Boat insurance may help cover a motorboat or large sailboat if it’s stolen, in an accident, or damaged by a covered peril like fire or lightning. Boat insurance may also help protect you if you accidentally injure someone or damage their property with your boat.
What about rowboats, canoes, and small sailboats?
Small crafts like canoes, rowboats, and small sailboats may be covered under a standard homeowner’s policy. However, such coverage is unlikely to include liability insurance.
What about Jet Skis?
Jet Skis, Sea-Doos, and Yamaha Wave Runners are classified as recreational vehicles and owners should obtain personal watercraft insurance for their protection.
Boat and personal watercraft insurance covers the owner and anyone they allow to use the craft for risks such as:
- Bodily injury to another person
- Bodily injury to you that is caused by an uninsured watercraft operator
- Liability in the form of legal costs if you’re sued due to an accident from water sports like tubing, waterskiing, or knee-boarding
- Property damage to another watercraft, boat, or dock
- Towing after an accident
Other considerations for additional cover can include:
- Lay-up period:This covers your boat for property damage during the off-season, when it isn’t in the water.
- Property damage: This is for damage your boat inflicts on someone else’s property.
- Hurricane haul-out provisions: This covers your costs of getting the boat out of harm’s way before a windstorm.
- On-water towing and assistance: This is for unexpected breakdowns or running aground.
- Fuel spill liability protection: Should there be an accidental discharge of fuel from your boat, this will cover the costs of a clean-up.
- Personal effects coverage: This will protect any expensive equipment you have on your boat, such as fishing gear.
- Ice and freeze coverage: Should cold weather damage your boat’s engine and water systems, this will pay the bill.
While boat insurance is not required in NY, NJ or CT to register a boat with the DMV, it’s a good idea to get insurance in place for your personal watercraft.
Obtaining watercraft insurance is a good idea because of the risk of injury on the water, especially from a collision. Even if you aren’t at fault, you could spend a lot of money in legal fees defending yourself. Also, if you are planning on using a Marina to dock or launch your personal watercraft, most of them will require insurance.