The days are getting longer and soon many boaters will be out on the water. Our watercraft insurance specialist, Jim Maupin, talks to customers year-round, but his conversations about boats will be increasing as the weather improves! At Homer Smith Insurance, we have been providing personalized service for over 60 years in Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Angeles and throughout Washington. Our agents are very knowledgeable about not only watercraft insurance, but also home, auto, life and business insurances.
The insurance approach for covering boats and boating property is quite similar to what is used to protect cars and homes. Essentially insurance is offered on a package basis, meaning that there is coverage for physical property as well a protection against the legal and financial consequences of injuring others or damaging property that belongs to others.
Property Coverage – Typically a boatowners policy covers:
- Boats – Refers to property designed to travel on water and includes sails, its permanent equipment, spars and fittings.
- Boating Equipment – Includes a wide variety of property that is used in conjunction with boats and it includes accessories. Items considered as equipment are property used for communication (radios), navigation, sonar, radar, outboard motors, dinghies, skis and sports equipment (recreational flotation devices) that are towed by boats and similar property. As a rule of thumb, the more related an item is to the ownership and use of a boat, the greater the justification to classify it as boating equipment.
- Boat Trailers – Trailers used (and designed) for transporting boats (as defined by the policy).
This property must be owned by the person who is named as the policyholder. There are limited instances when such property that is temporarily in the policyholder’s possession also qualifies for coverage.
Items and situations that aren’t covered include boating property that is used in business activity, losses that involve races or competitions (an exception is made for sailboats) and boats that are used, full-time, as residences.
Liability Coverage – Besides protecting boating property, a boatowners policy also responds to claims or lawsuits caused when another person is injured, and /or when another person’s property is damaged or destroyed. Another important coverage under the liability section is medical payments. This provides reimbursement for, typically, emergency or immediate medical treatment expense.
As is the case with property coverage, there are liability situations that are not covered by a boatowners policy, including losses such as those that involve business activity, unauthorized operation of boating property, intentional acts, and criminal activity.
Boating property is a substantial investment and boatowners coverage is an efficient, affordable way to guard against accidental losses. Give Jim Maupin a call at 360-385-3711 – he will be able to answer just about any boat insurance question you may have!