Boat Insurance Coverage

Hull & Machinery Coverage including Property Damage Coverage

Normally, boat & yacht insurance covers your vessel and includes spars, sails, machinery, furniture, dinghies, outboard motors, fittings and other permanently attached equipment normally required for the operation and maintenance of the vessel.

Most boat insurance policies provide coverage on an “all risk” basis, but don’t be misled with the broad statement. There are still exclusions, and coverage may not be provided in the event of dishonest or illegal acts, intentional acts, concealment, misrepresentation, fraud, damages by pest, rodents or vermin, etc.

Losses under an all-risk boat insurance policy may be settled on an “agreed value” basis, with no deduction for depreciation, or on an “actual cash value” basis, where depreciation is taken into account. Your boat insurance specialist agent can help you decide which is right for your needs, but be forewarned that even under an “agreed value” contract, some items still are depreciated in the event of partial loss. Some examples of depreciated items, but not limited to, are underwater machinery, canvas, cushions, sails, props, batteries and other “wear” items.

Liability Coverage aka Protection & Indemnity

This portion of your boat insurance policy covers sums which you or a covered person may become legally obligated to pay as the result of the ownership, operation, or maintenance of the vessel because of:

  • Loss or damage to any property
  • Bodily injury or loss of life
  • Removal of the wreck of your vessel
  • Failure to remove the wreck of your vessel
  • Your liability to paid crew members
  • Pollution, salvage and recovery

Medical Payments

This coverage pays for necessary and reasonable medical, ambulance, hospital, professional nursing and funeral expenses for persons injured in, upon, boarding or leaving the insured vessel. Most policies include some medical payments coverage, with an option to buy increased limits. Some increase the limits as the value of the vessel increases with no extra charge.

Uninsured Boater

This boat insurance benefit covers the damages that, because of bodily injury received aboard your vessel you may be legally entitled to recover from the uninsured owner or operator of another boat. Most major yacht insurance companies include or can add this coverage to the policy. Increased limits are usually available for an additional premium. Some companies increase the limit as a function of the Protection & Indemnity limit of liability.

Personal Property coverage aka Personal Effects Coverage

This valuable coverage will cover things like clothing, personal effects, fishing gear and sports equipment that belongs to you or members of your family while these items are onboard your boat or are being loaded or unloaded. Basic limits for this coverage are normally included with the option to buy increased limits. Some companies increase limits based on the hull’s value.

Pollution coverage

You may want to ask your agent about pollution coverage. Some yacht insurance companies do not provide it even if you want it, or more importantly, need it. Some states mandate certain minimal levels of pollution liability so make certain you address this issue with your agent.

Commercial Towing and Assistance

The United States Coast Guard no longer provides towing as it used to. As it stands now, if your boat is not in imminent danger but you are still in an emergency situation and not in safe harbor, you’ll be referred to a commercial towing company. Towing and assistance coverage is an inexpensive additional premium as well as a comforting policy feature. Most boat insurance companies include basic limits with an option to buy increased limits. Some companies increase the limits as a function of the hull value.

Special Coverage

If you request coverage’s that may not be classified as “standard,” here are some helpful hints on how to obtain them. Let’s say you’re planning an extended trip outside of your normal navigation limits. You’ll probably need additional coverage’s, which your boat insurance specialist agent can recommend. To help obtain the coverage, you’ll need to provide the insurance company with data which usually starts with the intended ports of call and a “crew resume” for everyone making the trip. A trip survey will probably be requested to verify that the vessel is properly equipped to make the intended voyage as well as an intended “float plan” for your desired ports of call.

There may be additional information depending upon the length of the trip and when the trip will be made. Give your insurer plenty of advance notice so you will be able to gather the requested information and they will be able to evaluate it.

Consider the Added Value

Make sure your final decision on a boat or yacht insurance company is based on an “apples” to “apples” comparison of coverage’s. Also look at the value-added items the company offers, such as a marine specialty companies with marine underwriters, marine surveyors, and marine claims and recovery personal. The wisdom and experience of a knowledgeable agent is just a phone call or click away. Please complete the boat insurance quote request form at or call for a free quote and assistance from the professional group of agents at Atlass Insurance Group. Call toll free at 1-800-959-3313 or visit us online today.