Watercraft and Boat Insurance: Is There a Difference?

watercraft and boat insurance
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Boat insurance is a type of watercraft insurance, while watercraft insurance as a whole is more of an umbrella term for three specific types of insurance that include boat, yacht, and personal watercraft insurance. The size of your vessel will ultimately determine the type of insurance you will need!

Malhotra & Assoc. Insurance has a team of recreational insurance experts with knowledge of the coverage you need to safely operate a water vessel. Whether you have a pontoon, a wave runner, or a yacht, we can find you the coverage you need to protect your property and liability.

Below we describe the coverage for each of those three insurance types.

What is Boat Insurance?

Boat insurance is for vessels less than 197 feet long. Pleasure boats are considered to be less than 27 feet long, and yachts are longer than 30 feet. Boats have greater than 25 miles per hour horsepower.

Boat insurance covers theft, physical damage to the boat, damage caused by vandalism, windstorm, lightning, and medical payments for injured passengers. If your boat is totaled, your boat insurance may pay the actual cash value or the agreed value. The actual value will factor in depreciation, which means understanding which value your insurance company will pay you can make a large difference.

Your insurance may have navigational territory conditions, limiting your coverage to specified areas. You should look for a few different coverage options that may come with your boat insurance, including: 

  • coverage for property damage during the off-season, 
  • damage to someone else’s property, 
  • coverage for unexpected breakdowns or running aground, 
  • fuel spill liability protection to cover clean-up for accidental discharge, 
  • personal effects coverage, and
  • Ice and freeze coverage for cold weather damage to your engine.

What is Yacht Insurance?

Yachts tend to travel farther than smaller boats, exposing them to more risks. Yachts are also more expensive, making their insurance policies larger and with correspondingly higher premiums. The deductible for a yacht insurance policy is around two percent of the insured value of the boat.

Yacht insurance is a two-part policy of hull insurance and protection and indemnity. Hull insurance covers damage to pay in full for totals and cover replacement costs for partial losses. Protection and indemnity is broad coverage protection designed to protect you from maritime law. It includes longshore and harbor workers’ coverage and Jones Act coverage.

Yacht insurance will not cover things like wear and tear, gradual deterioration, marine life, marring, denting, scratching, animal damage, osmosis, blistering, electrolysis, manufacturer’s defects, defects in design, ice, or freezing.

What is Personal Watercraft Insurance?

For recreational vehicles like jet skis and wave runners, you need personal watercraft insurance. Coverage limits under home insurance are low for these vehicles, which is why you need the added protection.

Personal watercraft covers you for bodily injury to another person, uninsured operator coverage for bodily injuries to yourself, liability for an accident, property damage you cause to another boat or watercraft, theft, and towing after an accident.

Need Boat Insurance? Let Malhotra & Assoc. Insurance Help

As an independent insurance agency, our friendly team of boat insurance experts in Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, and Maryland can help you get the right coverage at the right price. Regardless of the type or amount of coverage you require, we will create a tailored package that suits your individual needs and budget.

Contact us today with any questions. Our team of experts can guide you to the coverage you need to safely operate your recreational vehicles!

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