Boat insurance basics for owners thinking about boat sharing

Written by Boatsetter Team
December 6, 2017

Last Updated on January 18, 2022 by Boatsetter Team

If you’re thinking about boat sharing, it’s important as well as required that you have reliable boat insurance coverage. Generally, it’s a good idea to keep your boat coverage separate from your homeowner policy. Many homeowner policies don’t cover, or cover very little, of marine risks such as environmental damage, pollution or salvage work and wreck removal. In addition, most only apply to inland lakes and rivers rather than coastal waterways such as oceans or the Gulf Coast.

Boat Insurance Basics

What boat insurance covers

  • Specialized coverage for items like a specific propeller or navigation equipment
  • Salvage costs of the boat to be removed if there is minor or extensive damage
  • Towing the boat across a body of water – this can cost up to $400 per hour and is a worthwhile thing to have
  • Damages due to normal wear and tear on the boat rather than an accident – such as rot or corrosion

Types of Boat Insurance

The two types of boat insurance are agreed value and actual cash value. An agreed value policy covers the boat based on its value when the policy was written. It can be more costly up front, but there is no depreciation in the event of a total loss of the boat. An actual cash value policy costs less up front, but depreciation is factored into the plan. This type of policy only pays up to the actual cash value of the boat if it is declared a partial or a total loss.

Factors that determine the cost of boat insurance

  • Length and type of boat
  • Speed and horsepower
  • If the boat is used as a primary residence
  • Age, current condition and estimated value of the boat
  • Where the boat will be used – such as an ocean, lake, river or the Great Lakes
  • The owner’s automobile and boat driving record
  • If the owner has been formally trained or certified in boating

Deductions on boat insurance

Boat insurance, like any type of insurance, can get expensive. Luckily, there are a few ways to save some dough.

  • If the boat is stored over the winter and not in use
  • By having a good driving record
  • Taking a boater education class
  • Fresh water boats are less expensive to insure than salt water boats
  • Bundling with the same company as your car or home insurance

Boat sharing along the same lines of the home sharing provided by AirBnB and ride sharing such as what Uber offers is now a great option for boat owners to off set the costs of boat ownership. When choosing a company to “share” your boat for charter, it’s a good idea to make sure that all the important details are covered regarding insurance coverage during its charters. Companies like, Boatsetter understand the inner workings and requirements of boat insurance and coordinate the best coverage for your boat.

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