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» Boat Insurance 101 – Do You Have the Proper Coverage?

May 31, 2019

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Spring has sprung and the weather is finally getting warmer after a long drawn-out winter – and most everybody is in the mood to celebrate the sunshine and warmer temperatures. If you have a boat, chances are you are anxious to get it out of storage and out on the open waters as soon as the weather permits. That makes spring the perfect time to discuss boating and other watercraft insurance.

It’s important to understand what your boat insurance covers before heading out on the water.

Boat insurance covers you in the event of a loss or damage to your boat. It covers most watercraft with motors, including fishing boats, pontoon boats, paddleboats, leisure crafts and yachts.

Types of coverage include:

  • Physical damage coverage:
    • This coverage insures your boat against damage and loss caused by common risks, such as sinking, fire, storms, theft, and collision.
    • Be sure to inform your agent of all personal property to ensure you receive the proper coverage.
  • Liability coverage:
    • This coverage applies if your boat causes injury to others or damage to other boats, docks, or structures. Keep in mind that the injury or damage can be due to direct contact with your vessel, or damage/injury caused by your vessel (such as large wakes).

You can buy two types of damage coverage for a boat:

  • Actual cash value:
    • This pays the value of your boat at the time of the damage. A policy based on actual cash value will reimburse you for the current market value of the repair or replacement (the original price minus depreciation)
  • Agreed amount value:
    • The insured and insurer agree on the value of the boat upfront. If your boat is destroyed, your insurer pays you an amount that you and the company agreed on beforehand.

A good way to save money is by taking boating safety courses. Learn more about boating insurance coverage and discounts available at

If you have any questions regarding this article or you would like to get a quote for watercraft coverage, please contact the Personal Lines Department at 216-658-7857 or [email protected].

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