Insurance for boats

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Steve CDN

Well-known member
Jan 31, 2005
What type of insurance policy is required for a boat?  Does the coverage apply 12 months of the year, even when a boat is in storage?  Are there restrictions as to the types of waterways on which your insurance policy will only apply...IOW are there exclusions of coverage for certain types of waterways?


Well-known member
Feb 14, 2005
North Texas/Northern California
Steve, as they say it depends.  Coverage is very similar to that for cars. My homeowners insurance will cover liability on a boat with less than 30 HP without extra cost.  For total coverage you pay extra.  Boat US covers my boats and theirs is a 12 month coverage.  In California my boat is restricted to inland waters and out 30 miles from the Golden Gate.  You buy a rider to take your boat up and down the coast. I haven?s tried to buy six months coverage since I boat year around.  I don?t know whether that is offered or not.



Jan 13, 2005
Good questions Steve.

I've had insurance coverage for smaller boats with State Farm, my auto insurerer, and found them to be OK. When it comes to claims, they're not really set up for boats so, if you have a claim, they use an independent adjuster. At least that's the way ot was when I insured with them, but it might have changed. I've had coverage with BOATUS for many years. They're a little like the FMCA//GoodSam/CampingWorld of boating and they're set up to cater to the needs of boaters. Their insurance division really understands boaters' needs.

Coverage is typically for a year. I don't discriminate between a boat in storage or one in use. The boat can get damaged either place and someone can get injured either place.

Coverage usually states "normal cruising waters", but can be extended with a phone call. e.g. ours states San Francisco Bay and delta, and some distance offshore up/down the coast. When we went down the coast to Mexico I merely made a phone call and they extended coverage for free, although I got the impression that, had we planned to go further, there would have been additional premium.

Some small boats are covered under a larger boat policy as a dinghy/tender, but this courtesy varies with insurance company.
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