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The Most Common Boat Insurance Claims

boat insurance claims

Owning a boat can bring you countless hours of joy, excitement and freedom on the open water. It can also open you up to liability and damages in the case of an accident. Luckily, the right insurance coverage can minimize risks and make sure you can get your boat repaired and back on the water where it belongs. Learning about the most common boat insurance claims can help you take proactive steps to increase safety – and decrease your chances of experiencing a loss.

5 Common Boat Insurance Claims

Hitting an Underwater Object

There can be any number of underwater objects that pose a risk to your vessel: submerged trees, trash, or even another boat that has sunk. Hitting them is much more common during periods of drought since water levels will drop and create risks where before you could cruise right over them. If you do strike an object, stop and check for damage and aging when you get back to the dock and can get a better look. If you notice water seeping into the boat, get it out of the water as soon as possible so that repairs can be made.

Weather Damage

Bad weather can wreak havoc on a boat, often causing it to get banged into pilings or tossed onto shore. You should have a hurricane plan in place for your boat, especially if you live where they are common. Properly secure the craft to minimize the chance of damage or it coming loose.

Theft of Vessel or Equipment

Claims for theft of equipment, which includes electronics, outboard motors and fishing equipment, have been increasing. Although it is less common for boats themselves to be stolen, it is usually a total loss claim since they are rarely recovered in useable condition. Many boats are taken while stored on a trailer, so secure yours during storage.

Collision with Another Boat

Many collision claims involving boats can be attributed to either inattention, excessive speed, blind spots, or some combination of the three. Luckily, most accidents that happen on the water are the equivalent of fender benders, and vessels suffer only minor damage. You should still take precautions to minimize the chance of a collision by going an appropriate speed, paying attention to your path and surroundings and being certain to note navigational markers.


Ideally, your boat will be in the water and not the other way around. Make it a habit to routinely check fitting and hoses below the waterline. They should be secure and free from leaks to ensure that water cannot get in.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (888) 402-5018 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.