What Coverages Does Watercraft Insurance Provide?
The similarities and differences between watercraft and auto policies are perhaps most evident in the coverages that the two types of policies provide.
On the one hand, both watercraft and auto policies usually make the following coverages available as standard or optional protections:
- Medical Payments Coverage, which frequently covers injuries sustained by people on or in the insured vessel or vehicle
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage, which frequently covers injuries sustained by people outside the insured vessel
- Comprehensive and Collision Coverage, which frequently covers damage sustained by the insured vessel
- Property Damage Liability Coverage, which frequently covers damage caused to other people’s property
On the other hand, watercraft insurance policies sometimes include the following coverages that typically aren’t (for obvious reasons) found in auto policies:
- Coverage for fishing tackle and other sports gear kept on a vessel
- Coverage for safety items kept on a vessel
- Coverage for on-water towing by another vessel
- Coverage for recovering a vessel that has sunk
In both cases, watercraft and auto policies’ exact coverages often vary from these particular lists. The coverages mentioned are only intended to be possible examples.
What Massachusetts Residents Need Watercraft Insurance Policies?
Most people who live in Massachusetts and own a boat can benefit from having watercraft insurance.
Residents who own expensive powerboats, sailboats and jet skis may want both the property and liability protections. In some cases, boaters who have financed vessels like these might even be required by the terms of their loan to maintain a minimum level of property coverage. Lenders often include such requirements to protect their investments in financed vessels.
Those who have smaller boats that are inexpensive, such as canoes and rowboats, may not need the property protections since their boat isn’t worth a lot. They might still, however, want the liability protection that watercraft insurance can offer. People in smaller boats can still suffer serious accidents on the water, after all.
How Can Boaters Save on Insurance Policies?
There are a couple ways that boaters may be able to reduce how much boat coverage costs them.
First, many insurance companies offer discounts on boat policies. Most boaters can at least get a multi-policy discount, since this discount is widely available and boat owners usually need at least one other type of insurance. There sometimes are other discounts available.
Second, comparing boat policies with an independent insurance agent who specializes in this type of personal coverage can help boaters find an affordable policy that still provides the protections they need. An independent agent can request quotes from multiple insurance companies in the state, and someone who’s familiar with boat policies will be able to thoroughly compare policies’ different coverages so that boaters understand the variance in protections as well as premiums.