Boat Insurance in Virginia

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Boat Insurance in Virginia

What is boat insurance?

As all boat owners know, operating watercraft comes with risks that owners must be aware of and take appropriate precautions against. There’s no substitute for caution, life preservers and vigilance on the water. Should something happen on the water, however, having boat insurance may at least provide Virginia boaters with financial protection.

Boat insurance provides coverages that are tailored to insuring watercraft. Policies normally include multiple coverages that help protect a boat, passengers and the owner.

Boat Insurance Virginia

Who in Virginia should have watercraft insurance?

Most Virginia residents who own watercraft should consider watercraft insurance. Policies are available for sailboats, powerboats, jet skis, and even some small manually powered boats.

What coverages are included in watercraft insurance policies?

Watercraft insurance combines coverages so policies can provide robust protection in the case of a covered incident. Some coverages are akin to what’s often found in an auto insurance policy, while others are more specific to water-related risks.

Boat policies comprise various coverages. Some of these mirror those found in auto insurance policies, while others are more exclusive to boats. Those that are common with auto policies have their terms slightly modified to suit watercraft.

The following are examples of coverages typically included in both boat and auto insurance:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: This may cover non-collision damage to the insured boat.
  • Collision Coverage: This may cover damage to the boat resulting from a collision with another vessel.
  • Medical Payments Coverage: This may cover drownings, injuries and other harm suffered by people onboard the boat.
  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: This may cover drownings, injuries and other harm suffered by individuals not on the boat.
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage: This may cover damage to other boats, break walls, docks or different property.

Some protections that are more specific to boats and watercraft include:

  • Coverage for the boat when at a launch, dock, marina, mooring or harbor
  • Coverage for recovering the boat if it sinks
  • Coverage for any fishing gear or other sports equipment stored on the boat
  • Coverage for fish finders, electronic charting systems, radar and other electronics
  • Coverage for life vests and any other safety gear stored on the boat

Should insurance be purchased for smaller watercraft, like paddle boards and kayaks?

With the rising costs of smaller watercraft such as paddle boards, canoes, kayaks, skiffs and sailing dinghies, it may be advisable to insure these.

Even when using older smaller boats, which tend to be worth much less, a boat policy can still give important liability coverage. A drowning or major accident could be financially devastating if the owner of a small boat is found responsible.

Insurance agents specializing in boat policies can help owners of these smaller watercraft determine whether their risk exposure justifies purchasing a boat policy.

Boat Insurance Virginia

Are boats covered by homeowners insurance?

Boat coverage isn’t a standard feature of all homeowners insurance policies, but many do include some coverage for boats. Before relying on homeowners insurance for boat coverage, boaters should first check their homeowners policy’s specifics with a knowledgeable agent.

When homeowners insurance provides coverage for boats, the coverage is often restricted to smaller watercraft. The policy may limit the boat’s length (e.g., to boats 15 feet or shorter), the boat’s power (e.g., to 50 hp or less) or both. Both considerations should be checked, since even non-power watercraft can exceed a length restriction.

If a smaller boat is indeed covered by a homeowners policy, then another boat policy is probably unnecessary. If homeowners doesn’t extend coverage, though, a boat policy is probably advisable.

How can Virginia residents get boat insurance?

If you need assistance insuring a boat in Virginia, reach out to the independent insurance agents at Hampton Roads Insurance. Our agents are highly knowledgeable about boat insurance policies and will ensure that you find a policy that offers robust protection for you and your vessel.

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Closed | Sat-Sun & Holidays

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11024 Warwick Blvd

Newport News, Virginia 23601

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Reach out to the Hampton Roads team today for any questions or insurance quotes!