What You Should Know About Boat Insurance

While you’ve been enjoying the warm waters around the Banana and Indian Rivers with your membership at 321 Boat Club, you might be thinking about buying your own boat. Part of owning a boat is insuring it, and it is a significant cost you should be considering when working out your budget whether you’re shopping for a yacht, single-masted sail boat or even something like a jet-ski. We’ve pulled together some tips for you to keep in mind while drooling at the latest models for sale at the marina.

Your Boat is Not Covered by Your Home Insurance

Boats require their own insurance policy, which is available by most carriers in the state. The insurance is a curious combination of a home insurance policy and an auto policy. It comes with liability, which is applied if somebody gets injured while using the boat as a guest or an owner. Your standard home policy might cover a sunfish or row boat, but as soon as you add an engine or are spending more than a couple thousand dollars, the home policy really won’t cover replacement costs or damage waivers.  You may find that if you buy the boat policy from the same company that covers your home, you can enjoy significant discounts.

Choose Between Agreed and Market Value Replacement

Like your auto policies, as soon as you “drive” your boat off the lot it instantly depreciates. For a premium you can purchase an agreed replacement value upgrade.  When you buy the boat you agree with the insurance carrier how much you will be paid to replace the boat if it is declared a total loss after an accident or due to a storm. Otherwise, as your boat ages, the amount you would receive for a total would be considerably lower.

It Matters Where You are Taking the Boat

There are navigation clauses in many policies, basically tracking expected mileage. If you anticipate taking your vacation home across the ocean and exploring the planet, you will need to stipulate where in the world you will be sailing and pay an additional premium for the added risk. You’ll save a few dollars when you purchase a party boat that will only be put in at the lake or on a specific stretch of river.

Check Out the Max and Minimums for Damage to Others

Like your auto insurance, there are minimums and maximum damage amounts to be paid out if you run over the dock, dent another boat or otherwise cause harm to a piece of property. If you are purchasing a large, luxury boat, you will be tying up next to other high-end water homes and will want to ensure that your maximum is high enough to cover repairs.  When purchasing a second-hand boat that is going to sail the empty stretches of river, your damage coverage can be lowered since the likelihood of getting into a collision is significantly less.

Scheduled Suspension of Coverage

When you only use a boat during summer vacation and it sits out of water in your backyard the rest of the year, you can lower your premium by stipulating when you wish the coverage to be in effect over a twelve month period. If the boat is stored, it is then protected by your home insurance policy in case of damage caused by a storm, fallen tree, or fire. If you store it at a boat yard, you will want to check with the yard and the insurance company what parts of your insurance might need to remain in effect.

Safety Features Lower Your Premium

Yes, you are expected to have life jackets for all passengers. However when you add wireless auto tethers with engine kill switches, bilge sensors and other safety gadgets, you can find additional discounts available for your policy.


Meanwhile, when you maintain your membership at 321 Boat Club, you get to enjoy all the excitement of boat ownership without the burden of extra costs and responsibilities. Your dues covers insurance on all our boats, jet skis and pleasure craft which are maintained and ready for warm weather excitement while you only have to pack a lunch and wear your shorts.

We’ll see you at the docks soon!