Apr 27, 2018

How much insurance do I need?

Insurance is designed to protect your boat from loss and to protect you from liability for damage or injury to others. Not having it opens you up to all kinds of potential financial losses.

Most policies have two parts: The one that protects your boat (hull insurance) should provide enough coverage to pay you the value of your boat if it's destroyed, say, by an accident or fire. It will also pay to repair damage from an accident. The other part is called liability, and that protects you from things that you might do to others, such as damage their boat or cause an injury. That amount is typically between $100,000 to $1,000,000, though $300,000 is most common.

The best policies also cover wreck removal in case your boat is destroyed, as well as fuel-spill liability. Talk to your insurance company and it can tell you, based on the purchase price or value of your boat, what amount is right. But make sure you talk to an insurance company that knows boats; homeowners policies often have glaring holes in the coverage.