Massachusetts has many waterways to explore by boat. The waters of Cape Cod and Nantucket, MA are legendary, and there also are a variety of inland lakes to enjoy as well. Before taking your boat on any of the state’s waterways, you should first check your boat insurance policy to make sure it covers boating on the waters you intend to go out on.
Is My Watercraft Covered Anywhere in Massachusetts by My Boat Insurance?
Boat Insurance Policies Often Have Navigational Limits
Most boat insurance policies contain navigational limits, which determine where they provide coverage.
Navigational limits typically define where a policy provides coverage as a set distance from the boat’s port of origin. For example, a policy might have a navigational limit of 100 miles within the port of origin. As long as the boat remains within this distance, the policy’s coverages remain in effect. Outside of this distance, the policy’s protections no longer apply. (A particular policy’s navigational limit may be more or less than 100 miles.)
When looking up a policy’s navigational limit, it’s important to check how the port of origin is defined.
Some policies may consider the port of origin to be the main place where a boat is docked or launched. Even if a boat is trailered to another body of water, these policies may still define the port of origin as the boat’s home port.
Other policies may extend coverage to a distance within a boat’s dock, mooring, or launch site. These policies might cover a boat within a set distance of any harbor where the boat’s put in the water -- even if that harbor is in another part of Massachusetts or a different state.
Check Your Watercraft Insurance Policy’s Navigational Limits
To make sure your watercraft insurance policy provides coverage wherever you take your boat, check the policy’s navigational limits before you take your boat on any new waterways.
The policy’s distance limit likely won’t be an issue if you’re just headed out on one of the state’s inland lakes (although you should still check it). If you’re headed off the coast, though, the navigational limit might affect how far up or down the coast you can head with your boat. Even if most recreational boaters don’t head more than a few miles offshore, you might want to take a trip along the coast that’s quite a distance.
How the policy defines port of origin might come into play if you’re trailering your boat on a trip. Anytime you take your boat to a new location, check your policy’s port of origin definition and distance limit to make sure you’ll be covered while on the water (and while trailering your boat to the launch site).
Get Additional Coverage by Contact an Independent Agent in Massachusetts
Should you need additional coverage for an outing, there may be several ways to get coverage for where you’re headed. Your policy may have an option to increase its navigational limits, or you might be able to purchase a rider that extends the policy’s coverage. Finally, if you have to, you can always shop around for a different watercraft insurance policy that has higher navigational limits and better meets your needs.
If you’d like help checking your current boat insurance policy’s navigational limits, talk with an independent insurance agent near you. They can review your policy’s terms and conditions to see where in Massachusetts the policy will cover your boat. If needed, they can also help you explore other coverage options, including other watercraft insurance policies.