Does Boat Insurance Cover Theft?

Does Boat Insurance Cover Theft?

Your jet ski is stored safely in your driveway as you run out to do a few errands - but when you return you find that the vessel has been stolen. One of the first questions you’re probably going to ask yourself is - “does my PWC/jet ski insurance policy cover theft?”. 

This will largely depend on the specific situation and the type of insurance you have. For example, liability insurance will not cover theft as it protects against bodily injury and property damage resulting from an accident. 

» MORE: Liability-Only Boat Insurance Coverage

Luckily there are several coverage options that extend beyond a liability-only policy and may include coverage for theft of the watercraft. 

Here are some things to consider about your insurance coverage if your boat is stolen.

Does location matter if my boat is stolen?  


A boat stolen from a private or public dock, marina, or mooring is generally covered under the “all risks” (fire, theft, collision) section of a boat insurance policy unless it is specifically excluded. 


Your vessel is also vulnerable to theft while on the trailer. If the boat is stolen while being moved to a different location or while on your property, it may be covered. This ultimately depends on the specific terms of the policy. 

Many boaters are tempted to cancel insurance coverage when the boat isn’t in use during the winter. However, this will leave you without any insurance if the boat is stolen during those months.  

Does boat insurance cover trailer or outboard motor theft? 

Again, consult the specific terms of your policy and contact your broker or insurer to review any questions. 

What if property is stolen from my boat? 

Let’s say the boat is not stolen. Instead, all of the valuable equipment aboard is stolen – what then? 

Typically, all permanently attached items are covered against theft under the same terms that apply to the boat itself. This may include anchors, fuel tanks, horns and lights, attached motors, and even depth finders. 

Items that are not attached generally require additional coverage. This includes water skis and wakeboards, fishing poles and tackle boxes, non-attached GPS/navigation devices, scuba equipment, camping gear, and other personal items.  

» MORE: Personal Property and Equipment Coverage - Explained

How much reimbursement will I receive if my boat is stolen? 

An insurance policy may cover your boat on an actual cash value or agreed value basis. These valuation methods will determine how the policy will compensate you after a covered loss.

Actual Cash Value Policies 

Actual cash value coverage will determine the value to replace your stolen property and then reduce that amount by any depreciation applicable due to the age of the property. 

Agreed Value Policies 

Agreed value coverage helps you replace stolen property without adjusting for depreciation.

» MORE: Boat Insurance Replacement Cost Versus Actual Cash Value 

Anti-Theft Devices

Anti-theft devices can be used for additional protection against theft. They will deter thieves, increase security, and reduce the likelihood of having to file an insurance claim for a stolen vessel. 

» MORE: Boat Insurance and Anti-Theft Devices

Here are some anti-theft devices that will guard against the theft of your boat and valuable equipment on board:

How to increase theft coverage  

You can expand theft coverage by consulting your agent or directly through your boat insurance carrier.  

Share this: