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Boat & Marine Insurance

Boat or Marine insurance is available for small boats, yachts, high performance powerboats, live-aboard houseboats, catamarans, or pontoons. Marine insurance will cover intended use including personal recreation, commercial, or charter vessels.

Boat policies can cover damage to your boat, motor, trailer, and personal effects in the boat. Available coverage includes liability, medical payments, injury to a water skier and damage to the boat itself, sometimes called hull coverage. Availability varies by state and by insurance company. Even though boat insurance premiums are low, shopping your rate can sometimes save a substantial amount.

Boat Insurance FAQ’s….

Why Insure your boat with Erie?

Here are three reasons why you should consider ERIE’s Boat Protector Policy for your coverage. ERIE offers:

A. Comprehensive coverage that covers many types of losses.

Physical damage coverage – Covers physical loss of – or damage to – the boat equipment and accessories and outboard motor or trailer.

Liability coverage – Provides liability protection for bodily injury &/or property damage.

Medical payments coverage – Provides bodily injury protection for you, your family and others.

B. Included extras such as:

Up to $500 to repair or replace boating equipment and accessories at no additional cost.

Payments up to $250 per occurrence for emergency towing to the nearest marina.

Up to $1,000 coverage of non-owned property.

Up to $500 for personal effects (damaged personal property).

Up to $500 for fire extinguisher recharge or replace.

C. Quick and fair claims service that ensures you will be contacted promptly after reporting a loss. With ERIE, you can count on:

Your own local Agent at Spicer Insurance who lives where you do!

Local claims support that is available when & where you need it 24/7.

How does Boat Insurance work?

When you buy boat insurance you must decide on the amount of coverage you need for your boat, the deductible (maximum out of pocket expense per claim) and the types of coverage you need. In the event that you have an accident, experience a theft, or have another loss that is covered under your policy, you can file a claim and receive a payment covering the loss.

As an example, if you were in an accident with another boat that caused serious damage to your vessel, one of the following things would most likely occur, depending upon the insurance coverage you and the other boater own and the laws in your state:

If you were at fault, your boat liability insurance would cover the damage up to the limits of the policy.

If the other boater was at fault, his coverage would pay for your damages, up to the limits of his policy.

If the other boater was at fault, but did not have boat insurance, or did not have enough to cover your expenses, uninsured/underinsured boaters coverage could cover the damages (if you have this coverage in place).

What does Boat Insurance Cover?

Your boat insurance policy may include the following:

Collision damage: Includes repair or replacement of your boat, but may or may not include clean-up of wreckage unless you purchase optional additional coverage.

Property damage liability: Covers damage you might cause to someone else’s boat, a dock, or other property or structures.

Bodily injury liability: Covers injury you might cause someone while using your boat; includes medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and legal expenses.

Comprehensive: Provides compensation if your boat is vandalized, stolen, or damaged in an incident other than a collision.

Additional coverage options: Coverage for medical payments, fishing equipment, oil spills, personal property and towing coverage as well as damages and injuries from accidents caused by boaters who are uninsured or underinsured.

The amount of compensation you receive for a claim depends on a few things, including your deductibles, limits and whether your boater’s insurance covers your boat’s actual cash value, replacement cost or agreed upon value.

How much does Boat Insurance cost?

The cost of boat insurance varies depending on:

The state you live in

The type, size, and age of the boat you wish to insure

The size of motor and how it is powered

Whether you are using it on inland waters or the open seas

Whether you have selected additional coverage options

The deductible you select

The size, weight, and value of the trailer pulling the boat

Erie Insurance offers a number of very nice discounts on boat insurance policies.  These discounts can give you a price break under certain situations. For example, you may be able to elect a “layup” discount if you don’t use the boat year-round, or a discount for boating in fresh water instead of salt water.

You may also qualify for discounts if you’ve taken a boating safety course, or a good driving discount if your boating record is unblemished.

My boat isn’t worth very much – should I still insure it? 

Yes – absolutely!  The financial risk of owning a boat isn’t limited to the cost of replacing or repairing your boat — there are potential medical bills if you, someone on your boat, or another person is injured in an accident, and potential costs for repairing another person’s property, among other risks, to consider.

What is the difference between “agreed value” and “actual cash value”?

Unfortunately, a boat is similar to a car – the moment you drive it off the lot, it begins depreciating. 

To help boaters save money on insuring older vessels, insurers offer the option of “agreed value” (think sticker price) versus “actual cash value” (think depreciation) in the case of a total loss.

With “agreed value,” the insured and the insurance company agree on the value of the boat upfront. If something happens to the boat, the insured is going to get paid up to the agreed value. 

With “actual cash value,” the boat depreciates; so if a total loss occurs, the boat-owner is going to get enough money to replace the boat’s (current) value (its value at the time of the loss). If, for example, the boat was bought in 2005, the boat-owner is not going to get enough money to buy a 2016 model; they’re going to get enough to buy a 2005 model.  This is because the boat has depreciated in value and the boat-owner is only entitled to receive its “actual cash value” at the time of the loss. 

Doesn’t my Homeowners Insurance policy cover my boat?

Typically, homeowners policies provide only minimal coverage for watercraft — usually the coverage is limited to small boats like a canoe, kayak, or a small sail boat or power boat with minimal horsepower.  Rule of thumb – if you own a boat of any significant value it should be insured on a separate boat insurance policy. 

Is my boat covered when it’s being towed by my vehicle?

If the boat is insured with Erie Insurance and an accident occurs while the boat is being towed – it will be covered up to the coverage limit on the boat insurance policy.  In other words, “the coverage follows the boat, even when it’s out of the water.” 

While in transit, the liability protection on the auto insurance policy of the towing vehicle will extend to cover damage or injury to others that is done by your towed boat and/or trailer, if you are negligent. This is a good reason to check your auto liability limits to make sure that they are adequate.  If an accident occurs while the boat is being towed (and the boat is damaged), the damage to your boat and trailer would be covered by your Boat Insurance policy – if you have one.

What if my boat is struck by another boater who is uninsured? 

This is a very important question and should be discussed with an agent at Spicer Insurance.  Generally speaking, most boat insurance policies have “uninsured boaters” protection included in the policy.  This means that if your boat is struck by another (uninsured) boater – your Erie boat insurance policy will pay up to 10k for any injuries to you &/or property damage to your boat.  This uninsured-boaters protection can be increased from 10k – and we strongly recommend that it be increased.  Should a serious boating accident occur, 10k can be exhausted very quickly. 

Helpful Links….

Frank D. Spicer Insurance Agency offers free, comparative quotes on boat insurance from multiple insurance carriers so you can get the best possible rate.

Want to see how much we can save you? Just request a quote to find out.