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What Risks Are Covered with
a Boat Insurance Policy?

Having adequate insurance coverage on your boat and watercraft enables you to go out and enjoy with peace of mind.The photo at right is an extreme example of the catastrophic damage that can befall your boat ... flood, fire, theft, vandalism ... even when it is out of the water and stored for the off-season.

Boats may be insured in one of two ways: by a homeowner's policy, or by a separate boatowner's policy. Insurance coverage for boat accidents varies by policy and by situation. Therefore, boaters should consult the "personal property" and a "liability" section of their homeowner's or boatowner's policies to understand how their individual policies handle claims on boats.

As a boat owner, you should definitely ask your agent if your homeowner's coverage alone is adequate. Some policies offer more restricted coverage than others. Your current insurer may also offer boatowner's insurance.

Boaters who rely on their homeowner's insurance to cover their boat should also remember:

  • Piers, wharves and docks will likely be covered only for limited types of damage, such as damage caused by wind, hail or fire.
  • Wind/hail damage will be covered only if the boat is in a fully enclosed building.
  • Theft will not be covered if the boat is off the "residence premises."
  • Liability coverage is only available for certain smaller boats.

Homeowner's policies typically have "excluded watercraft" that are not covered. These craft are generally determined by the size of the boat or its motor. Boaters should be familiar with their homeowner's policies' exclusions in order to decide if they need a separate boatowner's policy. Boatowner's policies are similar to auto insurance policies because they often provide liability and personal property insurance.

Some boatowner's policies may also include coverage for medical payments and uninsured boater's coverage. Boatowner's insurance policyholders should remember: Policies do not cover "wear and tear," marring, scratching or denting. Some insurers do not cover certain types of watercraft, so boaters may need to shop around to find proper coverage.

Please call your Cole Harrison Agent for more information and to discuss your particular situation.

83 Main Street, Kennebunk, ME · 207-985-3361 / 27 Walker Street, Kittery, ME 03904 · 207-439-5981
Valley Crossing Building, Little Poplar Stream (off Rte 16), Carrabassett Valley, ME 04947 · 207-235-2642

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