12 Things to Know When Insuring your Boat!




Whether you’re in the market for a new watercraft, or you already own a boat and you’re looking to get it insured for use this summer, we hope that you will find this information on watercraft insurance helpful.


Summer is here and the lakes are filled with swimmers and boaters! 

1. Types of Watercraft

As an Insurance Broker, we represent several different Insurance Companies that provide watercraft insurance. For this post, we are sharing information from one of our Insurer partners, Premier Marine, who specialize in watercraft insurance and can provide insurance policies for the following types of watercraft:

  • small runabout
  • ski/wake boat
  • jet boat
  • bass boat
  • fishing boat
  • high performance boat
  • pontoon boat
  • sailboat
  • large yachts (valued up to $20,000,000)
  • seadoos/jet skis

2. What are boats made of?

Boats can be made of many different types of materials, including:

  • fiberglass
  • aluminum (riveted or welded)
  • wood
  • steel
  • ferro cement

3. Types of Hulls

Here are some great illustrations of the four basic types of hulls:

4. Engine Types

There are also several different types of engines. Here are some great illustrations of the different types:

5. Underwriting Guidelines – Operator

With Premier Marine, there are several underwriting guidelines that an owner/principal operator of a watercraft must meet:

  • Must be 25 years or older
  • Must have at least 2 years prior boat ownership and experience
  • No more than 2 minor auto violations (ie. speeding)
  • No major auto violations
  • No more than one at-fault auto accident
  • Maximum one boating loss in the past 3 years
  • Must not have had insurance cancelled or refused
  • No criminal code violations

6. Underwriting Guidelines – Boat/Yacht

  • Speed
  • Type of hull
  • Construction of hull
  • Vessel must be insured to fair market value
  • Age/condition

7. Common Coverage

Most watercraft insurance policies are relatively inexpensive (minimum premiums starting as low as $135/year) and provide a range of coverage:

  • Insured Vessel (based on the value of the watercraft)
  • Personal Property
  • Emergency Towing
  • Protection & Indemnity (including waterski liability and removal of wreck coverage)
  • Pollution and Spill Liability
  • Loss of Use
  • Watercraft Trailer
  • Uninsured Boater

8. Discounts Available

Premier Marine offers several great discounts, which allows them to remain very competitive in the watercraft insurance market. These discounts include:

  • Mature market
  • Claims free
  • Members of Cruising Club / Yacht Club
  • Boating Education Courses
  • Canadian Power and Sail Squadron
  • Equipment
  • Double the deductible
  • Multi-boat

9. Features and Benefits

Premier Marine also offers the following features and benefits in their watercraft policies:

  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost endorsement for boats up to 3 years old
  • Freezing Coverage
  • No Vermin Exclusion
  • Increased Emergency Towing Limit available
  • Coverage automatically included for newly acquired vessel
  • Continuation clause

10. Limitation of Use

There are some limitations of use that are included in Premier Marine’s policies, including:

  • racing
  • illegal use
  • rented or leased to others
  • carrying passengers or goods for hire

11. Additional Information

Most watercraft insurance policies will include a layup warranty (typically from December 1st – March 31st) where the vessel is expected to be laid up for winter.

The policy also includes navigational limits which apply to where the vessel may be used.  Extended navigational limits can be tailored to suit the needs of the insured, including providing coverage for Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Depending on the age of the watercraft, a Marine Survey (which is a full appraisal) may be required.

12. Common Claims

Claims can happen in all kinds of strange and different scenarios, but here are the most common types of claims that Premier Marine sees:

  • struck submerged object
  • sinking
  • collision
  • fire
  • theft of vessel
  • mechanical failure
  • liability


For more information on watercraft insurance, to learn more about our Insurer partner Premier marine, or to obtain a quote, please do not hesitate to contact our Office!


Happy Boating!

The Costen Insurance Team

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