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What Are the Limitations of Using Homeowners Insurance for Boats?

If you plan to buy pontoon boats in Michigan, you may have thought about using your homeowner’s insurance to save on money from buying a separate policy. However, take note that reimbursements may be small due to the limited coverage.

Your home insurance may provide only up to $1,000 of reimbursements for qualified causes of damages to your boat. Even so, most insurers will not approve claims for certain types of boats. It is imperative, then, to make sure that your personal watercraft remains in mint condition during the off-season to prevent untoward incidents.

Insurance Coverage for Boats

Some of the scenarios where you may be covered by your home insurance comprise explosions, fires, and hail. You can also file claims for stolen and vandalized boats, or if falling objects damaged the vessel. Be sure to read the fine print for any complex provisions. For instance, your insurer may require your vessel to be inside an enclosed space to qualify for reimbursements from hail damages.

On the other hand, since you may be reimbursed only up to $1,000 in damages, it will not make sense to file a claim if there is a deductible. Most homeowner’s insurance policies require a deductible payment worth more or less than that amount. Since vessels may cost several thousands of dollars, having a separate policy allows your boat to be insured for its entire value and regardless of its size. It may cost more to insure bigger vessels, although that may be a better choice than just being covered for $1,000.

Accident Coverage

Accidents are a different issue when it concerns your home insurance. Liability insurance will never cover jet skis and airboats. On the other hand, there are specific size and horsepower limitations for sailboats, inboard, and outboard vessels. Sailboats that are not bigger than 26 feet are covered by a homeowner’s liability insurance, while inboard and outboard vessels should have less than 50 HP and 25 HP respectively.

A personal watercraft insurance policy seems a better choice for those who want a more comprehensive accident coverage since using your homeowner’s policy may provide only up to $100,000 in liability coverage.

Off-Season Boat Maintenance

White boat at a dockWhether or not you plan to buy a separate policy for your boat, you still need to take good care of it simply because repairs are often more expensive. The winter season is perhaps the best time to do some routine checks on your vessel.

Look out for signs of corrosion and be sure to remove water from bilges, pumps, or fish holds. Apply lubricant to the engine, as well as a fuel stabilizer to prevent corrosion inside. This also keeps fuel from breaking down after being unused for quite some time.

Think carefully before using your home insurance for covering boat damages, as the consequences may include potentially higher premiums in the future after filing a claim. When buying a boat, it’s also better to purchase a high-quality personal watercraft with a long-term service warranty to cover the cost of maintenance and repairs.

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