kind of watercraft you own. Otherwise, your insurance might not cover your boat correctly, leaving you on the hook for more costs.

Fortunately, choosing the right option isn’t complicated, as the kinds of policies are usually specific to the watercraft type. Here’s a look at the primary categories of boat insurance you can buy.

Basic Boat Insurance

Basic boat insurance covers most smaller boats, depending on their features and purpose. Typically, it includes coverage against a range of common qualifying incidents, such as accidents or theft. If an eligible issue arises, boat owners receive funds from their insurance company to assist with repairs or boat replacement, depending on the exact policy terms.

Generally, basic boat insurance is the lowest coverage option available, meeting most regulatory requirements for operating a vessel on non-private water or while transporting on land. Generally, it’s appropriate for small boats under a specific length, typically under 26 feet.

The cost of basic boat insurance varies significantly. The size and purpose of the vessel play roles, as do the included features. However, the price typically falls in the $200 to $500-per-year range.

Yacht Insurance

Yacht insurance is for moderately larger watercraft that are more commonly used as luxury pleasure vessels. There’s some debate regarding the minimum length. According to Yacht World, 33 feet is considered the minimum based on maritime definitions. However, some vessels as short as 30 feet in length may qualify. Having a professional crew is another common defining characteristic of yachts.

Yacht insurance is specifically designed to cover this specific type of luxury recreational craft. Along with accident and theft coverage, personal property, towing, liability, personal effects, and other types of coverage are often included. Generally, the annual premium is around 1.5% of the vessel’s value.

Sailboat Insurance

Sailboat insurance covers what the name suggests: sailboats. Sailboats often have different components when compared to watercraft that are solely driven using a motor. As a result, the risks associated with operation and the included features can vary, altering coverage needs.

Annual premiums vary dramatically for sailboats. Size, function, construction materials, and features all play roles. As a result, it’s best to collect quotes from several insurers to estimate your annual premiums.

Personal Watercraft Insurance

Personal watercraft insurance covers items like jet skis, wave runners, and similar smaller vessels that riders sit or stand on – instead of sitting or standing within – designed mainly for recreation. Personal watercraft typically have inboard water jet engines, outboard motors, or propeller-driven motors.

Coverage provides financial protection against costs relating to qualifying incidents, such as accidents and theft. Additionally, personal effects and medical payment coverage usually come with the policy. Some may also provide on-water or roadside assistance and fuel spill protection, depending on the policy details. The price of personal watercraft insurance does vary based on the craft, its value, the included features, and more.