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What is Boat Insurance?

Boating is great fun, but the sport involves an inherent level of risk. Thousands of boating accidents occur each year, and some of these result in significant injury or property damage. A few even cause deaths. Boat insurance doesn’t prevent boating accidents, but it can help Massachusetts residents recover from the financial consequences of any boating accidents they’re in.

Boat insurance is a specialized form of personal insurance that’s uniquely designed for the risks that come with boating. Policies are similar to car insurance policies at points, but there are some differences in the protections that boat and car policies provide. 

What Coverages Do Watercraft Insurance Policies Offer?

It’s easy to see the similarities and differences between car and watercraft insurance policies when comparing their coverages. Both types of policies frequently provide:

     • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage, which might cover injuries that other people sustain
     • Medical Payments Coverage, which might cover injuries that passengers sustain
     • Collision and Comprehensive Coverage, which might cover damage that the insured vehicle           or vessel sustains
     • Property Damage Liability Coverage, which might cover damage that other people’s property sustains

Some of the additional coverages that car policies normally don’t provide but watercraft policies sometimes do include:

     • Coverage for sports gear stored on a boat
     • Coverage for safety equipment stored on a boat
     • Coverage for on-water towing
     • Coverage for recovering a boat that’s sunk

As is true with car insurance policies, the exact coverages provided by watercraft policies can vary.

Boat Insurance Massachusetts

Who in Massachusetts Needs Watercraft Insurance?

Most people who own a boat in Massachusetts should consider getting watercraft insurance. This includes people who have:

       • Powerboats (including inboards, outboards and inboard/outboards)
       • Sailboats (including daysailers, weekenders and racers)
       • Jetskis and other personal watercraft

People who have small boats, such as kayaks and canoes, might want to purchase coverage even if their watercraft is inexpensive. Although comprehensive and collision coverage may not be needed, the other coverages can often still provide valuable protection.

Do Homeowners Insurance Policies Cover Boats?

A few homeowners insurance policies may offer basic coverage for small boats. Not all policies do provide coverage, though, and those that do sometimes don’t provide sufficient protection. Those that do typically limit their coverage to boats under a certain size, and that either don’t have a motor or have a very small one.

Before relying on their homeowners policy for protection, boaters should talk with an experienced Massachusetts insurance agent to find out what risks boating exposes them to and whether their homeowners policy provides adequate coverage.

Boat Insurance Massachusetts

Do Boaters Need Insurance During Winter?

Canceling a boat’s watercraft policy during the winter months generally isn’t advisable. Doing so normally leaves the boat unprotected if it’s damaged while in storage, and the lapse in coverage might create a gap that increases future premiums.

Rather than canceling coverage outright, boaters may be better off reducing coverages during winter when a boat isn’t in use. A comprehensive-only policy might still protect a boat from potential damage while it’s in storage, and it might avoid a coverage gap. At the same time, boaters can still typically save a little on their premiums while coverage is reduced.

How Can Boat Owners in Massachusetts Get Boat Insurance?

For help finding a boat insurance policy that’ll protect both you and your boat, contact the independent insurance agents at John P. Russell Insurance. Our agents are well-versed in this type of coverage, and they’ve helped state residents insure all types of boats. They’re ready to assist you.

What Our Clients Say

"Thank goodness I have an agent who will go the extra mile for a client. I deeply appreciate it!"

Andrea, Stoughton, MA

"John, you and your office have done a great job for us and I really appreciate it. You guys are very professional and considerate. That goes a long way with me".

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"Your staff did an exceptional job helping me with a recent claim. They took care of everything in a professional and prompt manner. They were very nice, extremely helpful, and took the burden off of me. Their help was greatly appreciated".

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