Do I Need to Insure My Watercraft Motor If I Have a Boat Policy?

No, you don't need to take out boat insurance for your non-motorized boat. However, it may be a wise decision to insure your non-motorized vessel if you are concerned about theft, accidents, and other events that could cause harm and damage. If someone is injured on or near your boat, a marine insurance policy can cover some or all of the expenses that could otherwise be financially devastating for the boat owner. For instance, if your boat was damaged in an attempted robbery when it wasn't on your property, your home insurance policy may not provide coverage for the losses.

When it comes to the cost of insuring your non-motorized boat, it is usually cheaper to insure it for fresh water than for salt water. Therefore, make sure to discuss with your agent where you plan on sailing. You must insure your boat for the amount it would cost to replace it with another of the same type and quality. When deciding what coverages you should purchase for your non-motorized boat, consider not only how much it might cost to replace the boat in the event of theft or serious damage, but also the risks associated with using the kayak frequently, such as near larger motorized boats like ski boats.

Even if non-motorized boats like canoes and kayaks don't typically require an insurance policy, adding them to an existing homeowner's policy is still recommended. Boat insurance, also known as a marine insurance policy, provides peace of mind knowing that you are covered in case of something unfortunate or unexpected. A good estimate for annual premiums is 1.5% of the current market value of your boat. The comprehensive and collision coverage of your boat insurance policy will normally cover the actual cash value of your boat.

Check with your lender (if you lease or finance your boat) or your marina (if you rent a pier) to see if there are insurance policies available. The amount of boat insurance you may need depends on several factors such as the value of the boat, the size of the engine and its age. It is usually different from a homeowners insurance policy even if the boat is in a trailer in the side yard. Depending on the type of boat and your personal profile, your insurance costs can be significantly higher.

Over time, as your boat ages, your insurer will likely insist on a policy with real cash value and will often give you substantial savings. As with almost anything you buy, researching and comparing prices can help you find the right boat insurance quote for you. For example, if your boating is restricted seasonally and your boat is stored during the winter, you can get deductions for winter parking.

Jerri Ament
Jerri Ament

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