Almost anything can be insured if you are willing to pay enough.
I have a friend who bought a tugboat last year that had sat on the bottom of the ocean for ten years. The Wendy B is about 70 years old and in fact sunk twice, so it has spent about a quarter of its life under water.
It took awhile for my friend to find an insurance company to underwrite her – considering the boat’s checkered past. It has become a family project to restore this rusty (though adorable) bucket, to its original patina.
What qualifies as watercraft?
A PWC or private water craft includes: kit boats, handmade boats, a dinghy, sailboat, motor boat, house boats with no motor and yachts.
Boats can be added to your homeowner’s policy but it will not cover marine specific risks such as salvage, wreck removal or pollution and environmental remediation. So, if it’s dry-docked in your back yard this might be acceptable.
If you own a boat insuring it might actually be one of the less expensive line items you get insurance on.
How to get the right amount of coverage
First, you need to figure out how much insurance you’ll need.
There are two methods of determining the value of your boat: agreed value and cash value. The agreed value is the amount the boat is worth at the time it is insured. Actual cash value is the depreciated value at the time of loss.
Other factors that will determine the cost of your policy are:
- where you will keep it – on an open mooring or in a protected harbor at a yacht club,
- whether the owner has had boat safety education,
- your automotive safety record,
- liability limits,
- whether you opt for a higher deductible for lower overall rates, and
- if you will keep the boat dry-docked for part of the year.
Most policies cover equipment that is permanently attached, such as: anchors, oars, trolling motor, tools, seat cushions and life jackets.
And it is wise to consider salvage or boat removal and Sea Tow, as well as a cruising extension rider that covers you beyond US waters – if you plan long distance cruises. Asking friends who own a boat may be a good place to start finding an agent, but you will want to go online and compare rates before deciding upon an agent.
It’s likely that your checklist of “I need” when reviewing policy options will be more conventional that that of the Wendy B’s owner!
Get a free policy review or insurance quote today
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Either way the choice is yours…