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Marine Insurance: Top Causes for Boat Insurance Losses

Your options for protecting a boat are often more limited than with other types of vehicles. You can’t always just pull the boat into the garage, right? Risks that can’t easily be prevented make marine insurance crucial.

Here are some of the leading causes of boat claims and losses:

• Weather damage – Storing your boat at a marina can provide better protection, depending on location, but for some types of weather it’s difficult to mitigate risk. Storm waves and rising water pose a threat, as do lightning strikes or even frost damage. Engine winterization is essential.

• Striking underwater objects – The water isn’t always clear and it’s often impossible to know what’s lurking beneath the surface under the hull or propeller. Proceed with caution in unfamiliar areas and watch for currents in front of your boat that may indicate a submerged object or a sandbar that can change your sunny-afternoon plans.

• Theft – A big part of the theft risk for boats is found in the parts. Outboard motors are common theft items as are decorative propellers, such as bronze or brass propellers. Personal effects are also commonly stolen from boats. It only takes a few moments for hundreds of dollars worth of cameras, phones, etc. to disappear. Remember to stow everything that can be stowed when coming ashore. Consider stowing removable propellers as well. Out of sight is out of mind for would-be thieves.

• Collisions – The open waters can get downright crowded when the weather gets nice, leading to an increase in collisions. Exercise caution and allow a wide berth even in cases where you have the right of way.

Reach out to your advisor to learn more about how to protect your boat or to review your coverage if you already have a policy. Ensuring that your boat is properly covered helps make your boating adventures more enjoyable.