What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Boat Insurance

Boat insurance covers any type of watercraft, from pontoons to yachts, and is a great way to protect your investment and protect yourself from liability.


Boat insurance covers the boat and all items needed to safely operate it, including the hull, machinery, fittings, furnishings, and permanently attached equipment. You can purchase additional coverage for equipment like SCUBA gear or a GPS that is used with the boat. Insurance differs considerably based on the type of boat you have. There are more risks associated with larger, multi-passenger boats than with small fishing boats, for example.

In the event that a boat is wrecked, insurance will not likely pay to tow it out or remove debris. They will, however, pay for the cost of replacing the boat.

Coverage also includes physical and medical expenses, as well as liability. You can buy additional coverage for your water accessories such as skis and wakeboards.


Some states require liability coverage for boats above a certain size. Some states require boat insurance for boats used in state marinas or state parks. This covers you from trailering to the marina, to side-swiping a dock, to injuries to your passengers due to negligence.

Activating Coverage

Your boat owner’s insurance will kick in when theft occurs, if someone is injured, or if someone’s property is damaged. Insurance will also cover liability for legal expenses from someone using the boat without the owner’s permission. If you or your passengers are injured, your boat insurance will also cover you.

Watercraft Coverage

How does boat insurance differ from watercraft insurance? Watercraft insurance can cover personal watercraft, such as paddle boats, WaveRunners, and Jet Skis. Personal watercraft coverage is important because liability for damages or injuries could be expensive without coverage. Watercraft insurance also includes towing and wreckage removal, while many boat insurance policies do not cover towing and removal of debris and only cover replacement or repairs of your boat. Watercraft covers fuel spill indemnification as well. Importantly, watercraft insurance does not offer liability coverage for personal injury. These policies also use a depreciation schedule to determine how much they will pay to replace your watercraft.

Watercraft coverage may be limited to certain bodies of water or locations, leaving you without coverage if you operate your boat in excluded areas. Boat insurance can operate similarly, by offering coverage for inland waterways versus coastal waters

For all of your property and casualty insurance questions, go to Redwood Agency Group.