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What is Boat Insurance?

Updated: October 2019

Boat insurance may help cover a motorboat, sailboat or personal watercraft 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. Your policy may cover parts of the boat including:

  • Machinery
  • Permanently attached equipment
  • Fittings
  • Furnishings
  • Hull

Group of people in life vests on sailboat on lake.


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What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Here's a look at the types of coverage often included in a typical boat insurance policy.

Boat insurance property coverage
Boat insurance helps protect a boat (and other watercraft) from certain risks. For instance, property coverage may help pay to repair your boat after it's damaged in an accident. It may also help pay to replace your boat if it's stolen. This coverage usually helps protect a boat whether it's on water or land. When you buy boat property insurance, you may be able to choose between two coverage types: actual cash value coverage or agreed amount coverage.

Actual cash value coverage takes depreciation into account when it comes to paying for repairs.

Agreed amount coverage helps pay for repairs based on the valuation of your boat, as agreed upon by you and your insurer when you purchase coverage.

Liability coverage
If you cause an accident that damages another person's property, liability coverage may help pay for expenses you incur as a result.

Medical payments coverage
Suppose you or your passengers are injured after an accident on your boat. Medical payments coverage may help pay for resulting expenses such as hospital bills, medications or X-rays.

Uninsured watercraft coverage
What would happen if an uninsured boater collides with your watercraft and you or one of your passengers are injured? The uninsured watercraft coverage on your boat insurance policy may help pay for the resulting expenses.

Other Types of Protection

The coverage needs of boat owners will vary from person to person. It's a good idea to talk with an insurance agent about coverage for the following components:

  • Boat trailers
  • Boat accessories (for example, radar or geo-location instruments)
  • Special equipment (fishing gear, for instance)
  • Towing coverage

You may also want to look into whether your policy includes coverage to help pay for the cost of fuel spills or wreckage removal if there's an accident on the water.

How much Does Boat Insurance Cost?

The cost of boat insurance depends on several factors, including:

  • The coverages, coverage limits and deductibles you select on your policy
  • The type and size of the boat you're insuring
  • Where you will use and store the boat

You may qualify for boat insurance discounts for taking a boating safety class or having multiple policies with the same insurer. Check with your insurance agent to see if any other discounts are available to you.

Limits And Deductibles

As with any insurance, coverage limits will apply. Limits are the maximum amount your policy will pay out after a covered loss. Read your policy to learn what your coverage limits are and talk with your local agent to learn whether you can adjust those limits based on your needs.

If you do need to file a claim, you'll likely need to pay your deductible, which is your share of a covered claim.

With a basic knowledge of how boat insurance may help protect you, your boat and others, you can set sail with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have certain safeguards in place, just in case.

With a basic knowledge of how boat insurance may help protect you, your boat and others, you can set sail with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have certain safeguards in place, just in case.

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This content is for informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations.

Coverage subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2020 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.
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