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Most companies provide limited coverage for property damage for small boats such as canoes and small sail boats or small power boats with less than 25 mile per hour horse power under a homeowners or renters insurance policy. Coverage is usually about $1,000 or 10 percent of the home's property value and generally includes the boat, motor and trailer combined. Liability coverage is typically not included–but it can be added as an endorsement to a homeowners policy. Check with your Aloha Insurance representative to find out if your boat is covered and what the limits are.

Commercial boats such as commercial fishing vessels, charter boats, tour boats, larger and faster pleasure craft, yachts, and other personal watercraft such as jet skis and wave runners require a separate boat insurance policy. The size, type and value of the craft and the water in which you use it factor into how much you will pay for insurance coverage.

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What does a basic boat insurance policy cover?

For physical loss or damage, coverage includes the hull, machinery, fittings, furnishings and permanently attached equipment for an agreed value. These policies also provide broader liability protection than a homeowners policy.

Boat insurance can also cover:

  • Bodily injury — for injuries caused to another person

  • Property damage — for damage caused to someone else’s property

  • Guest passenger liability — for any legal expenses incurred by someone using the boat with the owner’s permission

  • Medical payments — for injuries to the boat owner and other passengers

  • Theft

  • Pollution Liability

  • Commercial Towing and Assistance

Most companies offer liability limits starting at $15,000 and can be increased to $300,000. Typical policies include deductibles of $250 for property damage, $500 for theft and $1000 for medical payments. Higher limits may be available. Additional coverage can be purchased for trailers and other accessories. Boat owners may also consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy which will provide additional protection for their boat, home and car.

Boaters should also inquire about special equipment kept on the boat, such as fishing gear, to make sure it is covered and verify that towing coverage is included in the policy.

Boat owners should also inquire about discounts including:

  • Diesel powered craft, which are less hazardous than gasoline powered boats as they are less likely to explode

  • Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers

  • Ship-to-shore radios

  • Two years of claims-free experience

  • Multi-policies with the same insurer, such as a car, home or umbrella policy

  • Safety education courses, such as those offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary ( http://www.cgaux.org ), U.S. Power Squadrons ( http://www.usps.org ), or the American Red Cross ( http://www.redcross.org )

Safety Tips

» Boat Safety
» Personal Watercraft Safety
Portions courtesy of and © Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org) Copyright © 2001-2017 Aloha Insurance Services, Inc. Kona HI All rights reserved.
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