Boat insurance policies often exclude types of loss or damage (you can also ask about adding additional coverage to compensate for some exclusions). Each policy is unique however here are some common exclusions.
Common boat insurance exclusions are:
- Wear and tear — Some gradual deterioration is going to occur, but boat owners are expected to maintain and service their vessels regularly and on schedule. Corrosion from saltwater is common and, consequently, boat owners need to take steps to mitigate damage by routinely giving their boats a freshwater wash.
- Damage from insects, animals, mold, or marine creatures like zebra mussels — This is why it’s essential to secure your boat against critter infestations, watch for signs of mold damage, and take steps to protect the exterior of your vessel from marine threats like barnacles.
- Machinery damage — If there are mechanical defects, insurance might cover loss arising from a defective part, but not the repair or replacement of the piece itself. Similarly, if you experience other preventable mechanical issues, some policies will not cover your loss.
- Improper storage or transportation on land — If a boat is not prepared for winter weather or appropriately stored during the cold season, most insurance will not cover the resulting damage. Be proactive about getting your boat ready for the offseason and arrange for proper storage. Similarly, when traveling boat owners must ensure they have coverage in the region and that suitable methods and equipment for transporting it.
- Anyone other than named operators — Some coverage will only extend to operators named on a policy. If someone who isn’t listed is operating the boat and has an accident, you will not have coverage.
As you can see, it’s important to take the time to read your policy in detail. You’ll want to check for the wording of things like lay-up periods, any designated navigation limits, or if your coverage includes coverage for special events like boating contest participation that involves racing or high speeds.
It’s critical that you understand your boat insurance policy long before you ever need to make an insurance claim. If you are uncertain about your insurance coverage, ask the marine insurance specialists at Global Marine Insurance for assistance. We are happy to review your policy with you.