Each summer, our Personal Lines team fields questions regarding where coverage lies for recreational vehicles. Before you head out to the lake or on vacation, give us a quick call to make sure your boat and/or jet ski are properly insured in all circumstances. Here is some valuable coverage information for boats and jet skis.
Owning and operating a boat puts you at increased risk for liability losses. As with other recreational vehicles (such as a golf cart), a boat has very little boat insurance coverage provided on a homeowner’s policy. The general limit on a homeowner’s policy is $1,500 for property damage to a boat that is under 26″ and under 25 HP. In addition, the deductible will apply if a claim is made.
If you have a boat, we highly recommend a specialized boat policy to protect your investment. Depending on the age of your boat, you can get actual cash value, agreed value, or replacement cost coverage. Having a boat claim won’t cause you to risk filing a homeowner’s claim if you have boat insurance.
Coverage on a boat policy applies to all inland waterways and all bodies of water within 75 nautical miles of the United States and Canada. Boat policies offer coverage for items on board like fishing equipment and will cover towing from a breakdown. Boat policies also offer coverage for water sport activities and some offer an endorsement to pay the cost of moving your boat out of harm’s way if a named storm is coming.
In addition, we highly recommend that you consider adding a personal umbrella policy to provide liability coverage above what your boat policy offers. Contact us today to discuss coverage for your boat.
Jet skis are also not covered on your homeowner’s policy, so you need a specialized policy to cover personal liability and physical damage if you own one.
One of the most common rental scenarios for watercraft involves jet skis. Despite the popularity of a jet ski, most standard homeowner’s policies limit the liability coverage available for rented jet skis to those with 50 HP or less. This limitation may exclude coverage for many, if not most, rented jet skis.
If you don’t own a jet ski and decide to rent one on vacation, we recommend you purchase the coverage offered by the rental company. This way you will be sure to have coverage if there is a loss. (If the rental company doesn’t offer insurance for liability and physical damage, you are probably better of to look for another rental company.)
On another note, most non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks, rafts, canoes, and rowboats should be covered, but it’s always best to check with us prior to renting. Need to insure your jet ski? Contact us and let’s look at your options.