A boat insurance policy provides liability coverage if someone is injured on your boat as well as bodily injury inflicted on others and property damage to your boat. These policies also may be suspended during the months your boat is not in use.
There are three types of boat insurance policies:
- Actual cash value (ACV) or market value:Your insurer will reimburse you for the current value of the boat if you experience a total loss.
- Agreed amount value:You and your insurer have agreed upon a value of your boat at the time you purchase the policy; this is the amount you will be paid if you experience a total loss.
- Replacement cost coverage:In the event of a total loss, your insurer will pay to replace your boat with one that is as similar to your boat as possible. If you choose not to replace your boat, or if it is too old, your insurer will reimburse you the original purchase price of the boat.
Check with the company that provides your homeowners insurance to see if they sell boat insurance. You may be eligible for a discount if you have multiple policies (e.g. homeowners, automobile, and boat) with the same provider.
The personal property coverage of your homeowners policy may cover a small boat for $1,500 or less in physical damage. However, coverage for your liability risk is limited. A large boat will be excluded from your homeowners policy for both property and liability coverage.
Personal watercrafts, such as Jet Skis, will likely require a separate policy that may be offered by your homeowners’ insurer, or you may purchase your policy from an insurer that specializes in boat insurance. Talk with your insurance agent or get quotes from other companies to understand your options.
Motorcycles and Scooters
Motorcycles and scooters are not covered by a standard auto insurance policy. You must have a separate policy that covers liability, no-fault personal injury protection coverage (if required in your state), or medical payments coverage (if required). Depending on the value of the motorcycle, you may need to purchase comprehensive and/or collision coverage. When you're getting a quote for insurance for your motorcycle or scooter, ask your insurance provider about any discounts they may offer for taking safety courses or having multiple policies with the same insurance provider.
If you carry seasonal coverage on your motorcycle, which allows you to eliminate liability and perhaps collision coverage during the months you don’t ride, make sure your policy is up to date and that you have a current insurance card before hitting the road this summer.
Also, be sure you understand your state’s law and your policy’s requirements regarding wearing a helmet.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
ATVs are not covered by standard automobile insurance policies; however, your homeowners policy may partially cover liability. Ask your agent if you have sufficient coverage on your homeowners policy. If you do not, you may want to consider a separate ATV policy.
You should also ask your provider about age restrictions regarding who may operate the ATV, or if the policy covers friends and family, as this could affect the coverage you choose to purchase.
Backyard Fun – Pools and Trampolines
While they are fun for the family, the dangers associated with pools and trampolines may increase your insurance risk. Consider purchasing an umbrella policy in addition to your homeowners insurance to provide additional liability coverage. Some companies may not insure your property if you have a trampoline or swimming pool. There may also be policy exclusions for liability related to trampoline or swimming pool injuries.
An insurance company may deny coverage or cancel your policy if you do not follow the policy’s safety guidelines or fail to inform the company when you build a pool or purchase a trampoline. Check with your insurance provider for rates, discounts and safety guidelines, such as installing a fence or locked gate.
Most standard personal auto policies don't provide coverage for damage to a rented motor home. While liability coverage for personal use is provided, considering the size of a motor home and the potential damage they can cause, the liability limits on your personal auto policy may be not be enough.
Car rental companies offer optional insurance coverage called Collision Damage Waiver to protect you from financial responsibility should the vehicle be stolen or damaged while under your control. Personal liability, bodily injury, and property damage would still be covered under your personal auto policy.
One of the most common rental scenarios for watercraft involves jet skis. Despite their popularity, most standard homeowner's policies limit the liability coverage available for rented jet skis to those with 50 HP or less, so this limitation may exclude coverage for many, if not most, rented jet skis. Most non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks, rafts, canoes, and rowboats should be covered, but it's always best to check with your agent prior to renting.
What about physical damage coverage? Consider the cost to replace a pontoon boat should you be found liable by the marina or rental establishment. Carefully read all rental agreements to make sure you know exactly what you'll be liable for.
Your personal liability coverage follows you anywhere in the world, as does coverage for your personal belongings. Should your rented vacation home be damaged or become uninhabitable, there may be no Loss of Use coverage under your homeowner's policy, so you would be responsible for expenses to find other lodging or to travel home.
Whether you own or rent your summer fun,a personal umbrella policyoffers an additional layer of protection over what most primary liability policies provide. Talk to your agent about the extra protection of an umbrella policy.