Insurance is binary when it comes to narrow and specific questions; either it‘s covered or it isn‘t. Broad or open questions, however, are often met with answers like, “sometimes.”

The same is true when it comes to insuring your boat. Yes, it‘s usually possible to add your boat to your home insurance policy. Depending on the value of your boat and several other considerations that may be important to you, you might find that boat coverage through a home insurance policy can be limited.

A home insurance policy can cover some basic risks but isn‘t built specifically with boats in mind and this can leave some coverage gaps. Much like you‘d buy a business insurance policy if you have a home-based business because a home insurance policy won‘t cover all your business risks, you may want a dedicated marine policy that offers broader coverage if you have a boat.

Your home insurance policy can provide liability coverage for your boat, with some possible limitations, but there are several other areas where a dedicated marine insurance policy demonstrates that it‘s built specifically for insuring boats.

Consider these coverages that are often available with a marine policy:

• Liability Coverage – A marine policy provides liability coverage that is separate from any liability coverage you have for your home.
• Vermin – Raccoons love boats as much as you do but for different reasons. If a family of raccoons redecorates your upholstery, a marine policy can cover the damage.
• Medical Payments / Accidental Death – Many marine policies provide medical payment coverage and accidental death coverage for you and your family.
• Loss of Use – In plain English, this coverage provides an allowance for a rental boat if your boat is damaged due to a covered claim. Your boating trip is saved!
• Agreed Value Coverage – Other types of policies can depreciate the value of your boat, effectively lowering your coverage amount. With an agreed value policy, you know how much your boat is insured for before you sign the dotted line.
• Emergency Towing – Some marine policies offer the equivalent of roadside assistance, reimbursing towing costs for mechanical breakdowns.

Talk to your broker about your options for insuring your boat. In some cases, your home policy may be adequate for your needs. In other cases, you might want the additional protection provided by a marine insurance policy.