What Does Boat Insurance Cover?


Boat insurance can provide financial protection against accidents, theft, natural disasters, personal liability, and more. A single boat insurance policy can provide coverage for various hazards and perils associated with owning and operating watercraft. Coverage is also available for physical damage to your boat and personal property. 

In most states, a boat insurance policy is not required; however, many marinas will require a minimum amount of liability insurance. If you cause an accident or someone is injured on your property, you could be found legally responsible for resulting costs, such as medical or legal bills. This is where liability insurance comes into the equation – it will protect you from these types of expenses. 

However, you may want to consider increasing coverage beyond a liability-only policy to protect against other risks. If so, here’s a breakdown of the most common coverages available for your boat, personal property, and other expenses.

Boat Insurance Coverage – Overview 

  • “All-Risk” Coverage: covers against all risks to your watercraft - such as fire, theft, and collision, unless specifically excluded from the policy.
  • Agreed Value Coverage: If your boat is the subject of a covered total loss, the policy will pay you the agreed value stated on the policy without adjusting for depreciation. 
  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability: coverage for your liability to another person for bodily injuries or property damage arising out of the ownership of operation of your watercraft. 
  • Medical Payments: coverage for medical expenses for a third party without regard to your liability. 
  • Towing and Roadside Assistance Coverage: reimburses you for tows or service requests up to the policy limit. 

» MORE: Comprehensive Boat Insurance Coverage – What It Is and How to Get It 

Boat Insurance Coverage – Explained 

“All-Risk” Coverage 

An “All-risk” policy s is a comprehensive boat insurance policy designed to protect you against all risks that aren’t specifically excluded from coverage

It differs from and is more thorough than a named perils policy. A named-peril contract will only cover the perils explicitly listed in the policy, as opposed to an “all-risk” policy, which provides coverage against all perils except those explicitly excluded.

An “all-risk” policy does name the risks covered, but rather, those that are not covered.

For Example – you have a named peril policy that specifies any loss caused by fire or vandalism will be covered. If your boat then experiences damage from collision, the claim would not be covered. Such a loss would be covered under an “all-risk” policy

Agreed Value Coverage 

An agreed value insurance policy will pay can help you pay to repair or replace damaged property, without subtracting depreciation.

For Example – if your boat is damaged in a hurricane, agreed value coverage may help to replace the entire boat (if totaled) or make any necessary repairs (in a partial loss).

Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Coverage

If you are responsible for an accident where a third party sustains bodily injuriy or property damage, boat insurance liability coverage can protect you against those damages.

  • Bodily injury liability may cover the expenses arising from injuries to another person that you are responsible for. This could include medical bills, emergency services, and additional damages.
  • Property Damage Liability provides protection against damage you cause to another person’s property.

» MORE: A Breakdown on Liability Coverage 

For example – if you hit another boat while exiting the marina and the other boater’s hull was damaged, your property damage liability may pay for the repairs. 

Medical Payments Coverage

This coverage can pay for medical expenses arising from injuries to third parties regardless of your liability. Expenses arising from injuries sustained while on, boarding, leaving, or when in an accident with another boat may be covered. This may include hospital costs, ambulance expenses, and other medical bills.

For example – if a passenger falls while boarding your boat and breaks their arm, your medical payments coverage could help pay for the medical bills associated with the injury.

» MORE: Medical Payments Coverage: What You Need to Know 

Towing and Roadside Assistance 

Towing and roadside assistance coverage will help pay for tows and service calls, whether you break down on the water or on the road while towing your boat. This coverage will reimburse you for the expenses incurred up to the policy limit.

For example – you’re on your way to the boat launch and your trailer has a flat tire. You would be able to call a local service company to help and your boat insurance coverage may reimburse you for that bill.

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