Vandalism affects thousands of boat owners every year. Luckily, most comprehensive boat insurance policies offer coverage for damage to your vessel caused by collision, fire, theft, vandalism, and more.
The amount you'll be able to claim varies between policies and insurers. Moreover, vandalism typically isn’t covered by liability-only policies. That’s why it’s always worth checking exactly what and how much you’re covered for.
What Does Vandalism Include?
Any sort of deliberate damage to your boat or trailer is usually classified as vandalism. Many insurers refer to this as “malicious damage”.
Some examples of vandalism include:
- Intentional scratches or dents on the bodywork
- Slashed trailer tires
- Smashed boat windows
What if My Boat Is Vandalized While Docked?
If your boat gets vandalized while docked, the marina is not always held liable. You can read your contract with the marina to be sure, but in many cases, it’s up to each boatowner to secure insurance coverage against such risks.
While your vessel may appear to be safely docked at the marina, you still need good boat insurance or personal watercraft insurance to ensure that it is protected against the unforeseen. Regardless of where it is, the vessel is vulnerable to multiple perils like weather-related damage, damage from other boats, and even theft and vandalism.
Common Boat Insurance Coverages
A comprehensive boat insurance policy should protect you against damage to your vessel, as well as other risks like bodily injury and property damage to others.
Here are some common coverages for watercraft owners and operators:
- Theft and Vandalism: If your watercraft is stolen or vandalized, your insurance can reimburse you for the damage up to the policy’s limits.
- Towing: If your boat needs to be towed after an accident or mechanical breakdown, your insurance could reimburse you for the fees.
- Property Damage and Bodily Injury: Your insurance can reimburse you for damage you cause to someone else’s property, as well as your liability arising from injuries to a third party where you were deemed at fault.
- Fuel Spills: Your boat insurance might pay for the costs to clean up a fuel spill leaked into the water and other environmental damage caused by your boat.
- Personal Property: Protects against accidental loss or damage to your covered personal property aboard the watercraft.
- Medical Payments: Protection for third party guests who are injured while on, boarding, or leaving your boat, regardless of fault.
- Freezing: Coverage for ice and freezing damage to the boat’s engine and other systems.
» MORE: Explore Boat Insurance Coverages
Things You Can Do to Help Prevent Boat Theft and Vandalism
- Get an Anti-Theft System: Securing your boat with an anti-theft device or alarm system is the number one thing you can do to stop theft and vandalism. We recommend Spot Trace, GOST Global, or Siren Marine.
- Make Sure It Is Stored Securely: It’s best to put your boat in covered storage like a dry boat storage facility or locked garage. If it’s out-of-sight, the risk of theft or vandalism decreases significantly.
- Remove Personal Items: Secure all valuable items aboard or remove personal property entirely (when stored). This includes electronics, fishing equipment, and boating equipment, as well as the registration, insurance documents, and the boat title.
- Choose Your Marina Wisely: If you store your boat at the marina, choose one that’s well-lit and offers security. Marina employees should alert you immediately if the boat is vandalized or goes missing. Using a GPS tracker also helps.