Days spent boating, whether cruising in a powerboat, sailing or fishing, are usually full of fun and enjoyed without incident. At any given moment, however, there could be an accident on the water. Thousands of boating accidents occur annually, and some involve major damage, serious injuries and even death. Boat insurance isn’t a substitute for always following safe boating practices. It can, however, help financially protect boaters in Massachusetts who are involved in covered accidents or other incidents while on the water.

What is Boat Insurance?

Watercraft insurance, as boat insurance is sometimes called, is like an auto insurance policy that’s designed for watercraft (or boats). Like an auto policy, a typical watercraft policy has several coverages that work together to safeguard a policyholder and their boat from a variety of potential risks.
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What Types of Boats Can Watercraft Policies Cover?

They’re used to insure powerboats, including fishing boats, weekend cruisers and ski boats, as well as sailboats and jet skis. Some policies may even provide coverage for smaller boats, like skiffs, row boats, canoes, and small sailboats.

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Boat Insurance MassachusettsWhat Protections Does Boat Insurance Provide?

Just as the coverages that auto policies offer vary, the coverages boat policies offer also vary. Some of the coverages that boat policies provide are strikingly similar to those afforded by auto policies. For instance, many boat policies offer the following as standard or optional protections:

  • Property Damage Liability Coverage, which may cover damage caused to another person’s property in an accident
  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage, which might cover injuries sustained by other people (usually who aren’t in the policyholder’s boat)
  • Medical Payments Coverage, which typically covers injuries that a policyholder and any passengers in their boat sustain
  • Comprehensive and Collision Coverage, which may cover damage a boat sustains

Along with these coverages, watercraft insurance policies often also provide watercraft-specific protections, such as coverage for:

  • A boat’s trailer
  • Life preservers, ropes, anchors and other necessary equipment
  • Waterskis, wakeboards, fishing poles or similar gear that’s stored on a boat
  • On-water towing
  • Recovering a sunken boat
  • Fuel spills

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Who in Massachusetts Needs Watercraft Insurance?

Most people who have a boat in Massachusetts should consider purchasing a watercraft policy.

Some homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for small boats. The amount of protection offered by homeowners policies that offer coverage (and not all do), however, is usually minimal. Homeowners policies often limit any coverage for watercraft to boats that only hold one or two people, don’t have an engine, aren’t very big, and aren’t very expensive.

Many boat owners, whether they keep a boat on a small lake near Hinsdale, MA or a vessel in Newburyport, MA, find that their homeowners policy doesn’t provide sufficient protection for their boat. When a homeowners policy doesn’t provide adequate protection, a boat policy is usually necessary. After all, anyone could be involved in an accident on the water and, therefore, should have insurance coverage.

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How Can Boat Owners in Massachusetts Get Watercraft Insurance?

When deciding what watercraft insurance coverages they want, boat owners should consider the type and size of their boat, how they use their boat and where they keep their boat. An independent insurance agent can help boat owners in Massachusetts weigh all of these factors and find a boat insurance policy that meets their needs.

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