Boat Insurance Inclusion in Renter’s and Homeowner’s Insurance Policies

Boating is a top recreational sport in the United States more so in areas where surf, sand and sun dominate the whole year round.

Statistics released by the U.S. Coast Guard for the 2012 Recreational Boating indicated that there were 651 fatalities and 3,000 injured persons linked to boating. Boating accidents totaled 4,515 which amounted to approximately $38 million of property damage.

It pays to have adequate and quality boat insurance to shoulder damage to property and person.

Boat Insurance Inclusion in Renter’s and Homeowner’s Insurance Policies

Homeowner’s insurance provides financial protection to your property and personal effects in the event of a disaster such as fire and other natural disasters. Renter’s insurance offers protection against damages to personal effects, but there are several exclusions.

Most insurance companies include 10% of your home’s value or $1,000 coverage for small watercrafts. However, a home or renter’s insurance policy does not include boat coverage. In case a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy includes boat insurance, liability coverage is excluded. You have to pay extra for third party bodily injury and property damage coverage. If you want collision coverage, you have to pay the agreed deductible from the insurer.

If you have a yacht or a bigger watercraft or any boat with a speed of 25 mph of horsepower, it is more practical to buy a boat insurance policy. A separate insurance may be needed for wave runners, jet skis and similar watercrafts.

In some cases, paying extra for options against your home insurance policy is feasible but there are limitations. If you do decide to get boat insurance coverage, it is wiser to insure your boat from a legitimate boat insurance company.

Two Types of Boat Insurance

The quote for boat insurance depends on various factors including its type and size, where and how it is used, its value and the driver of the boat. The two basic types of boat insurance are: Agreed Amount Value and Actual Cash Value.  Under the first option, the insurer and you agree on the actual value of your boat. In the event of a total loss, the insurer will reimburse the agreed upon value of your watercraft. This coverage includes the replacement of broken/dilapidated boat parts with new parts without deductible depreciation.

Under Actual Cash Value boat insurance, the insurer will pay you the actual current market value of your boat in case of total loss. Any parts replacement is computed based on its depreciation at the time the part broke down and replaced.

Coverage for boat insurance includes property damage, bodily injury, guest passenger liability, medical payments and theft. The minimum policy liability is $15,000 which could be increased to $400,000 depending on the age, size and type of the watercraft.

Boat insurance differs from one insurer to another. You should take the time to read the boat insurance policy for specifics. For example, liability coverage is applicable to anyone driving the boat but medical payment only applies to the policy holder.

Boat Accidents and Auto Insurance

It is highly illegal to operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, about one-third of boating accidents are alcohol-consumption related. BUI or Boating Under the Influence conviction is illegal in all U.S. states but the consequences may differ. Depending on state regulations, a BUI is likely to affect what you pay for your auto insurance.

If you are cited for a BUI, your insurer will most likely offer protection and coverage if your accident is within your policy guidelines. If your auto insurance policy offers minor violation forgiveness, opt for this feature to avoid a higher auto insurance premium.