Sailing on a lake or the ocean is a thrilling experience; but with owning a boat comes responsibility. As the captain, it is your job to enforce safety regulations, such as everyone must wear a life jacket. But as the owner, it is your responsibility to protect your boat against risk and liability. As a sailboat owner, did you know that just using your homeowner’s insurance to protect your boat is not a good idea? The reason is your policy likely provides less coverage for your sailboat than you need.
Why Your Sailboat Needs Insurance
According to Lynne McChristain, the Florida representative for the Insurance Information Institute, your sailboat needs its own insurance policy. McChristain says,
"Your boat has nothing to do with your home, any more than your car can be covered under your homeowners insurance. Your home isn't mobile. Your boat, like your car, can go anywhere, so it requires a separate policy."
Nevertheless, your premium payment can be less if you bundle it with your homeowner’s insurance and/or your auto insurance.
How Does Sailboat Insurance Differ from Auto and Home Insurance?
When you look at sailboat insurance, expect a mashup of your auto insurance and your home insurance. As with homeowner’s insurance, sailboat insurance covers you for financial liability if a person suffers an injury on your wind-propelled craft. As with homeowner’s insurance you also have a choice between replacement value and depreciated value should you suffer a total loss.
As with your auto insurance, sailboat insurance usually provides coverage for bodily injury if you sail into another boat. It also protects you from financial liability if your boat causes damage to other boats, docks and the like. In addition, your sailboat coverage offers you protection against physical damage should your boat hit something or run aground.
Add comprehensive coverage for protection against:
- Personal property coverage for things like fishing gear or sails
You can even get uninsured boater insurance as well as tow insurance if there is a failure in your boat’s operations (lack of wind is not covered).
Agreed Value vs. Market Value
Agreed value is where you and the insurance company agree on what your boat is worth when you start the policy. Market value is the purchase price of the boat, less depreciation. If your craft is older and you buy a market value policy, most insurance companies offer a discount of around 25 percent.
Are You Covered When Your Boat is Out of the Water?
The answer depends on your policy. If you are towing your boat, your auto policy may provide protection. If you store it in your yard or driveway, your homeowner’s policy can give you limited protection. For full protection, speak with your insurance agent about the right coverage for your sailboat.
Check your coverage before setting sail. Call Casey Insurance Group at (888) 537-1412 for more information on sailboat insurance.