First of all, you definitely will need boat insurance.

Let me tell you…

The first thing you should do, is to talk to all your friends and other boater you may know, to find out who they have for insurance, what kind of insurance they have and how they’ve had to deal with any filing of claims.

Any good insurer out there will tailor coverage to fit your needs.

First of all, should you buy a separate policy for your boat than to add your current boat to your homeowners policy, or to add your automobile policy?

The two main choices are between “agree upon values” and “actual values”.


Agree upon value policies covers the boat at whatever value you and your insurer agree upon.

For example, if you buy a $ 20,000 boat, and you agree upon that five years down the road, if something happens to your boat and it gets a loss, you get reimbursed that $ 20,000 to buy you a new boat.


The actual cash value policy costs less upfront, however, for claims they factor in depreciation and only pay the actual cash value of the boat at the time of its loss

So, you buy $ 20,000 boat, five years later something happens to that boat, then you may only get $10.000 or $15.000 for your boat, or whatever the actual declared value is at the time of the loss.

So, determine which type of policy is right for you, the “actual value” or the “agreed upon value”.

Talk to your friends, neighbors, and other boaters and find out which is a good company to use?


Now, here’s three easy questions you should ask your boat’s insurance agent.

The answers they give are going to be important, especially to your wallet.

Question #1: Who picks up the bill if your vote needs to be salvaged?

What I’m talking about are the most common types of big catastrophic insurance claims, such as sinking or hurricane damage, and require a salvor to safely remove it, or prevent any further damage.

It’s your policy “Salvage Coverage” that will pay these costs, which is different from your boats insured whole value, or what you insured the boat for to cover the cost of repairs.

You see, a good boat insurance policy has equal and separate pots of money for both, salvage and whole value coverage.

If your salvage coverage is less than or limited to a percentage of the policy’s full whole value, you could have to pay some of the salvage costs from your own pocket.

Question #2: When you have a claim, how much help will your insurance company give you?

For example, your boat speed up in a storm, your insurance policy will pay for the damages, but are you really ready to handle the salvage claims and repair process on your own?

You see, some insurance companies make you do it all: to find a reputable salver, a crane company, a trucking company, a repair facility, and even make you deal with angry property owners.

A good insurance company takes care of these problems for you.

Question #3: Does the policy have “consequential damage” coverage?

If you’re buying insurance, you want to be protected from catastrophic losses from dangers like fire, explosion, sinking, demanding collisions, stranding, etc.

But, if the initial cause of these losses is due to an excluded item such as corrosion or deterioration, you could be out of luck.

Consequential damage coverage takes care of these consequential damages, such as when a corroded through hole breaks, causing your boat to sink.

Without it, almost every sinking, domestic or fire could be excluded as a result of wear and tear.

So, ask your insurance agent:

  • Who pays for salvage?
  • When you have a claim, what kind of help can you expect from your insurance company?
  • Does your policy include “consequential damage” coverage?

I hope you’ll not surprised by any answers your insurance agent may give you.


When people are out looking to buy a new boat, or cleaning up the old boat and getting it back in the water, they just don’t understand exactly why they need insurance.

Let’s answer to two most often questions.

Question #1: why do you need both insurance?

Question #2: if you’re pulling a boat behind your vehicle and that boat were to come off to causing an accident, do you have coverage?

Let’s try to answer both of these questions.


Well, you need boat insurance for the same reasons you need car insurance.

If you have any kind of physical damage to the boat itself, or if you have an accident, or some other boater hits your boat and causes damage, do you want those repairs to be paid for?

If the answer is YES – then you need boat insurance.

But more importantly, with a boat is the liability aspect.

I know for one case with a guy who was had a boat down to Lake Gaston

He and a bunch of his buddies were down there and they were all water skiing.

One of his friends, one of his best friends, had an accident on the water ski and had a double compound fracture of his leg.

Now, the owner of the boat, his best friend, never thought in a million years that he would file a lawsuit, and his best friend didn’t.

However, his health insurance company did!

When you file a health claim, there is a good chance if another party is responsible, or if you were injured on someone else’s property, your health insurance company is going to subrogate against that person and that person is going to have to pay.

In this particular example, the owner of the boat didn’t have any boat insurance.

The boat itself was over $ 30,000, which is just silly in my mind not to protect that investment, but he did not have any liability coverage, so that money for all those medical bills is coming out of his pocket.


The answer is – YES!

As long as you have Auto Liability Coverage, that will extend over in the event you’re pulling behind a trailer, a boat and it comes apart, causing an accident.

Again, I recently heard about the case when another guy going down to Lake Gaston, when boat came apart, caused a three car pile-up.

His car insurance granted the limit was reached, and there were medical bills exceeding his coverage amount, but his car insurance liability did pay for that accident.

But again, more importantly, you want to make sure you have not only car insurance, but also boat insurance.

If you’re not concerned about the boat itself, it’s not worth a whole lot, you still want to get it for the liability aspect.