This overview will help you make an informed decision when you're ready to buy
boat insurance. Boat insurance programs are normally designed
to cover boats up to 26' in overall length. If the size of your vessel is
greater than 26 feet, it's generally considered a "yacht", and therefore
qualifies for yacht insurance.
Boat insurance provides physical damage coverage to repair your
boat if it's accidentally damaged or destroyed by a covered peril such as
collision, fire, theft, windstorm, lightning or vandalism. This coverage is
broad, and provides coverage for the boat, including its machinery and
auxiliary equipment, outboard motors, boat trailer and personal property.
A Boat Insurance policy can provide physical damage coverage on an Actual Cash
Value (ACV) or an Agreed Amount Value basis. Both types of
insurance policies offer important coverages for your boat but there
are significant differences.
Actual Cash Value policies pay for Replacement Costs less depreciation at the
time of the loss. In the event of a total loss, used boat pricing guides and
other resources are used to determine the approximate market value of your
vessel. A partial loss is settled by taking the total cost of the repair less a
percentage for depreciation.
Agreed Amount Value policies mean you and the insurance company have agreed on
the value of your vessel and in the event of a total loss you will be paid that
amount. Agreed Amount Value policies also replace old items for new in the
event of a partial loss without any deduction for depreciation. Most Agreed
Amount Value policies require actual cash value on certain damaged property
such as sails, protective covers, batteries, dinghies, trailers and aged
outboard motors, lower drive units or outdrives.
Example of Actual Cash Value vs. Agreed Amount Value with $10,000 damage to a 4
year old Outdrive.
|Actual Cash Value
||Agreed Amount Value
||Agreed Amount Payment
Physical Damage coverage is usually subject to a deductible. The boat and motor
usually have the same deductible with additional deductibles for the trailer
and personal effects. The deductible is the amount you are willing to pay in
case of a loss. The higher the deductible, the lower your insurance premium.
Boat policy deductibles are usually calculated as a percentage of your coverage
(1%, 2%, 3% of the vessel value) or can be on flat amounts of $250 or $500.
A good boat insurance policy should also offer Personal Effects coverage to
provide protection for those items not intended for the normal operation of
your boat, such as portable TVs, cellular or portable phones, stereos, radios
The Liability section of the policy provides protection if you are legally
responsible for damages to property or injury to someone other than yourself or
a family member. Boat Insurance liability provides protection if you are sued
as a result of hitting another boat, or if someone is hurt onboard your vessel
because of your negligence. This coverage is usually offered in increments of
$100,000 up to $1 million.
The Medical Payments section of the policy provides protection for reasonable
medical, ambulance and hospital costs should someone be injured while in, upon,
boarding or leaving your boat.
Uninsured Boat Owners Coverage
The Uninsured Boat Owners section of the policy provides coverage for injuries
caused by an accident that you are entitled to recover from the owner or
operator of an uninsured boat or "hit-and-run" boat.
Commercial Towing and Assistance enables you to be reimbursed for the reasonable
costs incurred when you break down at sea and need a commercial tow to port.
These are some of the basic coverages you should look for when purchasing boat
insurance. As a market leader in the boat insurance industry, United Marine
Underwriters offers broad coverages at great rates for virtually any type of
Compare for yourself!
This overview provides general information on boat insurance coverages and is
not intended to offer advice on your particular insurance needs or coverages.
For specific policy and coverage information contact United Marine Underwriters.