Most people who own a boat and personal watercraft are not covered under their standard homeowners insurance policy. This means you will need to purchase separate boat insurance, and the policy may include roadside assistance to cover the cost of towing your boat, on-water towing if you become stranded, and uninsured boaters coverage.
Many boat owners wonder if a friend or family member who’s not on the insurance policy can drive the boat. Here’s what you need to know about getting protection for someone who is not listed on your boat insurance policy.
Types of Boat Insurance
Many insurance providers offer several different types of boat insurance coverage, so you will need to choose an insurance policy for your particular type of watercraft or boat. You may need special coverage such as:
– personal watercraft insurance
– jet boat insurance
– sailboat insurance
– fishing boat insurance
Many boat insurance providers offer a Protection and Indemnity (P&I) section of the policy that protects against property damage and bodily injury if you are sued by a third party. This provision also includes liability coverage for driving a friend’s boat. However, you cannot assume that your boat insurance covers anyone driving the boat.
Standard Boat Insurance Coverage
Standard boat insurance may offer the following types of coverage:
– Bodily injury and property damage liability
– Uninsured boater coverage
– Comprehensive and collision
– Personal effects replacement
– On-water towing and labor coverage service
– Roadside assistance
– Fishing equipment
– Fuel spill liability
– Wreckage removal
– Water sports
You can obtain boat insurance coverage for a variety of watercraft and boats, including pontoons, sailboats, house boats, cabin cruisers, fishing boats, personal watercraft such as Waverunners, and runabouts. Each insurance provider has various limitations on the type of boats that can and cannot be insured with personal watercraft or boat insurance. For example, some insurance providers don’t insure hovercraft, airboats, amphibious land boats, or houseboats that don’t have motors. Others may not provide insurance coverage for boats with more than two owners.
When a friend or family member wants to drive your boat, it’s important that they have the skills and experience to operate the boat safely. Your boat insurance policy may not cover other drivers, so you will ultimately be liable for any damages incurred in case of an accident. Make sure you understand all the provisions and check with your insurance provider to determine who may be covered under your current boat insurance policy.