Since we’re half way through boating season, we thought it was time to sound an alert on boat insurance. There are many ways to insure your Sailboat, Yacht, or Cruiser. You can add them to your homeowners policy (not suggested ), or you can search out a specialty insurer which focuses on insuring boats.
Insuring your Sailboat, Yacht or Cruiser on your homeowners policy:
Adding your boat to your homeowners policy may be simple and cost effective, but most homeowners policies have exclusions for damage caused by wear and tear, gradual deterioration, vermin, electrical breakdown etc. This means if your boat sinks, the insurance company will investigate the cause of loss. If they can determine it sunk due to any one of the above exclusions , the claim may not be covered and you could be left with a hefty bill, not only for the boat, but also the cost of removing the boat from the bottom of the lake.
Insuring your Sailboat, Yacht or Cruiser on a Marine Policy:
There are many companies out there that focus on marine policies, each one offering slightly different wordings. One of our companies offers a wording which includes the exclusions similar to above, however it goes on to state that it will cover consequential property damage resulting from any fire, sinking, submersion, demasting, collision or Stranding. So picture the Muskrats attacking the boat, they chew through the exhaust hose, and the boat sinks. This specific policy would not cover the chewed hose, but would cover the resulting damage to your boat from sinking.
The Devil is in the details – read your wordings carefully:
Not all Marine policies are created equal. For example, there is another popular marine insurer which offers a policy with the exclusion that reads: “this insurance does not cover physical damage claims arising from parasailing, spinnaker flying, kite skiing, kite tubing, hang gliding, or similar activity involving tethered flight and /or subsequent release of objects or people”. This could be a very scary wording for anyone with a sailboat considering that it excludes claims arising from spinnaker flying.
There are many different Marine Policies which cover many different things. If you have boat insurance , be sure that you review your wordings and speak with your provider to know exactly what it covers and what it doesn’t. If you are going to purchase boat insurance, I suggest you speak with an Independent Insurance Broker to help you navigate the options and be sure you are getting the best policy coverage for the best price. If you don’t have an Independent Broker, click here to contact us and we’d be happy to help.